Linda felt weak at her knees. As a hard working adult, professional woman she didn't need to tolerate an admonition from an idiotic gadget.

"I am not an idiotic gadget," shouted the robot.

The shock floored her as effectively as a left hook. He could even read thoughts.

"God almighty!" she yelled when she had revived.

"What sort of awful gadget have you bought, Francisco? It must be thrown out immediately. I can't live here with this monster in the house. Get rid of it. If you don't, I will get a divorce and that I promise."


Francisco trembled like a leaf as he faced his wife's anger. His worst fears had come true. Having a wife and a robot at home was an impossible combination.

He was terrified Linda would smash the robot, which had cost him a fortune. In recent years assaults on robots had become an increasing social problem. During their outbursts of anger people had damaged robots worth astronomical sums in their attempts to teach the cheeky ones good manners. They didn't understand that robots couldn't stand much physical punishment. Perhaps the only solution was to produce robots, which could defend themselves.

"Dear Linda, please calm down," he begged.

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