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Jason Toews and fifi (the band)

Robot Wars in SF, August 1994


Jason v. “The Man”

Most likely we read about it in WIRED. Despite the fact that I had just been in San Francisco three months earlier, and despite the fact that we were perpetually broke, I somehow talked my long-suffering wife Jen into allowing me to traipse down the coast to watch some robots fighting. Again. This time, we took the train.

The official word from the Robot Wars organizers was: No Cameras Allowed. I called up the Robot Wars head office, convinced someone that I would be writing a story about the event, and was given papal dispensation to bring in my camera. Thus, the abundance of photos below. Of course, when we arrived, we found that the “No Cameras” rule was pretty universally ignored, the organizers having plenty of other things to worry about, like oil fires and severed fingers. Still, I felt that I had shown “The Man” that his petty rules didn’t apply to me.

Eric wanted to spend a few days sightseeing in San Francisco, but I was worried about money, so we agreed to visit only free museums and attractions, which ended up including (among other things) the U.S. Mint, the World of Economics, and Chevron’s World of Oil. Defying my diminished expectations, it ended up being the most enjoyable trip to San Francisco I’ve ever taken. Except for the part at the end, when Eric was passing a kidney stone.

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