The Ballad of the Lost Roomba

Ross Lockhart, publisher and editor-in-chief of Word Horde Publishing, takes street-photos of Petaluma and posts them on Twitter. Ross has a great eye, and frankly, Petaluma just has great graffiti, and great stuff on its streets. Anyway, about a week ago, Ross found a poster asking for information about a lost Roomba. In case you haven’t seen or heard of the robotic vacuum cleaner, here’s a picture of one being ridden by a cat. Because why not?

Roomba Vacuum with cat passenger.

Roomba Vacuum with cat passenger.

Ross tweeted that he wanted to hear “The Ballad of the Lost Roomba.”  That was all the encouragement it took, sadly. And then, to make it even worse, Pokemon Go came out. How was I supposed to ignore that?

The Ballad of the Lost Roomba

Amy brought out the Roomba
She knew it would be fine.
She set the machine for Widely Roam
And went to work online.

The Roomba cleaned the corners,
The baseboard and the floor.
While the kids ran in and out
It Widely Roamed right out the door.

Oh, Roomba, Roomba, Roomba
You’re smaller than a mower.
But bigger than a Pokemon,
I thought you would be slower.

Amy put signs on light poles
And offered a reward.
She thought she’d get some intell,
But instead she got a hoard

Of comments, questions and critique
And lots of snarky backchat,
Like “Why wasn’t your Roomba microchipped?”
And sarcastic things like that.

Oh, Roomba, Roomba, Roomba
You’re smaller than a mower.
But bigger than a Pokemon,
I thought you would be slower.

The Roomba hummed down D Street
Which wasn’t very hard.
At the stoplight it turned left
To clean up Petaluma Boulevard.

After all the stores are closed,
In the quiet of the night,
The Roomba sucks the gutters clean
And disappears at morning light.

By now its charge has flat-lined
But people swear they’ve seen it,
Plugging in to power poles.
I wonder if they mean it.

Oh, Roomba, Roomba, Roomba
You’re smaller than a mower.
But bigger than a Pokemon,
I thought you would be slower.

“Oh dear Roomba,” Amy cried.
“Where-ever did you go?
I have to use a Dyson now.
It’s not the same, you know.”

Oh, valiant, ghostly Roomba,
With all your secret cleaning,
You bring back age-old questions,
And fill them with new meaning.

You make AI official, The answer is official,
Cleaning gutters for the win, You’re not a rolling garbage bin,
Your intelligence is artificial,
But your work is genuine.

As you can tell immediately, this is a rough draft. I welcome comments. Maybe in a few days you’ll the first of many revisions.

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9 Responses to The Ballad of the Lost Roomba

  1. Marta says:

    My only gripe is rhyming “win” and “genuine,” because the stresses don’t match. But otherwise, Brava!

  2. Marion says:

    Yeah, I was reaching pretty far for that one.

  3. Clint Gilbert says:

    Funny first draft
    and you’re a brave person to put it up.

  4. Rosie says:

    That was very clever. I am guessing the Roomba has not been found?

  5. Bev says:

    Now we need to set it to music…

  6. Bev says:

    I think that if it were tweaked a bit, it could be sung to the melody of the dreidel song. “Oh dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made it out of clay, and when it’s dry and ready, oh dreidel I shall play.”

  7. Marion says:

    That’s hilarious!

  8. Marion says:

    A FB friend referred me to the Friends of Petaluma FB page where there was quite a discussion I guess, but I didn’t join the Group so I don’t know. I guess I’ll have to keep following Ross on Twitter to find out.

  9. Marion says:

    Yes… the second and fourth lines don’t work with that song, unfortunately!

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