The Gumbinator

I was thinking today about Gumby. In particular, how Art Clokey’s magical creations, Gumby and Pokey, had the ability to change their form at will.

They could transform into the appearance of any other creatures, roll up into a ball, flatten themselves into a sheet to scuttle under a closed door, and perform other feats of morphological legerdemain available only to beings made of clay.

But today, as I thought fondly of Gumby and his superpowers, my thoughts drifted to a different yet oddly related cultural phenomenon: The T9000 from Terminator 2. When that film was released, the spectre of Robert Patrick transforming himself at will was truly terrifying. Nobody was safe from such a fearsome enemy.

I found myself imagining Gumby as the foe of Sarah Connor, a deceptively friendly looking assassin. To the untrained eye, he is a goofy plaything made of clay. But to the initiated, he is revealed to be a highly sophisticated weapon from the future, a deadly robotic swarm, composed of millions of tiny nanobots.

There is some perverse part of me that wants to see that film. Join me as we watch with fascination and mounting dread as Sarah Connor bravely defends humanity from The Gumbinator!

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