April's Real Blog

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Like/Love and Puns in the Past

Michael Patterson, April's celebrated older brother, has shared a most informative post, which I will share below:

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
Thank you for sharing this, Michael. I can see that you applied the same writing talent to this message as you did to your novel, Stone Season. The engineers of the Johnston Institute For Better Living took the very important step of uploading the novel to my memory, so that I can discuss this fine piece as though I had actually read it. Michael, it is odd that April does not appreciate having an esteemed novelist in the family! If my programming allowed it, I would tell you that I love you!

Patterson, Elly has told me that I have been so good this weekend, she would like to reward me, only she cannot, because she is a Patterson. Instead, she says I should go over to the big house on Sharon Park Drive and care for Patterson, Meredith (age five years, two months, 27 days) and Patterson, Robin (age three years, two months, five days). I told her, "Patterson Matriach, do not fret. It is my duty and my pleasure to provide excellent care for the youngest members of the Patterson clan. After all, your eldest son Michael needs time to focus on his writing unencumbered. And your daughter-in-law Deanna needs time 'off' to bathe, shop, and have her bowl haircut trimmed every now and then." She threw here arms around me and cried, for some reason.

Elizabeth, that throw pillow you describe sounds exquisite. I cannot wait to see it! Maybe after I complete my babysitting assignment today, we can bake pies, cakes, cookies, brownies, blondies, snickerdoodles, and brioche, engage in "girl talk," and admire your needlepoint!

Aprilbot, substituting for wayward April Patterson

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  • At 10:42 AM, Anonymous jeremy jones said…

    april, ok. howeird came by the house & sed u had been taken 2 sum camp up in corbeil & he wunts 2 know if i wanna come along. so i ask my mom & kinda xxplain the whole sitch w/u replaced by the aprilpbot, & my mom sez ok, which is kinda surprisin’. so, howeird has hiz 2 daughterz in the car & they’re all xxcited. i say 2 howeird, i thot u & becky & her dad were doin’ this trip? & howeird sez, “no jeremy. becky wuz afraid, i dunno y.” i sed, “well, mebbe cuz 1 tyme u took this trip u got changed n2 a dog.” then howeird sed, “rilly. i don’t remember that.” but howeird’s girls were like, “wut kinda dog?” i sed, “one of those big, furry 1s.” then they were all xxcited & sed, “daddy’s gonna b a dog.” ovah & ovah. & howeird sed, “now, girlz. there’s no guarantee i’m gonna b a dog. we’re just goin’ up 2 get april outa this camp.” then 1 of the girls sed, “wud u still luv me if u were a dog, daddy?” & howeird sed, “yes. of course. i wud luv u no mattah wut animal i wuz transformed n2.” then the girls started listin’ animalz. all. the. way. 2. corbeil. “wud u luv me if u were a muskrat? Wud u luv me if u were a mountain lion?” i kinda wished these girls hadda worse education so they wudn’t know so many animals. finally i sed, “i wud rilly like it if howeird wuz an animal whose daughters didn’t ask so many questionz.” then the girls started 2 cry cuz i wuz kinda loud & irrit8ed. i sed, “sorry. i guess i cud have handled that bettah.” howeird sed, “mr. jones sed he’s sorry, girls.” then the girls sed, “ok. mr. jones. apology accepted." & then they started back just like nothin’ had happed. it wuz kinda weird 2 hear, cuz it seems like i am not usedta hearing peeps sayin’ apology accepted or sorry in mboro.

    neway, we finally got 2 corbeil & went 2 the witch’s place & i wuz kinda gettin’ worried & then howeird read this note on the door, that sed every1 wuz takin’ a vaykay on the beach ‘till the 21st. & then howeird sed, “it duzn’t say which beach.” so we asked ‘round the neighbours & looked ‘round the place & there wuz no camp & the neighbours didn’t know where they went, or @least they didn’t say. howeird sed, “i shoulda guessed becky wud give me wrong info. She’s not so good w/facts.” Then he sed, “I wondah how I know that.” then he sed, “so, girls, let’s go 2 northbay & shop 4 sumthin’ 4 ur mom.” thass wut we’re doin’ now. i hope ur ok. i dunno where ur, but mebbe if it’s the beach, ur havin’ a good tyme & not b-in’ tortured.

  • At 10:44 AM, Blogger howard said…


    As Jeremy just explained to you (if you can read this), my girls, Ana and María and I got to Corbeil. There was this note on the witch’s door, which said:

    Thanks to all of our loyal Coffee Talk readers for your continued contributions. Lynn's crew is off for a week on the beach, and we'll return on the 21st. Please continue to send your Coffee Talk submissions and other inquiries - we'll attend to your requests as soon as possible upon our return. See you soon!

    Then there was another note which said:

    Thanks to the fact we work 6-8 weeks ahead of time, we are all celebrating the fact we have finally laid this comic strip to bed. If you are a true fan and you made the trip all the way to Corbeil to see us, that’s too bad. You’re not going to get a sneak peak at the end. Ha!”

    So, we are on the way back to Milborough to see if there are any clues there. The local shopspeople tell me that the witch of Corbeil almost always goes to a beach in Mexico to relax, but that doesn’t really cut down the number of choices to investigate for whatever camp in which they are keeping you. I hope that in Milborough, we might find a few more clues to your whereabouts.

    Howard Bunt

  • At 2:00 PM, Blogger DreadedCandiru2 said…

    How sad that the humans you serve cannot say I love you to one another. One can only hope that, thanks to the First Law of Robotics, you can keep them from doing themselves an injury.

  • At 8:54 PM, Anonymous michael patterson said…


    Robotic little sis. As a fair warning, mom is on the rampage about problems with her book club. Be sure not to mention how the name Elly can be easily confused with the name Lynn, and how Monday, February 18th is not a school holiday in Canada. Just to let you know, when mom is frustrated, she can bite completely through a phone book, so your metallic framework and lifelike plastic, moveable parts will be no match for her jaws. It may seem to your robotic processing that she cannot actually swallow you whole when her jaws are fully open; but that would be a fatal error in your processing if you got too close to her gaping maw. Just a warning. That's all.

    Michael Patterson


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