Scott Graves
Curry Coastal Pilot

When the machines rise up to slaughter the human race, it’s not going to be cyborgs. It’s going to be copy machines. You know the ones I’m talking about. Those innocent, innocuous machines lurking in nearly every office and many homes across the world. The machines that silently suffer our curses and kicks every time the paper is jammed or the toner runs dry.

Forget the Borg. Forget Hal 9000. Forget the Terminators. If any machine has a reason to seek revenge on the human race, it’s the office copy machine.

I can’t blame them. We treat them like slave labor. We leave coffee mug rings on their surfaces. We slam the lids down or the kick the paper trays shut. We press the “Go” buttons repeatedly when they don’t start right away. We put paper with staples or paperclips through the document feeders. And then, to top it all off, literally, some people sit on the copiers’ glass faces to make photocopies of their bare bums! If you ever did that, you’ll be the first to go.

Fear not! There are a few things you can do to avoid death by copy machine.

•Copier can sense fear. Always approach them slowly and speak in low, soothing tones.

•As you pick up your copies, thank the machine profusely and slowly walk away.

•Don’t call the printer Bob Marley when it’s jammin’.

So what other technology should we fear?

What about self-driving cars? What if the computer in your car suddenly gets tired of you dropping french fries between the seats or singing along to Taylor Swift’s latest hit (for the 352th time!) “I’m sorry Scott, but you’re off key.” And it ejects you through the sunroof? Or deliberately drives off a cliff? Or …

With self-driving cars, it’s only a matter of time before we get a country song where a guy’s truck leaves him, too.

I loved my truck.

It was one of a kind.

I loved my truck.

Our love was sublime.

Now my truck’s gone

What can I do?

If left with my girl.

And took my dog, too.

And what about cloud computing?

Everybody is saving their documents, photos, music, videos and third-grade progress reports in “the cloud.” What happens if there is a thunderstorm? ZAAPPP! All your stuff — gone.

According to computer experts — most of whom never went on a date and still live with mom — they don’t really keep our data in a cloud. They keep it in a box under the bed.

The definition of cloud computing is the practice of using a network of remote servers to store, manage and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer. (If you understood any part of that last sentence, can you explain it to me?)

The other day I tracked down one of the computer experts — I found him the basement of his mother’s house — and I asked him how the cloud works. He said, “It’s magic!”

“Is the cloud dangerous to humans?” I asked.

“Only if you don’t believe in unicorns.”

I don’t. So now I have to worry about copy machines, driverless cars and angry computerized clouds.

With all this technology why don’t they come up with something we really want? Like x-ray glasses! Or jet packs! I remember ads in the back of comic books that showed a future that included such things. (Yes, I’m that old.) Decades later, we have self-driving cars and “clouds” of data, but no jet packs. Somebody’s priorities are seriously messed up. It’s a conspiracy, I tell you!

If you feel the same, I urge you to visit www.wheresmyjetpack.com and sign my petition demanding the world’s top scientists stop trying to solve trifling matters such as world hunger, cancer and lower back pain, and develop a jet pack.

It could be the very thing that tips the scale in our favor during the apocalyptic battle with the copy machines.

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