Every now and again, I’m reminded that my mind does not work in quite the same way as most other people’s. One such moment occurred when I went for an eye test recently.Oh, it all started innocently enough. Medicare in Australia covers the cost of a standard eye exam every two years, and that time had rolled around for me, so I would be foolish not to avail myself of it, especially considering I started wearing reading glasses about four years ago. I made the appointment and trotted down to the local optometrist.
So, I’m sitting there with my chin pressed against one hard surface and my forehead pressed against another, and the technician is operating the machine that is taking images of my eyes. At least, I think she is… The machine whirs. It moves a little to the left. It whirs and adjusts its position upwards slightly. Somewhere in its depths, an iris opens and shuts, and it whirs and moves some more.
The machine appears to be focusing on my left eye, leaving me just enough clearance to look at the technician through my right. And she’s not even looking at the machine. She’s talking to one of her colleagues. The machine is moving and adjusting itself, automatically; presumably it is on a quest to find my eyes on my face and zero in on them. At one point, the technician gets up and walks away, leaving the machine to whir and shift and quest unsupervised.
I go home and tell my husband about it. “…and this thing was moving about on its own, and I got to thinking, what if it malfunctioned and lunged at my face and took my eyes clean out? Or…or…what if it did it ON PURPOSE? What if Skynet suddenly came online at that moment, and that was its first act of aggression? Thousands of optometrists’ machines across the world, all simultaneously going on murderous rampages…”
My husband gives me That Look. It is a look I have seen many times – the look that says, “I married a crazy lady.”
“What? What?” I say. “Wouldn’t you think the same thing? No? You wouldn’t? Well, OK then…”
And I sigh. I sigh, not because my husband doesn’t understand me, but because Skynet has already been rather famously made up, so I can’t write that story.
But hang on - according to this article, it’s only a matter of time before the above scenario becomes likely. So maybe I’m not so weird after all. It’s comforting to know that there will be like-minded individuals out there to keep me company for the brief period I remain alive, blinded and in agony, when the Great Robot Uprising begins.
And we’ll all be saying, “I told you so.”