It stood in the middle of a pile of self-unwrapping packaging. It wasn’t anything like the picture. The ad had shown a sleek, shiny humanoid robot, just like on TV. This thing was stubby and awkward. The upper unit almost suggested a human head; from there down it gave up the pretense. The body was a fat moulded plastic cylinder, sitting low to the ground on knobby rubber rollers.
"My name’s Davey."
"Davey." The robot shuddered, and one of its manipulators fell off. It picked up the part and rolled to a corner to reattach it.
My heart sank. For six to eight weeks, I’d imagined how happy Mom would be. She’d been so tired since Dad left, what with pulling double shifts at the plant, and taking care of me. I thought maybe a household robot would make her life a little easier.
Not this dud. This would just get me chewed out for wasting money ordering junk from the backs of comic books. By now tears were rolling down my cheeks.
"Tissue?" The robot had fixed its arm, and held out a kleenex.
"Thanks," I said.
The arm fell off again as I took the tissue.