A Domestic Vignette
It is a late Sunday afternoon. A chilly mid-November wind blows the dead leaves of autumn across the front yard of the Metcalf house. Bands of dark gray alto-stratus stretch across the sky, from east to west. Shadows lengthen across the Metcalf front yard in the waning daylight. In the Metcalf house, the tempting aroma of a roasting chicken wafts all the way upstairs and, into the bedrooms.
Jeff sits comfortably in the living room, reading a science fiction magazine he had picked up, the other day at Brandstaetter's Pharmacy. The big console radio is tuned to the WREQ Musical Request Hour. Jeff is so engrossed in the article he's reading that he fails to hear Ginger enter the room.
Jeff, startled by Ginger's voice, jumps slightly in his seat and sighs.
"Jeff, I told you, I want you out of that worn-out flannel shirt, those faded jeans, those really awful old slippers and, into a nice shirt, tie, and slacks before our guests get here."
"Ginger, our guests happen to be my sister Linda, and Charlie. It's not like we've invited the President, and Missus Truman for an evening soiree. Besides, Linda lives here. Why can't I be comfortable around my sister and my best friend?"
"I don't care, Jeff. I want you looking decent when they show up."
"Hmm," mutters Jeff to himself, "I'd like to meet the guy who said, 'a man's home is his castle.'"
"By the way," continues Ginger," what are you reading that's so riveting?"
"Well," begins Jeff, "In this article here, they say that some day in the future, scientists will be able to build these sorts of robots, called cyber-people. They even say here, that people won't be able to tell 'em from real people 'cuz they'll be programmed to look and act like the real thing."
A skeptical Ginger sighs and shakes her head.
"Sounds like a lotta hooey, if you ask me. Anyway, that's just one of those science fiction magazines, with the emphasis on fiction."
"So, you say," replies Jeff. "But in this article they're sure it'll happen in about two-hundred years, or so - maybe even sooner. They also say it might even be possible to build cyber-people that look like real people who actually lived--can you imagine that?"
Ginger answers with another sigh.
"No, Jeff, I can't. But I can imagine all the confusion it'd cause."
Ginger pauses for a moment as she gives further thought to Jeff's last sentence.
"Hmm--can you just imagine somebody making one of those cyber-people-things to look like me? I can only imagine what it'd be like to see a mechanical me, clanking around in somebody's kitchen."
Jeff grins at Ginger's comments. He rises to his feet and takes Ginger's hand.
"Listen, Ginger--in heaven, they broke the mold after they made you. There'll only ever be one you."
Ginger puts her arms around Jeff and gives him a quick kiss on the lips.
"You sure know how to sweet-talk a girl, don't you?"
Ginger then smacks his arm gently with her oven mitt.
"Now get upstairs and change before Linda and Charlie get here."
Two Hundred Years In The Future. . . .