Tuesday, July 17, 2007


By Temperance Goodwrite

Pa walked into the living room and plum near threw his lunchpail through the window. Turns out that no-good robot had taken a great big dump in its new corduroy trousers, and now the whole house stank something terrible. Worse yet, the mechanized menace had took to reading the afternoon paper in Pa's new La-Z-Boy.

"I told you not to feed the damn machine all them collards and ham hocks!" said Pa, swooning mightily from the odor. "Now it's done crapped its britches again!"

Darlene walked out of the kitchen, pinching her nose. "Well, it kept hollerin' how it was sick and tired of suppin' on oil and lubricatin' jellies," she told him. "Said it had a powerful hankerin' fer some greens.

"Now it's saying there better be plenty of biscuits and gravy fer breakfast, else it's gonna put a hole through Ma with that laser beam it's been braggin' about."

Pa was fit to be tied. This was not the Deluxe Chore-Dynamo, the robot he had ordered last month from the Sears Roebuck catalogue. All this robot seemed to do was drink Mountain Dew and talk sass all day long while luxuriating in its own filth. Two month's wages down the drain!

His face now bright red, Pa threw his hat to the ground and tried to roust the infernal contraption from the soiled recliner, but the robot nipped at him with its pincers until he had to give up and take a seat on a nearby stool.

"Oh Lord, how I've been hornswoggled!" he exclaimed, burying his head in his hands. And then from the La-Z-Boy there came a long, mechanical cackle that let Pa and everyone else know that this robot was here to stay.

(With her plain black frock coat and white linen bonnet, sci-fi authoress Temperance Goodwrite will cut quite a figure at this year's Dragon*Con. Goodwrite's other efforts include "The Whores of Andromeda" and "Intergalactic Shakedown!")

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