RobotPeople, people, we really need to be more original in picking your email addresses. You might be the only jbrown, or j_brown, j.brown or jamesb69 in your personal social circle, but if you have a very simple, common email alias, particularly at one of the large hosts, such as hotmail, or gmail, you run serious risk of getting sent other people’s mail.

A friend of mine has a ‘first initial, last name’ at address like that and he gets stuff all the time in his gmail account. Most recently, he got the following email:

dear Dr. Krenshaw [not the real name, obviously];

we just wanted to thank you for your tremendous effort with the robotics team. It was very exciting just to be present at such an event, and without you that would have been impossible. We were very happy to see Louis become so engaged in it, robotics seems to have unlocked some new doors for him. The amount of time that you have had to sacrifice from your personal life for this cause is substantial, and it is very much appreciated by us!

thank you so much,
barbara & phil

All good and well. They should pay more attention when typing in an email address. A minor, slip of the hand, or the head, or the automagic-email-address-filling-out feature of their email program, no doubt, but we certainly can’t just let them walk away from such heinous crime unmolested. Here was the reply I got him to send them:

Barbara and Phil,

I am equally honoured to have met you. My wife and I were deeply touched by your solicitations, but I must admit, your reputation preceded you, and I was unable to broach the topic at hand in as gentle manner as I would have wish to.

While she very much respects your dedication to the field of robots and robot technology, she is very much a novice in regards to our other mutual interests. And I am sure you are aware how delicately these subjects need to be handled around the uninitiated. Sadly I wasn’t able to prepare her for your proposition, which I must confess, I had been expecting (or rather looking forward to :>) you suggesting for some time now, and as I said before, certain prurient parties had already ‘muddied the waters’ as it were, making it difficult for me to even broach the topic.

I must apologize for how out of hand the situation became, and I truly, deeply appreciate the magnanimity of your email; completely avoiding mention of the embarrassing scene that resulted. Sadly, it seems however, that some things are never meant to be, and my dear flower of a wife is now dead set against any and everything that is involved in our alternate ‘lifestyle’ – something that may take years for our marriage to recover from, if that is possible.

In any case, on reflection, this may simply have pushed things further down an inexorable path between my wife and I. We have already been engaged in couples therapy for some time, a difficult and frustrating process, all the more frustrating due to the counselors refusal to make any accommodations to the facts of contemporary living, saying, “This is couples therapy, and we just can’t proceed until you stop suggesting that we need to include the “other people in your life.” (She even dared to use little finger quotations as she said this! What a guache, monotonous little woman she is. Quite unappealing.)

Additionally, due to the extensive damage to the venue and the robots, the robotics team have disinvited me from any future meetings or social engagements. Hardly surprising, though deeply saddening since this pursuit has been only solace (apart from yourselves and your dear pets) in these difficult times. I can only feel that this is a personal attack on myself and my way of living: additional probity and rebuke from a cruel and misunderstanding society: after all, I offered to pay for all the damages, and personally apologized to the young couple who bore the brunt of my wife’s histrionics, and, I cannot shirk from admitting, my own overreaction.

In any case, I’m afraid that it will be a while before I can recover fully from this incident. I will probably spend most of the time building a robotic replacement for my wife, who has started to discuss a trial separation, and also some kind of large destruction robot in order to wreak my wrath and vengeance on that accursed robotics team. Don’t shed a tear for me – I am sure I will recover from this the stronger for it. I am already building plans for my steps after the completion of these two robots, for a larger and much more extensive endeavour: perhaps a team of robots to take over our fair municipality’s administrative and resource needs. Imagine the wonders of a city completely under the efficient iron hand of robot rule! It may be difficult to convince others of it’s value, but no matter – I will take the city by force, if necessary. And then? Perhaps America? Perhaps the world? Who can tell?

As you can see, I am in decent spirits, the more so for your elegant letter. Perhaps in another time or place, I can take you up on your bucolic offer of friendship. In another time, another place, when scientist swingers and their robots rule the world.


Dr. Krenshaw

More to follow, if they respond….

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