April's Real Blog

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hello, I am Aprilbot!

I am Aprilbot, a state-of-the-art, Artificial-Intelligence powered, human-looking robotic being charged with the duty of replacing April Patterson while the wise people of the Johnston Institute for Better Living re-educate her at their special weekend-camp programme.

While I am here filling in for April, I will also be following some commands embedded into my programming to help get Miss Patterson's life back on track! For example, it has come to the attention of the JIFBL that she has been dating known miscreant Jeremy Jones instead of her original childhood sweetheart Gerald Forsythe. My programming had me go to the Jones house and terminate the unauthorized relationship.

Meanwhile, April's wise, wonderful, and long-suffering older sister Elizabeth has invited me to go bridesmaid-dress shopping with her today. What fun! She has already dropped off some terrific bridal magazines with many pages tabbed for reference. Elizabeth has such great taste in bridesmaids dresses! I just can't understand why April is always fighting with this great girl!

Oh, and my programming tells you I am meant to share a story about April's parents. Just a moment as I access it.

Okay, Mrs. Patterson was looking into a hand-held mirror. How interesting, I just accessed an image of Mrs. Patterson touching her forehead with an extended middle finger. My subprogram of body language and meaningful gestures informs me that this could be a surreptitious "giving the finger," a vulgar gesture intended to instruct the viewer to copulate. My Elly Patterson database leads me to conclude this is most likely an error on her part. As she was employing this possibly unintentional vulgar gesture, she thought, "I am starting to look like my mother. The lines on my forehead are the same...."

Next thing Mrs. Patterson did is pull down at the turtleneck collar of her sweater in order to examine her neck. She thought, "My hair is going gray in the same places hers did. My neck is like hers, and so are the bags under my eyes!" She moved into profile, released her collar, and thought, "I guess I should adopt John's philosophy and accept myself the way I am!" At that moment, Mr. Patterson called out "Elly!" She went to him and found that he was staring into a mirror as well. He asked, "....Do you think I'm starting to look like my Dad?"

I will leave it to you to interpret the meaning of this story. My interpretation subprogram suggests "irony" but will not elaborate.


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  • At 9:33 AM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, i wuz so upset last nite wen u broke up w/me i didn’t evn read ovah ur blog entries 2cu had been replaced by the aprilbot. i mean, i shud’ve noticed sum differences. but i swear the lines on ur forehead were the same, the hair had the different shades of brown in the same places, the neck wuz like urs & so were the eyes. if u have 2 peeps w/all thoze thingz the same, then they r practically identical, i thot. It’s an ez mistake, eh? but now that i have hadda chance 2 think it ovah sum more, i shud’ve noticed ur were shorter, had ur old hairstyle frum back wen u were 12 years old, & u hadda button nose & no makeup & u kinda clicked & whirred wen u were talkin’. if they let u read this while ur in the weekend camp, i just want u2 know i’m sorry.

  • At 9:39 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Robotic little sis. The things mom and dad worry about. As my wife, the lovely Deanna, so elegantly put it, what does it matter if you have spent $1000 on the exact same dress as Paris Hilton wears, if you are never going to be in the same room as Paris to be embarrassed by it? That makes perfect sense. I may be more famous now, thanks to the phenomenal sales of Stone Season, but I certainly don’t think I am going to ever be in the same room as Paris Hilton and wearing the same clothes. For one thing, I like wearing my underwear. I do wonder about that $1000 charge from Philpott Department Store on our credit card, eh?

    Consequently I don’t know why mom is worried about looking like Gramma Marian. She’s dead, so there’s no way people are going to mistake the two of them, except perhaps in a séance. The solution is easy: If you go to a séance, make sure you wear new clothes. That’s good advice, even for a robot.

    The same thing goes for dad and Grandpa Will. Maybe if Grandpa Will comes back as a zombie, there might be an issue with someone mistaking him for dad and asking him for dental work, when they should be asking for dad. But, without the zombie possibility, dad has nothing to worry about. Unless there’s a robot Grandpa Will. Do you know if there is such a thing?

