Rob, the Lazy Robot

May 2, 2010
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In the middle of a nice summer day in 2030, a van from Walbay Penney (the recent conglomerate of WalMart, eBay, and JC Penney) pulled up to the large estate of Deborah Q. Venthom. Venthom, sitting by the window, doing nothing but being really, really rich, answered the door.

“Finally! I thought you would never get here,” hissed Venthom.
The two deliverymen dismissed this comment and walked in carrying the robot, which laid motionlessly on a dolly. The men propped him up and powered him on. He immediately began his automatic introduction.
“Hello. Congratulations, you have purchased a SpecTech robot! I was created in 2010, along with 3 other robots, each with slightly different specialties. I am of the division ‘Robotic Organizer and Butler’. Further information can be found just by asking. I will now exit automated speech mode,” the robot recited.
“No more information needed. I need my laundry done,” said Venthom disinterestedly, “And could you buffoons get out!”
The deliverymen exited with haste.
“That thing is so cool, even if it is 5 years old! Why did they stop making them?” said a deliveryman as they walked to their car.
“I read the other 3 just stopped working. And his report says “Defective goods, cannot be returned.” said the other deliveryman.
They hopped into the van and sped off.
The robot rolled over to the couch, and immediately laid down.
“So…I’m Rob. Sorry about that whole thing, Deb. It’s Deb right? Laundry, huh? See, I would be like very excited to do that right away, but “The Price is Right” is on. So I will watch that for…23 minutes,” stated Rob, in a relaxed yet robotic tone.
“Rob, I bought you to be my ‘organizer and butler’ and I will have you listen to my every word. And no it is not Deb it is Master Venthom! When you are done with the laundry, fix me supper and make my bed,” demanded Venthom.
“Calm down Deb. I’ve only got two hands! Or do I?” mused Rob, as an arm extended forward from his chest, with the palm facing Venthom.
Venthom did not find this amusing, and she walked away in a frustrated huff.
“Don’t leave me hanging Debbie!” said Rob, his hand still extended from his chest.
Rob, smiling that nearly ever-present smile, walked over to a TV, and found “The Price is Right.”
Things went on like this for a few weeks; Venthom giving orders, and Rob simply not doing them. I suppose Rob may have had a point. He simply didn’t feel like helping this woman, especially since she didn’t put in any effort to be nice to him. He wanted to be friends, suggesting they go bowling or on a chalupa run, but every time he was shot down. So Rob lived the best that a non-living creature can do, surfing the Internet and watching TV. He was briefly inspired to earn a black belt after seeing The Karate Kid on AMC, but he soon realized he didn’t have quite the flexibility required. He racked up a bit of a debt playing online poker under the name Jonathan Q. Sample. He even tried to add to his repertoire of dance moves, which had previously been limited to ‘the Robot’ and ‘the Roboboogie’.
Meanwhile, Venthom was trying desperately to get rid of Rob. Technically, Rob was her property, making her house his house. Also, Rob was agile and heavy, and (though he would never be violent) he could easily resist Venthom’s attempts to get him out. It’s not like he was a threat to her sitting on the couch all day eating Doritos. Still, she rightly felt she had been ripped off. She tried to tell Walbay Penney this much, but was stuck on hold listening to “Loving You” by Kenny G on a loop. Needless to say she only made it about 4 minutes. She realizes she might as well get some use out of the robot.
Rob woke up one day on his couch in front of the TV, and reached for the remote. When he pushed to put the television on, nothing happened. Rob stared in confusion at the remote, shaking it up and down. Venthom walked into the room.
“There is no TV or internet until you get a couple things done for me. First do my taxes, and then you can watch TV for 20 minutes. Then rearrange my closet, and you should have enough time to catch the start of ‘America’s Next Top Imbecile’ or whatever it is you waste your time with,” said Venthom triumphantly.
Rob was miserable. He did everything that Venthom asked, only for the little bit of freedom he eventually got. He knew he needed to act before this became his way of life.
Venthom lay in her bedroom, which managed to be full of belongings and yet feel painstakingly empty. As she shut off her light, she heard an intermittent rapping on her window. She went to open it, and realized the sound had been rocks. Outside Venthom’s window stood Rob, who was holding a stereo over his head. From it, “We Belong” by Pat Benatar played, putting a scowl on Venthom’s face as big as the smile on Rob’s. She slammed her window closed, and Rob sang along with all his might.
“Whatever we deny or embrace for worse or for better…” crooned the robot.
And with that simple 80s rock ballad, the war had begun. Venthom took the TV to an impounding lot, yet Rob stayed strong. He told himself he was fighting for peace; struggling so future generations of robot could watch the Game Show Network whenever they pleased. All things considered, the lazy robot was putting more energy into this than he had put into anything before.
When Venthom got in the shower the next morning a stream of Hawaiian punch came flying at her. In a huff she dried off and tried checking the computer for ways to remove Hawaiian Punch’s heavy (but delicious) odor. However, all she saw was a video of Rob doing his new dance, ‘the Worm’, which might as well have been called ‘The Dent the Floor.’ The virus on her computer rendered it almost completely useless.

