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Fellows, I'm writing a book,and this is an excerpt. Hope it amuses you





Robot, Bar Mitzvah and Dildo

Again, we have seemingly unrelated elements that oddly come together. Is it me? Certainly others have seen this kind of thing in their lives.
This convoluted tale starts in Bogart’s Restaurant on Lombardy Street in the mid-seventies. I had been rebuilding Volkswagen motors for some extra pocket change and posted an index card there advertising that I was available to do this.
Josef Johnson had a Porsche 356 that needed an engine rebuild and contacted me. I had never seen one before, but was confident that I could do it. It wasn’t terribly dissimilar to a VW, and somehow I did it successfully. OK, to be honest, it took two tries.
Josef and I became friends and stayed in touch. He and another fellow, Bill Crumpacker had bought a sign painting company, Displayco on Marshall Street. Bill was a talent artist and sign painter, and Josef was a gifted photographer and graphic artist……….and a good match.
This all came about at the time when “Star Wars” made its initial debut and was quite the rage. A Greek fellow they knew, Ted Kastanos was opening a restaurant with a space theme on Forest Hill Avenue. He hired Josef and Bill to paint the extensive space murals on the walls inside. Bill really outdid himself. The murals were not just random stars and moons, but actual points of view in space. They were stunning to say the least.
Josef contacted me to build a decorative spaceship to be the centerpiece in the restaurant. I built him a cool craft that would glitz and gyrate in a style that I thought would complement their work. I had a small laboratory on Grove Avenue where I made this thing. After delivering and installing it, I sat and had a drink with the guys and had a bright idea. (Oh brother, those little voices in my head again!)
I suggested to Ted that he might need a robot to wait tables. Well, he lit up….totally inspired with the idea. He asked how much it would cost and I guessed at about ten thousand bucks. Disappointed to hear that, he advised that it would not be possible at that price. Now bear in mind that ten grand in the mid-seventies was a lot of money. To give you an idea…….you could purchase a BMW with leather interior for around five thousand dollars at that time.
But Ted really liked the robot idea. If he had one, people would line up at the door to get into his place. We all knew that. And that would make him the ‘big dog’ in the Greek restaurant community, which had special appeal to Ted. He had started out with nothing and worked hard to make something of himself. His dear Mother had some awesome recipes which were at the foundation of his success. He was ambitious beyond your average entrepreneur and had big dreams for which he would expend any effort to achieve.
The ten thousand bucks was a problem to be solved. Ted fancied himself a gambler, too. He booked an excursion to Atlantic City for a weekend of this and left on a Friday afternoon, planning to return on Sunday. He took a thousand bucks with him to try his luck, which initially did not prove successful. He lost all of it except twenty dollars. Not sure of what had gone wrong, he went to the book store and bought a book about how to win at the blackjack tables. The bus was not coming back until Sunday, so he was stuck there until then. What could it hurt to read up on this subject of interest and apparent demise? He read the book twice, called home to his girlfriend, Gail Nolan, to wire him some more money. When it arrived, he went back to the Tropicana and tried again. He came home with enough money to order the robot from me and open a second branch location of Kosmos 2000.
I didn’t know diddly about robots and was determined to build one without doing any research in hopes of coming up with something original. I had seen the pitiful examples in the Star Wars movie and had hopes of doing better. In the movie, ‘C3P0’ was a man in a robot suit. ‘R2D2’ moved nicely, made cool noises but had no articulating arm or a way to grasp objects. Certainly, I could do better than that in my little laboratory that was peaceful and had few distractions. Largely using ignorance as a tool, I did just that.
Now bear in mind that in the mid-seventies there was no internet and the technology available was primitive by today’s standards. Buying materials was done by mail, over the phone or by getting on my Triumph Tiger motorcycle and going to the local industrial supply. I would have to fight the good fight to make this happen.
It took nearly eleven months to complete the finished robot. I sequestered myself in my little laboratory and worked sometimes around the clock with little sleep. It was the most compelling work I had ever done with remarkable few failures or set-backs. It was also a profound learning experience that would not be repeated for years.
Of course, Ted was chomping at the bit. It cost a lot more than ten thousand dollars, too. Of all the things I do well, estimating time and money is not one of them……..even to this date, I’m a miserable failure when I try. So I learned to just not do it. But the hopeful sponsor and financier of this project believed in me and would give me more money whenever I needed it. I was determined not to let him down and toiled onward.
Toward the end, I worked harder and slept less. Finally, when it was nearly complete, Ted gave me a one week deadline. I accepted the challenge and put my shoulder to the wheel. Then he moved the deadline up two days, making the pressure more intense. On the morning set for delivery, he sends an armored truck with armed guards to pick us up and deliver us to the restaurant, where throngs of spectators and reporters were waiting for the debut.
The robot was largely untested and I wasn’t sure what to expect. The manufacturer of the drive gearboxes I used said their product would not stand the instant and repeated reversing that would be required. But a larger unit simply would not fit. I resolved to go ahead with it anyway and purchased two spares for the inevitable failure. They never did fail and I still have them forty years later.
The robot proudly rolled out and went directly to the dance floor where he was interviewed, photographed and examined. One of the reporters asked if he could dance. I wasn’t sure, and before I could deflect the inquiry, someone put a quarter in the jukebox. To make matters worse, this was the age of disco and that’s what played.
And he did indeed dance. I was astonished at how well he glided around the dance floor on his tank-like treads, twirling and keeping perfect time. The masses of people in attendance were impressed, too. I can’t tell you how relieved I was when he finally stopped.
 