    Love from your non-robotic brother,
    Michael Patterson

  • At 9:47 AM, Blogger howard said…


    Becky McGuire and her father came by my house and told me you had been placed in some kind of camp, and I should help to rescue you for old times’ sake, which I don’t really remember. I mentioned it to my wife Beatrice Alfarero, and she said couldn’t help because she has to work at Lilliput’s all day. However, my daughters Ana and María were anxious to participate. Becky’s father said they would excellent for the plan he has in mind, which apparently involves Becky doing a fund-raising performance for the camp for free, dressed in South American costumes and her going by the name of Hereta Resqueue. The girls have their authentic Argentinean dresses all ready to go as backup singers. I don’t know how this will rescue you; but it sounds like fun.

    See you later,
    Howard Bunt

  • At 11:33 AM, Blogger April Patterson said…


  • At 11:35 AM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    Don't overload your processors trying to figure out those two, robo-kid. Your logic board must have safeguards that prevent you from trying to divide by zero so just think of them as couple of more numbers you can't compute.

  • At 11:40 AM, Anonymous Aprilbot said…

    It looks as though April had a moment of unauthorized access to a computer. Of course this breach was discovered promptly and ceased.

    Michael, my programming suggests that I am unlikely to attend a séance. However, if I do, I will certainly ensure that my clothing is freshly purchased from one of the teenager clothing stores.


  • At 1:34 PM, Anonymous liz patterson said…

    Hello everybody,

    I love having the Aprilbot for my sister!, we went shopping first thing this morning, and tried out a number of bridesmaid dresses, she is so fast in the dressing room, and so agreeable, she liked all the same things I liked, and then after we shopped, we went out to the Dar-E-Trough and got two double fudge Cookie Monster sundaes in half-gallon tubs and had a wonderful conversation like we never had before, where she complimented me for like an hour, plus, after I finished my sundae, she let me have the rest of hers, and also, she helped me pick out a flower girl dress for Frenchy, without any lectures about how I am mean, in fact, she agreed that a brown burlap sack with armholes and a neck hole would be good enough for her, oh, I was so thrilled to have the sister of my dreams I grabbed Aprilbot and kissed her, at which point the Aprilbot said, "Sibling affection between Pattersons, does not compute! All sibling subroutines under file name 'Patterson, Elizabeth Deborah' are filed under behavioral pattern 'violent.' Error, error!" and smoke started to come out the ears of the Aprilbot, well, I started to freak out, what if I broke the Aprilbot, what if the Good Witch never lets me get married as a punishment?, so I thought real hard, and finally came up with the answer, and I screamed, "I'm gonna kill you, April Patterson!" and chased the Aprilbot all around the ice cream parlor until I caught her and wrestled her down and gave her noogies really hard, the whole time during the noogies, the Aprilbot kept saying, "Patterson, Elizabeth Deborah, displays irrational violence toward Patterson, April Marian. Subject displays behavior pattern 'typical.' All systems normal.", the Aprilbot even thanked me for the beating afterwards!, so I kicked her a few times on my way home and told her how she was responsible for ruining my teen years, and Aprilbot kept saying, "Yes. I was cute and full of beans. The family member you most resembled was Farley. The comparison was most unfavorable.", so I punched her again, and the Aprilbot said, "Thank you, may I have another?", I think I am in heaven.


  • At 1:41 PM, Anonymous becky mcguire said…

    howie, dad an' i went down 2 the johnston institute an' asked them if they would b interested in a benefit concert 4 the kamp, it didn't go 2 good, the receptionist glared @ us an' asked, "how do u know abt that kamp?" an' when i didn't have a answer, she skreamed, "release the dogs!" an' next thing we knew, we were bein' chased all around milboro by a bunch of sheepdogs an' a few electrified bunnies. it wuz horrible. when they caut us, they slobbered all over my best south american costume.

    while we were there tho dad did grab a brochure for the kamp. it looks like it's in corbeil. no offense howie, but i'm not going there again. i don't wanna get e-r-a-s-e-d.


  • At 1:52 PM, Anonymous Aprilbot said…

    Patterson, Elizabeth Deborah is the best! When she bought some jewelry, my wordplay subprogram had me tell her, "Sister! You put the 'bling' in 'sibling'!" Then we both laughed while extending our tongues. It was such a joyful moment!