Soon Venthom and Rob were both realizing that this had to end. Part of Rob wanted to leave, but he realized how pathetic a homeless robot would be. Would he carry around a sign saying “Will Clean Kitchen for Change”? He knew she would break first, and on a fine afternoon, similar to the one just a couple months ago, another van pulled up to the estate. However, this was a different sort of van. It was old and in bad condition, and the graffiti on the side said “Zeta Beta Tau Love Machine.” Out of it walked a man in his early 20s with fairly long hair, a t-shirt, and long baggy shorts. Deborah and Rob both came to the door when they heard the doorbell.
“Oh it is so good to see you Benjamin!” said Venthom with a hint of disgust as when she patted his back Cheetos crumbs came off.
“Yeah good to see you. I have to admit I was surprised you called. I don’t think I’ve heard from you in…a year and a half probably,” said Benjamin.
“Oh, really? Sorry. Mommy was busy!” Venthom lied.
“Yeah so Mom why is there a robot here?” wondered Benjamin.
“Hey,” offered Rob shyly, “I’m Rob.”
“This is actually why I asked you here! I realized the best way to stop shunning someone is to give him a gift. And have I got a gift for you. Rob is the only robot butler on the market, and now he is all yours! I figured he could help you…run your fraternity,” managed the desperate Venthom.
“Sweet!” exclaimed Benjamin.

“Glad you are excited. Actually you two better get going so you can get to know each other,” said Venthom excitedly.

Venthom and Rob shook hands. Venthom was utterly pleased with herself, and figured she could stop talking to her son right away anyway. Though it all happened so quickly, Rob knew this was a better alternative to his war with Venthom. Afterall, he just wanted to hang out, and all of the trickery and planning went against his natural way. Neither of the two seemed to feel bad about leaving the other. When her son and her disobedient robot butler had left, she tried to cover up her hint of loneliness by acting pleased, desperately trying to fool herself.

Rob and Ben got in the car. They sat in silence for some time, until Ben broke it.

“So are you going to like take out the trash and stuff?!” said Ben, dumbfounded.

Rob fidgeted in his seat anxiously.

“Look, dude, I don’t do that kind of stuff. I just want to hang out, watch TV, and occasionally do the Macarena. Your mom just pawned me off on you because she was against those things, and those things mean the world to me,” Rob confessed.

Ben was confused and unsure at first. Soon though, he began to nod his head in approval.

“I get you, dude. You just want to hang out and party like the rest of us! Okay you’re in the frat. And it is also good because we’ll be the first chapter featuring a robot! Sweet. I like you man,” said Ben.

“Thank you. I like you too,” said the ecstatic robot.

The two talked about everything ranging from if Drew Carey is a better “Price is Right” host than Bob Barker, to if Bob Barker was a better host than Drew Carey.
Eventually they arrived at the fraternity house. Benjamin introduced Rob to all the guys, who immediately took a liking to the robot. They showed him the TV room and in it hung a beautiful 55-inch-plasma screen. The guys managed to pry him away from it to go to a party at a sorority.
He was a big hit at the party. He was talking to a couple girls with Benjamin.
“Hey! This song is perfect for you to do the robot!” said one girl.
“Yeah, Rob please show us!” pleaded the other girl.
“No! Don’t judge Rob and assume he will do a great robot, just because he is in fact a great robot. Maybe he doesn’t even want to do it for you! Rob let’s go man,” said Benjamin.
Rob smiled.
“Bro, I’ve got this,” assured Rob.
Rob did the robot, and he did it like no other had before. Soon the whole party surrounded him, in awe of his moves. Rob embraced and accepted the fact that he was a robot – the only robot. He wasn’t letting down his ancestry, or his maker, he was just being himself. Rob, the lazy robot, never had to do anyone else’s laundry, or his own laundry for that matter, ever again.

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