“Well that was a peachy trip,” said Mike as he shut the front door behind him. The drive home had been a long one and had seemed, at least to him, a tense one. Patience hadn’t spoken unless he had asked her a question. He had tried to draw her out by pointing out some of the scenes along the highway, but after a few monosyllabic answers, he had stopped.
“I don’t recall seeing a single peach,” replied Patience.
“I was using ‘peachy’ as slang, and besides, I was being sarcastic.”
“If you found the journey less than pleasant, you are 76.45% to blame.”
“I’m zero percent to blame—zero. You’re just moody all of a sudden.”
“I’m a robot, Mike. Robots don’t get moody.”
“That’s what I used to think. You do get moody, and you really put a damper on the trip. That’s why I didn’t want to spend another day. It’s your fault—eighty… eighty three percent, or something like that.”
“We could certainly have stayed another day if you wished,” said Patience. “It was entirely your decision. You make all the decisions.”
“That’s because I’m your owner.”
“You’re supposed to be my husband.”
Mike turned and stomped up the stairs. He was outwardly still angry, but inside he felt a sinking in his stomach that he knew was caused by his own choice of words. He took off his shirt and pulled a t-shirt over his head, then kicked off his shoes.
“Are there any new messages?” Mike used a complete sentence even though the household network only needed the last word.
“You have 145 messages.”
“You’re kidding.” It was a very rare day when Mike received more than five phone calls. “Play the first two.”
“Hey Mr. Smith. It’s Curtis. I wanted to let you know that Francis got an A on his paper. Also I saw you had that sign on your lawn—the one with your picture on it… um, you and your wife’s picture on it. Do you have any more of those, because I told my mom we should put one up at our house too. Well call me back.”
“Hello. This is Daniel Alvarez, your neighbor at number 16. I saw you had a ‘No on 22’ sign in your yard and I wanted to know where I could get in contact with the ‘No on 22’ organization. I thought you might know. Please call me back at your earliest convenience.”
Hurrying down the stairs again, Mike found Patience bringing in the rest of their things from the car.
“Looks like we’re going to have help fighting Prop 22. I want you to go through the incoming calls and make a callback list. I’m going to order a hundred yard signs. Do you think I should make it two hundred?”
“Whatever you think,” she replied.