  • At 11:02 PM, Anonymous liz patterson said…


    As you know, one of the wisest things our mom ever told us is, "Take up sewing or knitting, every woman loves it!", well, I have only ever managed to sew a few little outfits for Shiimsa, and they didn't turn out so good, but today after our shopping I went home and started my very first needlepoint project, it is going to be a throw pillow that says

    My favorite sibling is


    It's turning out really good so far, I used mustard yellow thread on an avocado green background because those classic colors go with the decor in every Milborough living room, except maybe Mrs. Forsythe's, this way, when the real April comes back, it will remind her how she should act if she wants to be lovable.


  • At 1:34 AM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Robotic little sis. Since you are the newest member of the Patterson family, I think it would be good to give a little history of other machines which used to work for the Pattersons over the years. For example, my mother used to have a room completely devoted to sewing and even called it her sewing room, well after she had gotten to the point where she had completely stopped sewing. That room is today my son’s room.

    Sometimes, when I go into my son’s room to watch him destroy some toy of his or to carve his name in the wall with a kitchen knife, my mind wanders to back when I was his age and I was in the same room. My mother was there in front of the sewing machine, a device without which, my mother would have simply called the room a place where she would have liked to done sewing.

    Since you are a robot, you may not know this but, there used to be a piece of furniture called a sewing table, where the woman doing the sewing could position a chair close to the sewing machine and this made feeding the material through the sewing machine much easier. My mother did not have one of these tables. In fact, she used to pick a chair which sat very low compared to where the sewing machine was, in an effort to cause back strain, which she said was a great help to show suffering.

    At the time I didn’t understand it. I simply thought mom was in a bad mood every time she was sewing. However, on one particular occasion, I was feeling vulnerable and I didn’t know why. Perhaps it was in anticipation of the angst I would develop as a part of becoming a well-known author, perhaps it was part of growing up, or perhaps it was because I saw Lawrence Poirier’s mother tell him she loved him, and I wondered why it is that my parents never did the same. I determined to ask her directly. When I got into the sewing room, and saw mom was busy with sewing, I played with unraveling a spool of thread until I could find a moment to ask her my important question.

    At last the moment came. I got right beside my mom, so she could hear me over the Bzzzz and Grind of the sewing machine and touched her arm and said, “Do you love me, ma?” This got no response.

    So, I tried again, this time grabbing part of her sweater. I said, “Mama? Do you LOVE me?” This time mom did reply, by turning her face a bright red and saying, “GRUNT”, and closing her scissors, in what I recognize today as a preparation for turning scissors into a stabbing weapon. Such subtleties of communication were lost on my young Patterson mind.

    In fact, such was the obliviousness of my youthful state, even when mom prepared her right leg to kick me away, I poked on that same leg and said, “Ma? Ma? MA…Do you LIKE me then, ma?” I thought I was making the question easier to ask, by downgrading it to just a “like” question. Mom’s response this time was to say, “Mumble **? That was a sign she had realized the question had been downgraded to the point where she would have to answer it.

    Then mom, completely red-faced and flush, gave me the answer. She said, “Yes! I’d LIKE you to get lost!” I was completely startled. “She made a joke on the word ‘like”?”, I thought. Now you see, robotic little sis, mom could have just as easily made that same joke using the word “love” as in “Yes! I’d LOVE you to get lost!”

    However, as you will probably know from your programming, Pattersons never say, “I love you.” I was young and foolish and thought perhaps I was exempt from this aspect of our family tradition; so I burst out crying with a “WAAAH, which is a crying noise. Now, I know better. I think this is one of the reasons why you are a great asset to the Patterson family. We cannot say, “I love you” and mean it, so we never say it; in the same way it would be for you, if your programming allowed you to say those words.

    As for mom, at the time, she thought to herself, “Something tells me I could have handled that better..” and she was right. The “like” pun is one of the weakest ones you can use. I am sure that in your robotic archives you can think of a better one. I hope you find this story instructive in your life as my youngest sister.

    Michael Patterson


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