“What’s that hole in your back yard for?” Raymond asked.
“To bury Ambrose.”
“You can’t bury Ambrose in your back yard.”
“Because he’s a robot. That’s why not,
“Of course it ain’t against the law. It just don’t make sense. That’s all.”
“It makes sense to me. He’s been my closest companion since Becky died. He’s like a member of the family.”
Raymond pulled out one of those stinky cigars and lit it, moving the match around so the fire touched every bit of the glowing end. He took a puff and blew out the smoke.
He shook his head and said, “
you’re my brother, but sometimes I don’t understand you.” Frederick
“I don’t suppose you’re going to have a funeral for him,” Raymond said grinning.
“Don’t get all sarcastic with me, Raymond Merryweather. I did want to have a regular funeral for him, but the hypocritical minister wouldn’t have anything to do with it.”
“I thought you didn’t believe in that stuff anyway.”
“I don’t, but it don’t do no harm to buy a little insurance.”
He sighed and got up to get the coffee pot and offered it to Raymond. Raymond held up his cup for a refill.
refilled his own cup and sat back down. Frederick
“Don’t give me that, Raymond. You made a big to-do when your cat Muggins died.”
“No, hear me out. I was just going to say, machinery can be repaired.”
“That’s only true up to a point. I’ve had to take Ambrose back to the shop a dozen times in the last couple of months.”
“So why can’t they fix it so it stays fixed?”
“It’s a hardware problem. They can’t put a new operating system in because the hardware does not have enough resources to support a more up-to-date system.”
“So, why does it have to have the latest and greatest? What difference does it make?”
“The manufacturer no longer supports the operating system with updates, so it is vulnerable to viruses from the internet. Since you communicate with robots through the internet, it was always vulnerable. It reached a point where I could not longer afford to keep getting it repaired.”
“I’ve never heard of anyone burying a robot before. You could at least take him to the recycle center. There must be parts that could be reused.”
“Would you have sold Muggins for spare parts?”
Raymond got up and hugged his brother. “I’m so sorry that you lost Ambrose. Anyway, I’ll be here for the funeral.”
There weren’t many people for Ambrose’s funeral, Raymond and his wife, one of the neighbors, and a couple of guys who worked with
. An old friend, Jack Stillings,
said a few words over the deceased. Frederick
“Ambrose, you were a loyal servant and companion to
You will be sorely missed. Here are some words from Genesis 19 in remembrance: Behold now, thy hath found grace in thy sight, and thou
hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me. Frederick
After they shoveled dirt over the Ambrose’s body, they went inside. Raymond’s wife, Lucille, had set up some light refreshments. In less than an hour everyone except Raymond and Lucille had left.
Raymond took his brother by the arm. “Come on,” he said. “I have something to show you.”
They went into the spare bedroom where a robot was lying on the bed that used to be Ambrose’s.
“I know you depended on Ambrose for lots of things. I’m getting a new robot assistant. This is my old one, Fosdick. I’m giving him to you. He’s not Ambrose, but at least he has an up-to-date operating system.”
Fosdick looked up at Raymond.
“Come on, Fosdick, get up and say hello to your new owner.”