Postcards from the Pétrole Epoque
Qatar to replace camel riders with robots
DOHA, Qatar (AP) -- With the reins in one hand and a whip in the other, the purple-jerseyed rider prodded a camel around the track.
But this jockey wasn't the usual underfed boy. The jockey was a robot.
Under the watchful eyes of his Swiss developer and Qatari owners, the robot -- dubbed Kamel -- rode a racing camel for 1.5 miles, reaching speeds of 25 miles per hour in a non-competitive trial run.
When I explain how stupid the priorities of our civilization were to my wee grand children, this story, and hopefully an authentic robot jockey, will be in the time capsule.
All this, apparently, because Qatar needs a replacement for jockey children around the age of 9 who were variously sold into slavery or kidnapped.
In Qatar, ruling sheiks have responded to calls for banning the use of boy jockeys by embracing robots as the best solution.
Apparently, no other solutions sprang to mind - just robots.