The Robot Age
by Ernest Baskin, age 9
"Billy, 1, 2, 3, get up! It is February 25, 2099, seven o'clock. Time to get up and go to school." said the clock-robot in a mental voice. Then kitchen-robot gave him toast and eggs. Billy didn't like it, so the kitchen-robot gave Billy a waffle with chocolate syrup in a split-second. Billy was amazed. While he was eating, the whole wall turned into a TV and Billy thought that it was great having robots to do everything for you. Billy ate his meal watching a TV show. When he was done eatng, the clothes-robot gave him his clothes very fast and dressed him very fast. Then Billy went off to school.
When Billy went outside, he saw a car with no driver waiting for him. The car said, "Hello, I will be driving you to school every day. I can drive myself. Your name is Billy, isn't it?" "Right", answered Billy to the car. "Now would you please show your school I.D. card," said the car. Billy showed the car his school I.D. card. "Get in," said the car. Billy got in. The car began to talk to Billy about his school and his schoolwork. After that the car said, "I will check your homework today because you have a very, very, important lesson to learn in school today. Please put your homework on the blackboard." Billy put his homework on the blackboard. In his mind, Billy thought, "What lesson could be so important that it would take a lot more than one day to teach?"
The car checked Billy's homework and then said, "You are a great student. All of your homework is correct." When they got to school Billy said to the car, "Goodbye. See you later." The car said to Billy, "Good luck in your school. You will need it." Billy got to the classroom, and took his seat at the front of the room. Then his teacher came in. The teacher said, "Welcome, fellow robots!" Today we will have a hard and important lesson - 'How do you help a human being?'..." In grade three of the School of Super Robots - P.S. 97, the day has begun.
"Beep-Zeep" - the usual sounds of the traffic. Beezer made his way to his Zikie, a spacebike which runs on brain power. He put his hand against the pale blue screen on his bike for identification. He zooped by two passing space coxops (cars) and followed the monitory screens to his school. An expansive purple doughnut lay before him He parked his bike and stepped into his well known school. It was well known because it still used the olden ways of teaching. The school used human teachers and not robots. They used notebooks instead of hand-held computers. They even, to the disgust of other schools, had recess.
After 2 hours of grueling work, Beezer went to his cafeteria, the only modern room in the school. The cafeteria had robotic lunch aides who asked you what you wanted. When you decided, you punch it in on a 3' x 3' screen. A visual picture of the meal is displayed and you reach in the screen to get your lunch.
After lunch, he went to Foreign Language. He was enrolled to learn the Throplats language. Throplats were a race of Martians who had adapted to the earthlings environment and their language had been accepted as the second language of his time. When finally school was over, Beezer scooted toward his house, a mini-replica of his school. He parked his spacebike and put his eye to the keyhole. The keyhole suddenly shot out a stream of red light and scanned his eye for entry. After the scan was over, the door opened, and Beezer pushed through.
The house was well furnished and decorated. He walked over to the kitchen and typed in "Cookies and Milk." He reached inside the screen for them. Then he went to the TV room. A wall to wall TV displayed a particular show he wanted to see. The TV was designed to pick up brain waves. He glanced at a nearby black box and asked, "What time is it?" The box answered "6:00." Beezer realized his parents were coming home late. Why not invite a friend? He picked up a headphone and mike. He spoke his best friend Ricky's phone number, "456-9086." A recorded message came on, "I'm not home right now, please leave a message at the beep."
"Oh well," Beezer thought, "At least I could watch my favorite movie." He thought about Star Wars. The beginnng part flashed onto the television. After the movie, Beezer went straight to bed. He entered his room and fell on top of a huge water pillow. The next morning he woke up. Another day!
- both stories first published in the Spring 1995 issue of ZuZu
Robot illustrations by Nick Vesey, age 9; "Beezer" by Candelaria Martinez, age 11