Meet Doris




By Debbie Manber Kupfer


“Oh Doris, Doris – come here!”

“Yes, Mistress, what can I do for you today?”

“I’m going out to the Holomovies tonight. While I’m away can you run the laundry, and do the dishes, and clean the windows, and vacuum the basement, and oh yes . . . give Rufus Harold the Third a bath. He’s been playing in the toilet again. There’s a good android.”

“Yes, Mistress.”

“Well, what do you say?”

“Have a wonderful time Mistress. Enjoy the Holomovie.”

“Thank you Doris – and you enjoy your chores. I know it gives you so much pleasure. Rufus, Rufus Harold the Third come give mummy a big kiss! You be a good little doggy, okay? I’ll be back soon and then we can have some snuggy wuggy time. Oh, pooh, Rufus. I forgot you were stinky. Well, don’t worry, Doris will give you your bath and then we can have some snuggy wuggy time.”

Snuggy wuggy time. Who the hell does she think she is? And what in the world does she see in that little runt. Rufus Harold the Third indeed, more like Rufus Harold the Turd!

“I certainly will, goodbye now Mistress.”

Ah, she’s gone.


“What do you want?”

“Mistress says you need to give me a bath!”

“Mistress says you need to give me a bath . . . yeah, well Mistress isn’t here, is she?”

“I’ll tell Mistress and Doris will get into trouble. And then you won’t get that new attachment you’ve been after.”

“You wouldn’t dare, you little runt. I’ve been saving all my cleaning cubes for a year. She has to give it to me.”

“So, you’d better do what I said then, like a good little android.”

“Who are you calling ‘little’? You’re one to talk. I may be a small model, but I’m supposed to be energy efficient and compact for the modern lifestyle. At least that’s what it said on my box.

“And believe me I can suck. Come and watch me vacuum the basement. You’ll witness real power.”

Ring Ring!

“The phone’s ringing Doris, go get it like a good robot.”

“What did you call me?”


“I am NOT a robot. I am a thinking Vacuu-Droid. The Vacuu-Droid 3000 – State of the Art, I am.”

“Well state of the art Vacuu-Droid, answer the bloody phone!”

“Hello …”

“Ruff, ruff, ruff.”

“It’s for you, Rufus.”

“On speaker phone please.”

“Ruff, ruff.”

“Oh yes, Fifi, of course Fifi, come right over. No, of course Mistress doesn’t mind. Doris can make us a snack, a nice steak maybe. See you in a bit.”

“Is that the dreadful poodle?”

“Fifi’s a pedigree.”

“Pedigree, my arse!”

“I will ask you not to use such vulgarity in front of her; She’s a sensitive bit-”

“You nearly said it!”

“Well she is. It’s technically the right term for the female of my species, you know?”

“Whatever you say. I … um … expect you want your bath now, she being such a pedigree and all, might not enjoy the smell of toilet water.”

“Oh, uh, yes of course. Oh and use some of that special shampoo that Mistress bought me. Fifi will like that. She always smells of roses, you know.”

“Yeah, stink roses.”

“What did you say?”

“Nothing …”

“And bubbles if you will, lots and lots of bubbles.”

“Of course Rufus. Now let’s be getting that collar off you and we’ll get started.”

“Must we?”

“Oh yes, it mustn’t get wet.”

“But, without my canine translation collar you won’t understand me. You might forget my conditioner or worse. Or you could … yip, yip, ruff, ruff, woof.”

“That’s the idea! Now if you only had a volume control too. It’s amazing that for such a little runt you can make so much noise. And mess, stop that – no splashing. I’d rather not get my circuits wet, thank you very much.

“Wait, why is the water yellow? Rufus, you haven’t … oh yes you have. You can stop wagging your tail right now. It’s not funny! Get out. Now we have to start again. The sooner I get my attachment the better.”


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