Blimpetto toiled in his workshop, day and night, working on his newest creation. Little by little, the small wooden toy took shape. He had a little hat and pointed ears and apple cheeks and big blue eyes and a short round nose atop a chunky little body and two sturdy little legs, articulated by hinges and springs cleverly built into the wood parts.
Not aware yet that he had done a better job than intended, Blimpetto rested a bit, mopping his brow with a handkerchief. He sat in his chair at his worktable, closing his eyes and dozing a bit, until awakened by the noise of wooden feet frolicking on the table.
He was thoroughly amazed at the sight-the wooden boy was dancing!
Blimpetto applauded a particularly difficult pas de deux, and the puppet boy bowed low, sweeping off his cap and saying, "Thank you."
You could have knocked Blimpetto over with a feather.
Of course puppets can't talk. He knew that. But they can't dance independent of a puppeteer either. He knew that too. The combo threw him for a loop.
"You can't say that," he pointed out to the puppet. "Puppets can't talk."
"But I can," retorted the puppet-boy, donning his cap once again. "Just as well as you can. Better. You speak in broken English."
Blimpetto had to admit that was correct. He had come from Italy to the States just a decade or so ago, and his accent was very thick, and he didn't know the words for everything.
He was lonely, was Blimpetto. He and the puppet-boy became great friends, good buddies, and went everywhere and did just about everything together. There was no Mrs. Blimpetto, and their friendship had no boundaries. They had fun...still, there was a problem. The puppet boy longed to be a real person like the kids he saw every day. He wanted respect, too, and for someone besides Blimpetto to like him.
The puppet-boy told outrageous lies to the children, and each time he told a lie, his nose grew. Blimpetto was forced to file it down periodically.
"You know," Blimpetto said one day, "I bet if you were to stop with the lies, you'd be able to become a real child."
The puppet boy wanted that more than anything. He promised to try, and Blimpetto gave him a name to get him motivated. "You, my son," he said, "are now Spaghettio."
That was what he had eaten for lunch. Blimpetto was a fine craftsman, but not terribly imaginative.
Spaghettio told no lies, and told no lies, and gradually he was accepted by the children. He found himself becoming more more like them. He and Blimpetto didn't spend as much time together, though they still did everything.
Spaghettio was a little bit ashamed of some of those things they did. The boys and girls whispered about some of those things, and he listened intently. Some things were very interesting. He wanted to try them with someone besides Blimpetto.
The day came when Spaghettio became fully human, a little boy. Blimpetto noticed immediately-Spaghettio had come in late that evening, and told an obvious lie about where he'd been and what he'd been doing. He reeked of cigarette smoke and his jacket was torn. His nose didn't grow though. Instead he had a little tent in the front of his shorts. Blimpetto gave Spaghettio a big hug, feeling the little tent pole poking at his belly.
"Why, Spaghettio," he said', "you've got wood."
"Yes," the boy replied. "I'm Spaghettio with meat balls."
Blimpetto laughed at that, and drew the boy a bath.
Dr. Polimus had built a new robot. It was supposed to be seven feet tall but once it was powered on, insisted on slouching dejectedly and moping about the lab while the good Doctor and his minions twittered anxiously about their projects and what would they do if he wouldn't stand up straight and what a waste of good grant money he was.
No surprise that the robot was depressed. I mean, what a bunch of nincompoops.
He probably just wanted better company.
Dr. Polimus stopped twittering for a moment and addressed the robot.
"Axxon XXVII, what exactly is your problem? Here we have spent a small fortune on your development and you repay us by moodily sulking. Why don't you start working on the problems we built you for?"
The robot only stared at him mutely, its photocell eyes reflecting the energy of its positronic processes.
The Doctor continued. "Let's try this. If FN = Gm1x m2 / D2, then FP = Gm1x m2 / (D - dn)2..." He began scritching on the chalkboard. "Then FP / FN = D2 / (D - dn)2...Hmmm."
The robot began to stand erect.
"D2/(D-dn)2 = (dn + Planck length)2/(Planck length)2 = (1 + 10-20) / (10-20)2 = 1040"
The photocell eyes began to glow as the robot reached his full height. "FP=1040g," he said, grabbing the chalk and writing it on the board.
"Omigod!" exclaimed the good Doctor. "It only stands to reason!"