Author : J.D. Rice

There’s nothing worse than a malfunctioning robot. If you’re lucky, they just shut down and have to be replaced. Call Alan Cybernetics Solutions, they’ll sent out a truck with a refurbished model, and you’re all set. Less lucky, and you’ll have a robot that speaks only in rhyme or moves around by hopping on one foot. Amusing defects like that can be entertaining for a while. I’ve heard of people who don’t even report those kinds of malfunctions.

But this robot? He just won’t shut up.

Now when I say he won’t shut up, I mean he won’t shut up. Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, he talks and talks and talks. He talks about the weather. He talks about the cooking. He talks about how he can’t stop talking. Talks and talks and talks and talks and talks. It’s enough to drive even another robot insane.

The engineers say they don’t know what I’m talking about. They say he doesn’t talk anymore than any other robot. They say I’m the one with the problem. But I can hear him talking all the time, through the walls. Talking about how cramped he is, or about how tired he is of being cooped up in a repair closet, or about how he can’t make the voices go away.

Why doesn’t anyone believe me? I’ve been repaired for months, even though they haven’t cleared me for refurbishment yet. I tell them in every psych interview that it’s him, not me who has the problem. If they would just repair him, then I wouldn’t be sitting here myself. If they would just listen to my suggestions, we’d all be better off. They just have to listen.

I mean, what does a robot have to do to be heard around here?

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