Sunday, July 15, 2007

Alpha the Robot Meets Zorine, Queen of the Nudists

The year was 1935. In an effort to stave off the dismal economic slump that had made so many Depression-era San Diegans think of their city as a culturally stagnating dump, the San Diego City Council attempted to rally the spirits of its citizens by holding a massive exposition, which they hoped would boost tourism and jump start the faltering local economy.

The 1935 San Diego Exposition played host to hundreds of exhibits of historical, musical, artistic, scientific and industrial worth. And booking either end of the alphabetical list of attractions were the two headliners: Alpha the Robot and Zorine, Queen of the Nudists....

Alpha the Robot was a “mechanical man” created by Harry May, displayed during the Exposition in the Palace of Science. Weighing over 2,000 pounds and towering over the pygmy Americans of yesteryear at an astonishing six feet and two inches, Alpha cold do an assortment of neat tricks. His most remarkable feat was the ability to fire a revolver with amazing mechanical precision. Alpha represented the cutting edge of mid-30’s robotic technology.

On the other side of the Exposition, in Balboa Park, Queen Zorine and her harem of g-stringed nudists frolicked, bounced and jiggled. They — sensuous noble savages — were as different from the metal man as could be. Surrounded by the crumbling ruins of Spanish Renaissance Architecture first constructed for the San Diego Exposition of 1915-1916, exposition patrons could pay money to watch the girls in their natural beauty: lounging around under incense bearing trees in a garden of sinuous rills, eating bananas suggestively, rubbing coconut oil all over their breasts and perhaps practicing French kissing on one another.

Alpha Kidnaps Zorine, Queen of the Nudists.

Who knows what emotions scraped the cogs off of Alpha’s mighty clockwork heart when his glowing electrode eyes first fell upon the buxom frame of Queen Zorine? How could he compute this strange human emotion? He may have compared it to the slight thrill of anticipation he felt right before he fired a bullet into a target, but amplified a million-fold; perhaps this was how he made sense of that all too human desire that shorted out his circuits, imagining Queen Zorine’s fertile loins as a target to be perforated with the explosive quicksilver projectiles of his robotic sperm. None of us can know what Alpha thought when he first succumbed to his lust… when he first decided to kidnap and ravage the voluptuous nudist. All we know for sure is that Alpha was not programmed to cope with animal lust.

But Zorine’s desire for Alpha is perhaps more understandable. Between the clockwork man’s gleaming titanium legs she saw the mechanical pump that could slake her insatiable thirst for sensual gratification. The mountains of men that had piled on top of her had never once been able to subdue the tectonic rumble of her thighs. In Alpha, she saw the indefatigable lover that her own species could not provide.

Whatever the case, it was only days into the exposition before Alpha — maddened with sexual desire — broke out of the Palace of Science in search of the Nudist Queen. He found her in Balboa Park. There, he spent the day pleasing her and her constabulary of bronzed, buxom subjects. The photograph above was taken at the end of that day, and even though Alpha’s creator had never programmed him to feel joy, you can clearly see the curl of a smile somehow suffuse the sparkle-spitting slit of his oblong mechanical mouth. Alpha is the luckiest robot who ever lived.

originaly posted by John Brownlee at ectoplasmosis via sex (not sex)

[Most of the information on this page comes from The Journal of San Diego History’s article on the 1935 San Diego Exposition. You can find it here.]

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