Throughout my long and eventful life I have always steadfastly opposed change. Imagine my helplessness, then, when my longtime nurse, wretch that she is, rode off with Black Scarlet, rogue bandit of the open road and my sworn arch-enemy, who, damn it all, remains at large.

As you may recall, after a series of unsuitable replacements it was decided that my son V. Lucius' physical trainer Gus would assume the nursing duties. Nightly I prayed to the Lord to take away this pestilential man, but still he remained, until one day last week, when V. Lucius told me that Gus had been called away to the army. No doubt to help catch that Pancho Villa. Glory be!

But my joy was soon stilled when V. Lucius took a metal box out of his smoking-jacket pocket and pressed its switch, summoning into the room none other than Mr. Tin, my treacherous ro-bot servant, who some time ago tried to burn down my estate when I rejected its entreaties for love and understanding!

I screamed in terror as the repulsive mechanical nightmare edged toward me, wearing a nurse's cap and belching steam, but V. Lucius refused to stop it. He explained to me that Mr. Tin had been re-wired extensively so that its taste for rebellion had been eliminated. Besides, V. Lucius added, replacing human labor with ro-bots is the "wave of the future," as he put it.

The Twentieth-Century will be one of horrors if artificial metal gentlemen are permitted to stalk the Earth! Admittedly, the monstrosity is efficient, given orders through a series of punch-cards that are fed into its steel belly. It is able to wash bed-pans and change bedding at an unnaturally rapid pace, and it even knows how to wipe front-to-back, something my old nurse could never grasp.

But the way in which Nurse Tin takes my temperature curdles my blood. It slides off a metal covering from its right index digit, revealing a mercury thermometer, and with chilling accuracy extends it into my shriveled rectum.

The things that a miserable old man like me must deal with! When, oh when, will I get a suitable nurse?