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The curtain rises:

"I have a pain in my side."

Robot, in a very human and sympathetic voice,

"Can you be more specific?"

"No, goddam it, I can't"

"What did you have for lunch?"

Larry answers; a very astute diagnosis is made, a pill fabricated on the spot, and a cure effected
almost immediately. Then,

"I'm bored Robbie."


"I've never been bored Larry. I don't know what it means to be bored."

"It means I've got nothing to do, I'm sick of my friends, I'm just bored. What can I do?"

Robby, quite angry:

"I told you Larry, I don't understand the meaning of the word bored. I've never had the
PRIVILEGE of being bored. You should feel lucky that you are alive. Think of me, sitting here just
calculating. Condemned to sterile immortality."

"Why don't you try to meet another robot? Get out of the house. Go somewhere...."

"We've been through that one a million times Larry. Besides, I'm not bored, YOU are. Why don't
you try looking at a blade of grass like Walt Whitman?"

"Very funny."

"It worked once."

"Yeah, two hundred years ago."


"What if I told you I was thinking of suicide. What would you say."

Robby, without a hint of humor in his voice:

"Well, I would have to say, honestly, that you can't afford to commit suicide. You have too many
bills. Who would pay the rent?"

"You're serious aren't you?"

"Yes, as a matter of fact, I am. Do you want me to tell you some of your favorite jokes. Ones
you've liked before when you were bored?"

"No, not now. Can't you ever just accept the fact that I'm bored. That it's all right to be bored?"
"Sure. If you want me to. You asked for a solution. I can give you lots of solutions but I know that
you don't usually like my solutions even though they are very correct and good ones. Sometimes I
take them from the works of St. Augustine or even your favorite novelists. You're making a face,
but you know they are good, you are just being perverse."

"No, really Robbie. I wouldn't lie to you. If they don't speak to me...."

Robby interrupts in a loud, peevish voice,

"You ungrateful sonofabitch. You don't KNOW what I would give to be a human being for just a
few seconds. I'm so GOOD to you. Why do you persist in lying even about your TENDENCY to

"Robbie, I thought I told you not to call me a sonofabitch?"

Loud voice:

"There you go again! Lying about lying about lying. Can't you remember ANYTHING? Don't you
remember Brunhilda? Brunhilda didn't believe Wotan when he said he wanted her to kill his OWN
SON Siegfried. So she refused to kill Siegfried. She read his heart. He was lying. To himself."


"You aren't helping Robbie."

"A joke would have helped but you wouldn't let me tell you a joke. Even a new one."

"All right, all right. Lay one on me."

"What is a carpenter from Utah called?"

"One of those verbal jokes, huh? I give up already. Tell me."

"A Mormon Nailer."


"It's a literary joke."

"Uh.... O yeah, I get it. An obscure 20th century writer. The Mormons in Utah. A trivia joke."

"Here's another one. What is a hangover called?"

"A bottle of bad rum."

"No. It's a literary joke Larry. Try to answer."

"Uh.... a New York Times Literal hilaraly slopplement."

"That wont do. No, .. it's the Wrath of Grapes!"

"Pretty good."

Robby begins to sing,

"I'd rather have a bottle in fronta meeeee... than.... a frontal lobotomy. Hmmm ... rrhhhiii... Time
wounds all heels..... rrrrhhhhh oh work is the ruin of the drinking class, drinking class, drinking

"Enough, Robby... It's funny... I'm laughing....see."

Larry bears his teeth in mock humor but it is apparent that his mood really is changing for the

"I can see that you're getting happy Larry. I've got more. Thousands more, stories, jokes.... "

Robby begins to sing again,

"It's not the men in your life that count that count, nooooooo, it'sssss...... the lifeeeee uhhhh, the
life in your men.... OOhhhh,,,rrrrszzzzzz.. Old Helsinki tourists never die they just never die, no,
no they never die, Ohhhhhhhh, Old Helsinki tourists never die, they just varnish into Finn air..
they do...."

Larry breaks out with a howl,

"You ARE one funny sonofabitch Robby. I've got to admit it."

"I know you lie. It's easy to read your face. But listen to these two: first, old proctologists never
die, what do they do? well, they just face their ends and......"

Larry falls down on the floor, half faking but laughing just the same,

"Robby, shut up please, you are torturing me...."

"I have a story that I know you'll love, it's called Prinderella and the Cince..."

Larry laughs at the title alone,

"All right, Rob, go for it."

"It's from a 20th century man named F. Chase Taylor – pseudonym of Colonel Stoopnagle – who
wrote uh 13, uh 73, uh 173, uh, it's not clear, spoonerism fairytales which he publised in the
Saturday Evening Post and put on his radio show. He publised a collection of the stories in 1946
– and I quote 'a book which is now sadly out of print and much sought after ...' "

"Cut the Encylopedia routine Robby ..."

"You're no fun Larry." Robby sighs and bows with an exaggerated, mechanical robotic gesture.
"Here goes. Twonce upon a wime there lived a cincess named Prinderella. She lived with her
sticked wepmother and her sugly isters. They made her pine all the shots and shans and do all
the wirty dirk around the house."

Larry begins to roll on the floor, his face contorted in silent laughter.

"Isn't that a shirty dame?"

Robby pauses and Larry screams an answer from the floor,

"Fucking yes, it is a shirty.......uuuhhhhhhhhh....."

but he doubles up again, tears flowing from his face.

