It was only yesterday that I learned, posthumously, of the existence of hitchBOT, a hitchhiking “robot” created by some Canadian college professors. hitchBOT safely navigated its way around Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands, and in July set out to cross the United States. After being treated kindly and hospitably in Boston and New York, taken to a Red Sox game and Times Square, hitchBOT made a big mistake.
It went to Philadelphia.
Within hours, hitchBOT was lying decapitated in a ditch.
My initial reaction was, well of course that’s what happened. In Latin, “Philadelphia” means “City of Brotherly Love”; but in English, it means “City Where They Chuck D Batteries at Ballplayers.” As a native Philadelphian, I feel like I can say this without prejudice: Philadelphians are mean. They may not be meaner, on average, than other people in other places; but the ones that are mean are mean in a special way peculiar to the city.
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