Humanity Death Watch

‘There’s nothing to do anymore,’ complains 140-year-old cyborg

Despite having a bionic brain and reading it five times, Royd remains baffled by "Infinite Jest."

Despite having a bionic brain and reading it five times, Royd remains baffled by Infinite Jest.

When Andy Royd became a cyborg, boredom was the last thing on his bionic mind. Now he faces daily a dreadful sense of ennui as his life moves closer to eternity.

“I never thought that living forever would be so uneventful,” Royd said.

At 140 years old, Royd spends his days on his charger, usually counting virtual sheep and twiddling his bionic thumbs. He’s tried everything to stay interested in life, but nothing has helped.

Therapist and biomechanical engineer Robert Ott has worked with Royd over the past three decades. “At one point, Andy wanted to give up and donate his body to science,” Ott said. “I had to break it to him that he already had.”

Ott initially recommended a “bucket list,” and Royd filled an entire spiral notebook with his giant to-do list. Two decades later, Royd’s done it all.

“I’ve visited the Taj Mahal,” Royd said. “I’ve gone skydiving. I’ve eaten 47 hot dogs and didn’t throw up.  I’ve read Infinite Jest five times and still don’t know what it’s about.”

Cheated on bucket list

However, Ott pointed out that Royd hasn’t really done it all.

“It’s all virtual,” Ott explained. “He’s done it all using Oculus Rift and Google Maps. And he didn’t exactly read Infinite Jest; he just downloaded it.”

Royd has no intentions of physically doing any of these activities. Until he finds something better to do, he will be at the Smithsonian this summer as part of the exhibition Life of the Sighborgs.

Photo credit: Cyborg by Javi M, licensed under CC 2.0

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