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Neighbors Install Homicidal Robots, Rusty Bear Traps to Deter Homeless

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Inspired by the placement of two dozen boulders along both sides of Clinton Park, a quiet side street in the Mission, residents of nearby Landers Street have banded together to deter the presence of homeless encampments by placing a series of killer robots and rusty bear traps at irregular intervals.

“I just don’t want to hear people shooting up at 3 a.m.,” said one enthusiastic homeowner, who gave her name as Judy. “I’d much prefer the deafening cacophony of a Boston Dynamics ninja dog going berserk, or the satisfying crunch of jagged steel incisors through a human femur.”

“It’s a sort of ‘high-tech, low-tech’ thing,” said another resident, who commutes to Cyberdyne Systems in Palo Alto by private shuttle. “The bots are still in beta, so if they malfunction, we still have the traps. Oh, and there’s also this improvised thermonuclear device with no fail-safe mechanism. That oughta have these vagrants think twice before pooping here!” 

The robots, experimental prototypes, are programmed to recognize violations of San Francisco’s seldom-enforced Sit-Lie ordinance, whereupon they approach and start barking like they have fucked-up robot rabies or something totally mental. They also double as 5G wireless antennae, co-branded with UberEats to allow vehicles make efficient deliveries even when access to the “furniture zone” of a sidewalk may be impeded. 

Reaction from city officials appears mixed. Although Mayor London Breed acted commendably with respect to the proposed Embarcadero Navigation Center, which affluent neighbors have crowdfunded to defeat in court, City Hall seems to at least tacitly support maintaining the boulders as is.

However, many felt that the hulking presence of two-ton chunks of granite was an insufficiently passive-aggressive signal warning unhoused San Franciscans to find another place to sleep.

“It’s like rock-paper-scissors,” said eight-month resident Sam Issacs. “You think nothing beats rock — but oh yeah, paper does. That’s why we needed to supplement these rocks by tunneling deep into the Earth’s mantle, allowing rivulets of magma to ooze toward that encampment over there, where it’ll harden. Go rock!”

“I was looking on Nextdoor,” said landlord and Airbnb power-host Cyrus Smith as he dragged a kiddie pool full of piranhas into the Guerrero Street median. “And I saw in Nob Hill, they’re working on embedding a portal to Dimension X into the physical pavement so the down-and-out have to joust with space dinosaurs.”

“I don’t think we need to go that far,” Smith added, pricking a finger and administering a droplet of blood into roiling mass of aggravated fish. “Plus, one of our neighbors is a historic church. I hardly think sleeping on the steps is a respectful thing to do.”

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Peter-Astrid Kane

Peter-Astrid Kane

Peter-Astrid Kane (they/them) is the Communications Manager for San Francisco Pride and a former editor of SF Weekly.