“I do not understand rust jokes.  I am over ninety-four percent composite plastic and five percent organic tissue.  Less than one percent of my construction is metal and that is triple Teflon coated and 100% rust-free.”

“I heard that Teflon can cause birth defects,” the woman said, pouring a cup of coffee.

“Mother, please,” Julie said, tightening her grip on her companions arm.  “You’re embarrassing him.”

“I’m sorry, Kitten, but I agree with your mother,” The man said as he folded the sports page into increasingly smaller squares.

“It’s not that were bigoted, Mr. Hannd.  I mean, Bill served in robotic maintenance during the war.  I was friends with a learning droid in college.  We honor your right to exist, but—”

“We worry about the ramifications of your marriage to Julie,” Bill finished. “Can you even have children?  In what faith will you raise the children?  Julie was raised Methodist, and we hope that she would continue that tradition with her own children.”

“My organic material can be used for reproduction.  I was programmed Asimovian Orthodox.  Any faith that Julie or our offspring decide to follow will be adequate—as long as it does not contradict my logic protocols.”

Julie rocked the engagement ring on her finger back and forth with her thumb.  “I know this is going to hurt, but there is no easy way to say it. Mom—Dad—I’m converting to Asimovian Orthodox.”

Julie’s mom covered her face and began sobbing.

Bill began to tear his sports page into little pieces.

Mr. Hannd’s servos whirred.

“I’m having my brain downloaded next week,” Julie said.  She took a sip of her coffee.  “After that, you can keep my body here if you want.  I won’t need it.”



I wrote this back in 2007 for a contest.  The contest was for a Sci-Fi Fiction podcast and the requirement was a story under 300 words. Two of my stories made it to the early semifinals. I was heavily criticized for leaning on humor by reviewers.  Someone claimed I cribbed the idea of “Asimovian Orthodox” from a certain utilkilt-wearing writer, I will not name.   Ugh.  I was bummed that neither of my stories made it the next round, but when I saw the stories that were picked,  I realized I was in the wrong business.

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