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A Day Spent With the T-600

dscn0001-8-copyA couple of days ago I get an e-mail asking if I want to come hang out with the T-600 as it spends the day in Toronto.

Obviously, I say yes.

So at 6:30 in the morning two guys dressed in full army camo pull up in a u-haul and park in front of Bloor Station, the busiest subway stop in the city. As the paramilitary-looking troops start unloading unmarked crates from the sketchy-looking van, the studio guy visiting from L.A. remarks that anywhere else in the world, a sight like this would cause mass panic and shut down the subway system. You gotta love Canada.

We then spend the next half hour lugging the behemoth robot down into the station and we get set up just as rush hour kicks in. As we assemble the T-600 and get everything turned on, the sculptor who actually built this thing informs me that this is the model seen in the trailer (the one that John Connor shoots in the head after crushing it with a helicopter) and I get unreasonably excited.

In some stroke of insane marketing luck, the trains get delayed and the subway is packed with people who have nothing better to do than stare in awe at the seven foot cybernetic organism with glowing red eyes. Some stray observations about crowds and robots:

  • It’s amazing how many people carry cameras around with them. It’s like everyone needs to be prepared just in case they pass something worth photographing on their way to work. We truly are a city of artists.
  • The more barricades you put up, the more people try to touch stuff.
  • If you let me past the barricades, I will touch stuff.

Rush hour comes and goes, so we pack up this bad boy and head down to the Edge 102.1 studio on Yonge Street. We set up in the window and then spend the next few hours spreading the Terminator love to passersby and swapping Schwarzenegger impressions. Some observations on downtown Toronto at 2 PM on a Friday:

  • Apparently most of my fellow nerds in the city are busy obsessing over some movie called Star Trek. And Hugh Jackman has another flick out?
  • If you invite a bunch of guys in their 20s to work at an event like this, they will use the Terminator to pick up women.
  • William Shatner’s cover of Common People is incredible.

Eventually the day comes to a close, and the Terminator gets boxed up and shipped out to the next group of people lucky enough to bask in its apocalyptic glow, and I smile in satisfaction, feeling very much like a young John Connor as I watch my robot buddy disappear. Escapism is awesome.

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