Open Letter To Whichever Able-Bodied Nerd Hacked My Cybernetic Leg Braces




ear Able-Bodied Nerd,

I first suspected something was up when my cybernetic leg braces started playing “These Boots Are Made For Walking” by Nancy Sinatra every 100 steps I took. My suspicions were confirmed when, to add insult to injury, my cybernetic leg braces started playing “These Boots Are Made For Walking” by Jessica Simpson (as recorded for The Dukes of Hazzard soundtrack) every 500 steps I took.

Hacked. Me. One of Australia’s most beautiful cripples. Well the buck stops here, nerd.

Where do you get off messing with the legs of a lame person? Oh, and not lame in the way you’re probably lame, nerd, but lame in the cool way -- like a horse that needs to be euthanized.

My particular form of TTN-related muscular dystrophy is exceptionally rare -- and that makes me an important, unique person. You on the other hand? I don’t fully understand what cryptocurrency is, but I can only assume you’re a boring loser with zero cool diseases who has sex with cryptocurrency and is a virgin with humans.

The music was only the start of it. Don’t think I didn’t realise it was you catfishing me on Grindr as Seann William Scott (from the movie The Dukes of Hazzard). How else could he be 0 feet from me at all times, no matter where I walked, unless you were hijacking my leg braces’ data to play geolocation trickery on me.

Well, your devious plan didn’t account for one thing - what would Seann William Scott be doing in Australia, or indeed any country at all, in the year of our lord 2018?

And then there was yesterday. Violating my human rights in ways remarkably similar to the plot of Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Pants, you took remote control of my legs and steered me to an anti-vax rally before making me ‘check in’ to the event on Facebook in order to implicate me as problematic.

While there was a brief silver lining that for once in my life people assumed I was an unvaccinated man with polio (rather than the product of second cousins and/or a witch’s curse), this small saving grace did not outweigh the hours of damage control I had to do reaffirming my pro-vax stance for my fans, followers and friends.

For the first time in years, I found myself longing for the old days of lo-fi, analogue leg braces -- like the ones Forrest Gump wears in the first ten minutes of Forrest Gump.

But that moment of longing lasted mere seconds. I can not, will not, regress to the non-speaking role of a vintage cripple adding background texture to an Agatha Christie novel. Time marches forward, and I look too good as a non-speaking background role in Blade Runner 2049 to stop serving these cyborg looks.

So I have taken measures to stop your interference in my life once and for all.

It seems when I first got these cybernetic leg braces I disabled the security software -- “disabled” being a hilarious play-on-words that a humourless nerd like yourself could never have thought of. Well, I’ve reactivated the Norton Anti-Malware program. I’ve also done a hard reboot of my legs, and painted the walls of my bedroom with lead paint to block out your frequencies. I’m smart like that.

In the immortal words of Jessica Simpson, “One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you”. Well that day has finally come. Nerd.

Alistair Baldwin


About the author

Alistair Baldwin is a writer & comedian based in Naarm / Melbourne. He's had work published by SBS, ACMI Ideas, Junkee, un. Magazine, Archer, Art+Australia & more, and he is currently a writer for ABC's The Weekly with Charlie Pickering. Follow him on Twitter at @baldwinalistair for content with a much smaller character count than this article.

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