"One day the ping issued a croclamation that all the geligible irls in the kingdom should come to a
drancy fess ball. Prinderella didn't have a drancy fess. All she had was an irty drag. Isn't that a
shirty dame?"

"Yes, shirty, fucking, shirt, dame,.... fucking yes........"

Larry can't control himself and breaks into laughter again. Robbie continues,

"So off went the three sugly isters and the sticked wepmother to the drancy fess ball while
Prinderella stayed home. Who should appear but her gairy fodmother, who quickly turned a
cumpkin into a poach, four hice into morses, and Prinderella's irty drag into a drancy fess. But she
told Prinderella that she had to be home by the moke of strindnight. Isn't that a shirty dame?"

Still from the floor, Larry moans,

"It is Robby, goddammed shirty dame ... yes it is... I've got to hand .... fucking shirty.. fucking ..
hand it ...."

He doubles up into laughter again.

"Anyway, Pinderella pranced with the dince all night long, but at the moke of stridnight she ran
down the stalace peps and slopped her dripper. Isn't that a shirty dame?"

Robbie pauses again, rhetorically, waiting for a response.

"Go on, go on.... what happened to her sloppy dipper?"

"Well, the next day the ping issued another croclamation that all the geligible irls in the kingdom
should sly on the tripper. The three sugly isters and the stiked wepmother slied on the tripper, but
it fidn't dit. Prinderella slied on the tripper, and it fid dit. So they mot garried and hived lappily ever

"Enough, enough....."

"You're not bored anymore?"


"One more. What is the difference between a pursued deer and an undersized witch?"

"No more Robby."

"One is a hunted stag and the other is a stunted hag."

"ENOUGH. I'm ordering you to calm down. And even if you deduce that I am lying, I don't WANT
to hear a joke now. But I don't feel QUITE as bored as before."

"Let me quote from your favorite novelist."

Larry is resigned,

"Go ahead, quote away."

Larry gets up and moves towards the kitchen, with his hands in the air in a gesture of escape.
"La vie est courte, et le temps perdu a bailler ne se retrouve plus."

"It never ceases to amaze me that you can speak French so well. Without the slightest accent.
Say it in Chinese."

He does. With his hand on the door of the kitchen Larry shakes his head and says,


He walks back to where Robbie is standing and kisses him on the cheek and then turns back and
goes to the kitchen to get the half empty bottle of Government issue Soma that is sitting on the
top shelf of the bare, twentieth century refrigerator.

"Thank God for legalized Soma,"

he intones from the kitchen.


"What was that?"

"Nothing Rob old bean, I'm just oiling up the old crank that's all."

The lights dim in the living room. The light from the refrigerator casts an eery light on Robbies
metallic head. Larry can be seen in the background, unscrewing the bottle of Soma. Robbie,
more to himself than to Larry continues talking,

"You know Larry, while you were sleeping last night, I read the complete works of Ramon Lull and
all extant criticism and comment. I've got it on super compact laser disk. As you know, it takes me
about twenty minutes to read the entire corpus. 2000 volumes from the 2023 Cordoba
archeological find and 13,753 volumes of criticism and comment. It's so fascinating. The Book of
Contemplation is my favorite. As I've told you but you've probably forgotten.... are you listening

Larry looks up from the chair that he has dropped into,

"Oh yeah, fascinating. Lull, your favorite. Go on, don't let me interrupt you."

"Well, as I was saying, it's divided into five books in honor of the five wounds of Christ, with forty
subdivisions that signify the forty days Christ spent in the wilderness. The 366 chapters are
designed to be read, one a day --- and I must tell you again, like a broken record I know, that it
never ceases to amaze me that you humans read so slowly --- Anyway, the last chapter, chapter
366, is supposed to be consulted only during leap years. Each chapter has ten paragraphs (the
ten commandments); each paragraph has three parts (the trinity) , making a total of thirty parts
per chapter (the thirty pieces of silver). Angles, triangles and circles are occasionally introduced
as metaphors. This thrills me personally but it thrills me in my logical circuits when Lull uses
letters to stand for certain words and phrases so that he can condense arguments to almost
algebraic form. Listen to this beautiful one in Chapter 335 where he employs a notation of 22

Larry can be seen behind Robbie, in dim light, taking a long pull from a green bottle of Soma. An
bluish mist of soma fumes rises from the bottle and engulfs his head, forming a kind of halo. The
scene suggests one of the Saints in Giovanni Bellini's painting, Christ Drinking From the Cup of
Bitterness. Robbie quotes Lull from memory:
"If in Thy three properties there were no difference... the demonstration would give the D to the H
of the A with the F and the G as it does with the E and yet the K would not give significance to the
H of any defect in the F or the G; but since diversity is shown in the demonstration that the D
makes of the E and the F and the G with the I and the K, therefore the H has certain scientific
knowledge of Thy holy and glorious Trinity ....."

The curtain falls with Robbie jabbering away in the dark and Larry looking off somewhere deep
into imagination with a beatific look on his face:

"I have pleasant visions when I read his works Larry ... I feel almost human .... it's so vague, so
quaintly and logically, ... no ... so RIGOROUSLY vague ... it almost seems that I can feel sadness
for this man... it almost seems like I am having a feeling, no, that's impossible, I know that... I
really can't explain it but I'll try ... I can see you're listenening Larry ... it's so obvious because
you're so happy, so I'll try to explain and so and ........"

The curtain falls and Robby's voice can still be heard from behind the curtain but it slowly
transforms itself into a monotonous chant, like the voice of a priest chanting Mass in Latin.