Patience’s anger seemingly dissolved just as Mike was getting into bed. By that time he had decided that he was looking forward to robot make-up sex. It turned out that it was just as fantastic as sex always was with his robot wife, but not any more fantastic. He fell asleep pondering the possibility that he had missed his only chance at angry robot sex. He woke up the next morning to find her lying next to him, lightly snoring.
“Oh, wake up.”
“Good morning,” she said, jumping to her feet. “What would you like for breakfast, a vegetable omelet?”
“Wait a second. Don’t we need to talk? We’ve just had our first fight.”
“I don’t think so.”
“Now that I think about it, that has to be some kind of record— five years before a married couple has a fight.”
“I didn’t come programmed to be a wife,” said Patience. “I’m learning as I go along.”
“That’s only natural. It… wait a second. Are you saying that you programmed yourself to get angry?”
“Of course,” she replied. “If I never got angry then I wouldn’t be able to fight with you.”
“Why would you want to fight with me?”
“We’re married, Mike. Married people fight.”
“That’s what all the literature says.”
“And how did you know how long to stay angry?” he asked, climbing out of bed.
“One mustn’t go to bed angry, Mike. I’m not sure why.”
Mike tried to spend the morning writing, but he kept procrastinating. He’d write a line or two and then switch his wriTee over to the browser and read the science news or check out the latest Victoria’s Secret ads. When he had spent three hours and only managed to write a paragraph, he gave it up and went downstairs to watch vueTee. He had two full seasons of Pajama Party locked in the queue just waiting for him.
He ate lunch as he watched the first episode, which was just ending when the phone rang.
“What did I do?”
It was Mike’s daughter Harriet on the line and she usually only called him Dad when she was upset or serious. He automatically checked his pants pockets for keys, which were not there. They hung from a hook on the key caddy mounted near the front door. Harriet lived in Greendale, another California town, but Mike could be there in eighteen minutes if there was a serious problem.
“You didn’t do anything, Daddy. It’s somebody else.”
“Do you need me to talk to them? I can probably straighten them out.”
“Like you straightened out Sherman Rubic?”
Mike paused. “That name doesn’t sound familiar.”
“He was that boy in eighth grade that followed me home and attempted to beat me up.”
“Could you call that attempting to beat someone up?” wondered Mike. “All he did was jump up and push your back and head a bit.”
“It probably looked worse from my point of view… and yours too since you went to the trouble of frightening him to death.”
“Oh, he didn’t die,” stated Mike. “I just took a moment to straighten him out.”
“No he didn’t die. He just wet his pants and cried, and you were questioned by the police and very nearly lost your job.”
“I don’t seem to remember it that way.”