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Continued

I had never named him anything that could be repeated so Ted had a contest to give the robot a name. Some nine year old suggested “Kosmot” and won a color TV set in doing so.
Kosmot went to work immediately, waiting tables, entertaining and definitely drawing record crowds. He would come to a table, take a drink order, bring the customer a beer and pour it for him. Not bad for the technology of that era. He would make fun of bald men, fat ladies and make off color comments. Rolling out on the sidewalk one evening, he encountered a rather large woman walking her dog. He said in his surreal echoing voice, “What a pig!”. The woman retorted that she was walking a dog, not a pig. He replied, “I was talking to the dog.”
And so it went. Mostly he made friends and had a cult-like following. We kept finding new things he could do. Now his hand, or gripper had a sensor that would limit the force so as not to crush objects or hurt someone. But that sensor had an override function and would enable him to squeeze a canned beer so tight that it would blow off the lid. This was a messy crowd-pleaser.
I was employed part-time to keep him maintained and tuned, running like a Swiss watch. Perhaps you know that I am uneducated. That’s right, not even high school. But this became my ‘Master’s Thesis’ and the phone started ringing. People in industry that saw the massive publicity started calling to ask if I could help with their various projects and problems. I quickly learned that the correct answer is ‘YES!’ And started getting work that I enjoyed and made more money than I had imagined possible.
Ted would let me borrow the robot for exhibitions, shows, parties, anything for more publicity. We traveled all over the country to machinery exhibitions, fashion shows, private parties, etc. He had a shipping crate into which he would go, grab a handle with his one arm and gripper, and I would get on a plane and meet him there. For a young single man, this was the life!
Around town, we had a Volkswagen Bus fitted with a ramp, into which he would tread, grab his handle, and off we would go.
I accepted an invitation to entertain at a Bar Mitzvah at the Science Museum in Richmond, Va. The woman that hired us had spared no expense for her son’s party. The Museum was formerly the Union Station where trains would come in years gone by. My dear friend, Stuart Crowder went with us and we set the robot about to mingle and party. There were two open bars, a live band and all kinds of good food.
The robot got a little rowdy. He found one of those dome topped trash cans with that lid that flips in when you put in trash. He must have thought it was another robot. The flap was at the perfect height for him to hold his arm horizontally and enter, penetrating, backing up, penetrating again and again, and drawing an astonished and somewhat horrified crowd. When he was no longer amused with her, he turned around, backed up and said to the trash can, “Was that good for you, baby?”
Did I mention he was getting rowdy? The woman that hired us came up in the rotunda where we were laughing uncontrollably and asked if she could pay us and would we please leave.

