The Barry

Author : Edward Turner III

He was smiling again, the dumb bastard never did anything but smile. We did not return the smile. He was a Barry 4.21, the newest in the line of Barry’s and the most annoying we had met so far. In this day and age though you had to have a robot helper though, life was so hard without it.

Our Barry 3.7 had malfunctioned and this weirdo was what they had sent us.

Marty said, “Look at that goofy looking grin.”

Barry replied, “I do not mean for my grin to be goofy looking. Would you like me to adjust it?” His face shriveled a bit and suddenly all we saw were teeth.

I spoke before anyone else, “Try to look normal Barry, you’ll scare the kids.”

My wife laughed, “You’ll scare all of us.”

A very neutral smile came over him and he looked down at Marty and Annabelle. He said, “I am very sorry, I do not mean to scare the kids.”

Annabelle stepped back and Marty just laughed.

I rubbed my head, “All right Barry, have you downloaded all of the information from the Barry 3.7?”

Barry 4.21 nodded and said, “I have all of the information and have downloaded all patterns and sub-routines which your Barry 3.7 possessed. I hope I can be of service as well as he.”

My wife stared at him like he had fallen from the moon. For years the robotics industry were creating machines that looked more and more human, but with the trouble that the world found itself in when they reached near perfection, the government had outlawed machines which looked too human, and now you could not even customize them the way you wanted, each model had to look just like every other individual from that model.

Sure, there were better looking models, but this was about the best we could afford. I said, “Maybe you shouldn’t smile so much Barry.”

His smile faded but the creepiness remained, and it might have even been a bit worse. I rolled my eyes.

Annabelle said, “So, can you do any tricks? Old Barry was able to do flips and Michael 4 had been able to do magic.”

Barry’s smile returned and he lifted a hand, out of it came a fire ball. I stepped forward, “No Barry, please do not show us tricks that could burn down the house.”

His smile grew and he said, “I am sorry.”

I said, “Why don’t you deactivate for the time being.”

He nodded and said, “Of course sir.” He stood there and closed his eyes and his head bobbed down to his chest. The goofy grin did not disappear.

I looked at my wife, “Do we really need this thing?”

She smiled in a fake imitation of Barry, “Do you want to do the dishes?”

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