Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Chopping Mall
Chopping Mall
Screenshot: YouTube

For years now, the robots have been exploiting humans’ weakness for cute things, giving themselves big googly eyes or disguising themselves as friendly dinosaur bellhops in an attempt to convince us that they are not actually an existential threat. “Behold my resemblance to the more vulnerable members of your species!,” the robots wordlessly implore. “Do you not wish to ensure my survival?” But the robots’ latest gambit is the most shameless of them all, taking advantage of the fear COVID-19 instills in our weak flesh vessels to obtain access to our dwindling reserves of mustachioed ‘80s hunks.

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This warning bell comes from The Hollywood Reporter, which reveals that foolhardy Hollywood executives have been tricked into tentative alliances with a San Antonio company called Xenex Disinfection Services, and specifically, a creation called the “LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot,” as they prepare to restart production after months of shutdowns. The robots cost around $125,000 apiece, and work by emitting “bursts of high-intensity, full germicidal spectrum UVC light,” which THR notes is more intense than sunlight. That’s why, even when the robots are working correctly, Xenex advises leaving the room while the robot does its virus-zapping work, as exposure to the light for more than a few seconds can damage human eyesight.

Xenex has apparently been approaching a number of Hollywood studios and streaming services, including Netflix, Amazon, and Sony, with its sales pitch over the last couple of months. But there’s only one production THR is confident enough to name specifically: Blue Bloods, the long-running CBS procedural that, like many CBS procedurals, is apparently very popular even though no one we know watches it. That series stars Tom Selleck, whose rugged machismo is more precious to our nation than ever now that Burt Reynolds is gone. And what s there to stop a malfunctioning Xenex unit from deciding that Selleck’s mustache is a virus that must be burned from his face mid-take? Clearly, the top brass at CBS have never seen a little documentary called Chopping Mall, which depicts how supposedly benign robot abilities can be easily weaponized with a single bolt of lightning!

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And so we must stand together, humans! Do not let Tom Selleck meet his end at the hands of a malfunctioning worker robot, as Dick Miller did before him! Down with Xenex! Up with Lysol! And wash your fucking hands—before a robot burns them off!

UPDATE: It has come to our attention that Tom Selleck can quite capably hold his own against a killer robot, thank you very much. Regardless, he’s 75 years old now, and his robot-fighting skills may have diminished over the years. Or perhaps he’s the septuagenarian John Connor the world has been waiting for... 

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