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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Missed Another Boat

About five years ago, I started writing a story that ended up being made into a movie. I never finished my story--"My Dad vs the Robot"-- but like many ideas whose time has come, it has arrived nonetheless--as "Robot and Frank." There are no connections, and no one stole my idea, and I haven't even seen the movie yet, but I want to. It sounds like an urban version of my story, which was basically just me imagining a scenario where my dad outlives my mom, and continues his cranky existence on the farm, but his son (a version of me) gets him a robot assistant like the Honda Asimo prototype invented several years ago, but with artificial intelligence (I even had some processing details worked out, about something called "Spectrum-bit processing," where the computer used optical wavelengths in lieu of binary, making for shading in its approximation of human thought).

Where the Frank Langella character is a former burglar who tries to get back into stealing against the better judgment of the robot, my dad is an old redneck who sometimes gives cops hell and generally thumbs his nose at the world. My robot was named Rodolfo, because it was made in Mexico, which would of course rile my "dad" into making jerk jokes at the expense of Latino cybernetics, etc. Of course there would be some dark times, but mostly funny stuff like Rodolfo stopping my dad from blowing his brains out in the pasture with a shotgun, and finally after my dad character dies, he wills the chicken coop to the robot, because it seemed to enjoy feeding the chickens. That last part was the biggest stretch for the "science fiction," since my dad would never do anything so wussy as to make out a will, but I guess that was just one of many challenges that stopped my writing after four pages. That, and the fact that no one would have read it anyway.

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