Curiosity once demanded that I travel to Carnegie Mellon to watch their automatics department stage a soccer game between two packs of warring and ferocious robot dogs. It was interesting. However, they were also outfitting Segways with cameras to play soccer with/against humans. Obviously, it was terrifying given that DARPA will happily replace “play soccer” with “hunt down, exterminate, render biomass for fuel and replace their cold metallic handles with fleshy hands” within the year.
The trip required a trip to the through the Pittsburgh International airport. They have a Franco Harris/Immaculate Reception statue in the terminal. And there are vast unoccupied stretches where you can sit for 3 hours and only occasionally here the irregular clack of someone’s broken suitcase wheel. But they also have a Gap and Brooks Brothers behind the security gates that don’t mark up their prices like this $11 Quizznos sub I just forced down my gullet.
And there is a Brookstone. Brookstone used to be the best store in the mall because their wares seemed to be sent from 6-months into the future. Not impossible things, but just a little sleeker than the version out there at your suburban Zayre retail store. Now it’s nothing more than a tumbled-down, terrestrial SkyMall.
Last time I came through the Pittsburg airport, the Brookstone had the massage chairs out front and were inviting weary travelers to enjoy they kneading coils. Today, they’re in the back and you need to sit through an employees pitch before you sit down.
Sir, it snowing and I’ve been in this airport for 10 hours. Please start my goddamn $3599 massage and leave me alone.