Yesterday, my great-great-great grand-niece burst into my bed-chamber with her two young brats in tow. "Uncle Zweibel," asked Ludmilla, "can you watch the kids while I go shopping?" The very idea was the height of absurdity, but Ludmilla noted that it was the nanny's day off, and that I had ordered the rest of the servants to witness the flogging of the chauffeur. Consequently, there was no-one to watch the children. "Why not that damned ro-bot nurse of mine?" I said. But Mr. Tin, who happened to be in the room, said that it was not programmed to attend to tots.

So this was what the Republic's greatest living newspaper-man had come to: playing a wet-nurse. As soon as Ludmilla left, the whelps raised an intolerable racket, leaving their snot-covered handprints on my iron-lung, flinging my enema-bottles against the wall, and banging the bed-pans together over and over. Rotten little sucklings!

Then one of the wretches pulled out a small, black box from a satchel Ludmilla had left behind, and whined, "I wanna watch my tape, Uncle Zweibel! Please?" The other little simp then pressed a wall-switch, and out emerged a large, metal box with a glass surface. I was shocked—I had never seen such a device before, and couldn't understand how it got in my bed-chamber! The first child pushed the small box into the larger one, and there appeared a moving-image of a huge, yellow, long-legged talking creature which looked somewhat like a flightless canary. The pair sat down before the glass screen and began to gaze intently.

I was utterly horrified: The enormous feathered beast looked as though he could emerge at any moment from the box, pounce on my bed and maul me to death. I begged the children to help me escape from this bird's sight, lest it try to feed me to its nestlings!

Fortunately, Ludmilla returned, and was able to subdue the bird and return the metal-box to its place behind the wall. She looked around the disheveled room and shouted, "That's the last time I trust the children to you, you senile old coot!" That would have been fine with me, but I was still so choked with fright at the terrifying yellow ostrich-monster I could not even respond.