Another time, we were invited to a party at Stoney Point School, a private institution in an old historic building. This was no school event, but a private party, complete with alcohol and a live band. I’m not sure if I should be naming names like I have been, but since these stories are so unreal, I’m doing so in order for the nay-sayers to check into if for themselves.
You can’t just make this stuff up.
Norman Roscher and his band, ‘The Non-Dairy Screamers’ were playing at this party. He’s the one guilty of inviting us. We arrived, unloaded Kosmot and I parked the VW bus away from the building some distance to avoid being blocked in later. All went well and he got on the dance floor. Someone, and I don’t know who, gave him a dildo to hold for a photo opportunity. He proceeded to not pose, but dance with it in his gripper, twirling around to the beat of the music, raising girls skirts with it……….again, getting rowdy. Well, someone got rather annoyed and poured a beer down his hatch and shorted him out, disabling him. Great, he’s disabled, and the VW bus is too far to carry him………..he’s too heavy. I told Norman that we would put him in the corner and come back the next day to retrieve him. Norman was horrified. It seems that there would be church services in the building in the morning and this robot has a dildo stuck in his hand. Not a good situation.
I removed his entire arm and put it in the front passenger seat, and headed home. No sooner had I got on to Huguenot Road, a cop pulled us over. (Us being me and the persistent little voices in my head) He asked for my license and registration, and then with his flashlight scanned over to the passenger seat. The look on his face was one of disbelief and astonishment. He asked what that thing was propped up over there………I advised that he really didn’t want to know. Somehow, he accepted that and sent us on our way.
You can’t make up this stuff…….did I mention that? We did a machinery show in Houston, TX. The robot handed out literature for the company that hired us, discussed the product with prospective clients and did a good job without getting in trouble for a change. One of those clients was a Cajun guy from Louisiana that owned a company that made farm implements. He was having an open house co-hosted with the Chamber of Commerce to display his new equipment.
As the story goes, he had been successful bidder on a large and lucrative government contract. The all black work-force that he employed found out about the contract and confronted him wanting more money, more time off, more, more, more. You get the picture. Let me cleanse my soul here and say, I’m just reporting what happened. I make no judgements or statements.
One by one, he replaced the workers that could be replaced with industrial robots. Then, in con junction with the Chamber of Commerce, he invited the whole town to a party where he would show off his,………..and I am just quoting…………..his Lectric ******. If this offends you, sorry……no, I’m not sorry, I’m just the messenger.
We did shows, he worked the restaurant, and all went well for years. While Kosmot was back at my place for maintenance for two weeks, Ted closed Kosmos 2000 and opened a cowboy joint when the movie “Urban Cowboy” came out. I never saw him again.
I still have the robot.
 

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:needpics:

That short story explains so many "now what the heck is he up to" moments on the board over the years.

About four years ago several friends of a "certain age" and I were having breakfast at a local restaurant and talking about maybe writing our life stories so our grandkids could get the real scoop instead of the fables their parents tell about us. One of the participants, a retired trial lawyer, listened for a while and then intoned, "What you call a personal history, I call "evidence". That scuttled the whole idea.
 

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Ryland, Thorazine can cure those voices in your head, ask me how I know. :nuts:
Just kidding, CaptMax :D
 

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Yes, well when Red headed step child and I were young we made an agreement between freinds that I would never tell his kids the stories of our misspent youth and he would never tell mine the stories........ Wouldnt you know that ******* never had kids.:(
 
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Robot Bar Mitzvah dildo thread. Perfect.


A Jewish antique dealer was having a painfully slow day so he started cleaning up some of the merchandise on display. He started polishing an old middle eastern lamp and a Jennie popped out.

The Jennie said, "Thank you for releasing me from my vessel. I will grant you one wish."

The dealer thought for a moment, and said, "Come in the back with me, I want to show you something." The dealer pulled out a map case and put a map on the table of the Middle East. "Jennie, this land has been plagued by war and suffering for 75 years, and for a thousand years before that. My wish is you bring peace to this land."

The Jennie looked at the map, winced, and responded, "Even with all my power, I can not bring peace to a place like that. Please think of something else."

The dealer thought for a moment, and said, "Jennie, I've been married to my wonderful Jewish wife for 40 years. In that time, not one blowjob. Please, Jennie, let me get one blowjob from my wife."

The Jennie thought for a moment, winced, and responded, "Let me see that fucking map again..."

:D
 

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Anthony "Tony" Nelson was walking the Southern California beach early one morning when he came upon a brass lamp. Rubbing it, out popped a Genie in full dress, offering him one wish. Arguing for his full three wishes, the Genie said "Look, I've been bottled up in that thing for thousands of years and I've got a lot of things to do. Do you want one wish for anything you want or not?" Shyly, Tony thought deeply for a minute or two and then said "Well, yes, my 'significant other' has been wishing for a nice month long holiday in Hawaii ever since we met, but I'm afraid of airline travel and teleportation; I'd like a bridge from Southern California to Hawaii. The Genie hemmed and hawed and stumbled over his words a bit and finally said -- Well look, you've got environmental issues to consider, shipping lanes to deal with, weather problems for safety to consider, that's just not possible so you'll have to think of some other wish. So, Tony thought and thought. Finally he said, "OK, I'd like to understand how women think -- that Barbara Eden is driving me nuts!!! To which the Genie replied, "Oh... So do you want that bridge four lanes or six?

Carry On!
Gary
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