Traffic was particularly heavy this morning (thanks in no small part, I'm sure, to all of us normally-bike-commuters driving our SUVs so as not to be Washed Away by the promised Typhoon Thunder Storms) which meant that I spent a long span sitting still on Main Street, staring out my window as I waited for the lights to cycle through yet again.
The view that caught my eye was one of the (now many) construction projects going on in the Uptown area. I watched with interest as a dull-orange excavator extended it's shovel and, with surprising delicacy, moved a layer of earth. The massive machine repeated its movement, apparently at the behest of an individual holding a long pole (measuring depth, perhaps?) and I was taken by the way it both resembled and yet did not at all resemble the anatomy of human limbs.
That's who they should get to pilot mecha, I thought absently. Construction workers. Aircraft pilots are good with their fighting machines, of course, but there is nothing human about the way they move. It wouldn't translate to piloting a giant humanoid. And then I got very excited thinking about a bunch of blue-collar heroes who are tagged for the new Special Project because they already have the skills needed. I'll need to talk to some people who have actually driven those things, I thought, and also my four-year-old nephew, who actually knows the names of all 'those things'.
And that's when it hit me- Blue Collar Mecha Pilots has already been done (more or less): in fact it is my two-year-old nephew Elk's favorite show, and I watched several episodes with him while we were in Alabama. It's called Rescuebots, and it's pretty good. I mean sure, the mecha in question are actual sentient aliens, and don't require any piloting from their human partners, but still. Close enough.
...or not. I could always turn it into a short story.