Ro-bot MonsterCommentary • rich • ISSUE 35•24 • Jun 23, 1999 By T. Herman Zweibel, Publisher Emeritus (photo circa 1911) As a youth, I always envisioned that my older years would be fraught with peace and grace, and that I would sit under the shade of a sycamore tree in my favorite white linen suit, sipping a mint julep and telling my grand-children of my wondrous exploits as the editor-in-chief of The Onion news-paper. Instead, I am rarely permitted to leave my bed-chamber due to my ridiculously frail health, and, far from the serenity I had once imagined, my days are filled with dread and my nights with the most horrifying night-mares. Even some-thing as minor as a branch scraping against my bed-chamber window, or the clatter of a bed-pan, sets me a-trembling. The source of all this distress is none other than that hideous mechanical ro-bot gentle-man, Mr. Tin, who still remains at large. Earlier this year, while temporarily plunged into destitution and forced to wander about the harsh wilderness, I discovered that Mr. Tin was in cahoots with Black Scarlet, the villain who had absconded with my fortune. When the pair was cornered by an officer of the law, Mr. Tin blasted into the heavens through the use of propelling-devices that emerged from the soles of his fear-some iron feet. Not even bullets could stop his swift ascension! He has not been seen since, and this troubles me. His alliance with the hated highway-man leads me to believe that his metallic brain-pan is still fired by a desire for revenge against me. Perhaps if I had been more appreciative of him years ago, when my son V. Lucius gave him to me as a companion, he would not hate me so. But he repulsed me from the very start, what with his squeaking joints, the blue smoke chugging from his ear-sockets and the piercing beam of his red electric eyes. I recently asked my solicitor if there was anything in our great Republic's statutes that protects elderly plutocrats from rogue ro-bot aggressors. He replied that, aside from general laws ensuring civil rights and well-being, there was nothing that had been created for a man in my particular predicament. Damn it all! There are laws against spitting on a street-car, or cursing in the presence of women and children, but when a ro-bot terrorizes a miserable, tooth-less old man, for some reason a legal writ to prevent such an action is mystifyingly absent. Where can that ro-bot be? Incidentally, if I hear that any one of you is sheltering or lending aid to him, you will be pressed to death.