It’s no new news that when I see kid in my station, my heart skips a beat, my hair stands on end and I get the heeby jeebies. Kids and I mix like oil and water. Like Tortilla Flats and good service. Like scotch and vodka. So naturally when I saw one being rolled into my station last week, my mood dropped lower than pair of old lady tits on a hot summer day in Georgia. The mother pulled the kid out of the Mega-Stroller and then said something I have never before heard someone say to me:
What is this odd combination of words I am hearing? They are as foreign to me as “thank you, you were a great waiter” and “no, I don’t want another margarita.” Flabbergasted, I pointed to an area near the coffee maker that we use to store extra chairs. The Divine Mother placed the stroller out of my way and then set her child in the booth. She then pulled out an iPad and earphones, plugged her kid into them and carried on with her night. The child was transfixed by whatever it was that was on the screen. Not having an iPad myself, I both loathed the child and worshipped it. After thirty minutes of a perfectly behaved kid, I began to wonder if this was a real child. Perhaps it was the Messiah or a reincarnated Buddha Somebody, but those both seemed too far fetched. It was most likely a robot.
Do you remember Small Wonder? It was a television show that ran from 1985 to 1989 and it was about a robot girl named Vicki who lived with a family and they tried to pass her off as a real girl. She had an electrical panel in her back, an electric socket in her right armpit, and an RS-232 serial port under her left armpit. Could this kid at booth 15 be the latest prototype of V.I.C.I. (Voice Input Child Identicant)? After all, I never saw the mother plug the iPad into anything. I suppose it’s possible that it was attached to his RS-232 serial port under his left armpit, but this being 2011, the port was probably a RT–498 which is much more compatible with Apple products. Also most RS-232 ports are found only in the female version of kid robots..
As the night progressed and the “child” remained calm, it became more and more clear that this was indeed a robot. There was only one way to find out. I needed to spill water on it to see if it short circuited. When I noticed that the mother’s glass was half full (I’m an optimist, don’cha know?) I carried the pitcher of water to refill it. My plan was to “accidentally” spill some water onto the “boy” and wait for sparks and smoke and then point my finger and exclaim with glee, “A-ha! Robot!” As I filled her glass up, the iPad screen suddenly went blank. Whatever had held his rapt attention was no longer on. Immediately, the boy started crying and insisting that it start over. He threw a straight up tantrum and freaked the fuck out. His mom pushed some invisible button or waved her magic Apple wand (reminder: I don’t have an iPad, so I don’t know how they work) and the screen lit up again. She wiped away his tears and said, “All better, sweetie?” Maybe he was a real boy, after all.
Overall, the child was very well behaved, proving to me that not all children are the spawns of Satan and his slutty whore bride. I give credit to this mother who had the foresight to let an iPad babysit for her so she could enjoy her dinner and three glasses of White Zinfandel. When she unfolded her stroller and placed the kid back in it, she thanked me for the service and the kid waved goodbye. Cute kid, but something about the way he looked at me made me think that maybe he was robot after all. His eyes were kinda glassy and he seemed zoned out. You know, like a robot. Or maybe that’s just what happens when you stare at an iPad for an hour straight. Again, I wouldn’t know because I don’t have one. But if I did have an iPad, the first thing I would do on it is a search for proof of robot children. And if you want to help me get one, all you have do is click here.