It was 2175. Many things had changed on Earth. Moon skiing was the new fad, and a multitude of hitherto unknown little planets had been discovered and inhabited.
But despite this progress, some things had not changed. Children who misbehaved were punished and forced to do large amounts of boring homework, always under the strict supervision of their parents and teachers.
One day the wise man, Gramaticus Cartapus, was reflecting on wise things … He didn’t have much else to do either, since he was the only inhabitant of asteroid 2024.
“How can I get children here?”
Cartapus wondered in a low voice, every time he leaned out of the window and saw his lonely planet … Then he was imagining what it would be like to hear the resounding of laughter and games of children of all ages, running and having fun through the gardens of the asteroid in the one who lived.
For Asteroid 2024 to be a place that caught the attention of children, Cartapus had to know what they liked the most. The sage installed in his laboratory a “control screen” that analyzed the dreams of the children of Earth. And those dreams were clear: television, ice cream, pizza, video games, no punishment, no homework, no boiled fish, just play and have fun.
He was determined to eliminate the punishments, the boring homework, the cabbages, the spinach and the lettuces, and also the phrases “Because I told you so” and “You are punished.”
In order for Cartapus to have the childish laughter and jokes hanging around his asteroid, he had to convince the children that it was a much more fun place than Earth, but also, he had to see to it that there were fathers and mothers to take care of those children … What a backlash to have to take care of everything!
After many years of hard work, Grammaticus Cartapus finally came out of his lab with a smile on his face. He had created a new breed of electronic mothers and fathers. Thus he would attract all the Earth children to his planet and the robots would take care of them.
The robot mothers were very similar to the human ones, but much less serious and strict. They did not scold, they did not pull your ears, they did not have to force you to do your homework, they did not yell, they did not punish, they did not deprive of dessert, they did not prohibit television or video games, they allowed you to eat ice cream and chocolate, even before meals, and they didn’t check to see if you had bathed or washed your hands. They always smiled, gave electronic kisses and repeated in a synthetic voice:
– Very well! – How good! – Fantastic! … The wise Gramaticus rubbed his hands happily when he saw his robot mothers and fathers and thought how they would like children.
A few days later, this announcement could be seen on every screen on Earth:
«Asteroid 2024 the place where they do not scold you
Do you want to eat sweets before dinner? Play barefoot? Tired of doing homework?
Stop living as in 2019 and dial the code d549d7 / * – * – * + 878 Grammaticus Cartapus invites you to his asteroid »
One day, Enricus Hartus, a very disobedient seven-year-old boy, was fed up, SAD of his parents, SAD of schoolwork, SAD of cooked fish, SAD of brushing his teeth … So when he saw the ad, he didn’t hesitate. and he dialed the secret code and immediately the wise Cartapus appeared in his room.
– Come with me to the asteroid! – said Carpatus. – There are no fish, no beans, you don’t have to go to bed at eight, you can eat chips all day and you don’t have to do homework. You will not regret!
Enricus-Brutus was convinced by hearing those words. After thirty seconds of travel (average time of an interplanetary trip in 2175), some robotic parents were waiting to receive them with a smile.
– << Hello, welcome, do you want to have a snack? >>
They had made him the best snack he had ever seen: chocolate-filled cookies, chocolate cake, and a good hot milk with seven tablespoons of sugar. Enricus was very pleased. Even more so when his new mother turned on three televisions at the same time, two video game consoles and a large computer tower. Finally, his father gave him a huge soda bottle with millions of bubbles.
Enricus threw himself onto the sofa in his dirty sneakers, without thanking him, and let out a thunderous burp. Meanwhile, the parents had gone to the kitchen to make dinner for him: chocolate mousse with five-flavored ice cream.
Life on asteroid 2024 for Enricus was full of pleasant surprises every day. Of course, he continued to attend the asteroid school, but there he only had to play, jump, laugh and eat sweets. Enricus was in no rush to return to Earth.
Every day, when he returned from school, the mother-robot would kiss him, always the same kisses (one on the forehead, two on the cheeks), turn on the three televisions, the two game consoles, the computer, and go directly He went to the kitchen to prepare the chocolate mousse and the pizzas while the father opened a bottle of bubbly soda and dressed the appetizers with sweets. As much as Enricus misbehaved, rude or put his dirty feet on the couch, there was not the slightest reproach from his cybernetic parents.
The same thing happened with the robot teachers … Over time, the children had forgotten to add, subtract and read … But even so, they were happy with their students and rewarded them with chocolates and other sweets.
Enricus decided to stop going to school. One day he entered the house escorted by a robot policeman (he had stolen thirty-three records from a store and forty kilos of candy). Enricus thought his parents were going to punish him. But none of that happened, quite the opposite.
– << Hello, welcome, do you want to have a snack? >>
And another day, when Enricus Hartus came home later than nine o’clock, shoeless and full of grime… His father rewarded him with a double helping of French fries.
The children, who realized that everything was exactly the same, stopped going to school and doing anything. When the room was messy, which was always frequent, they just had to follow Cartapus’s instructions: press the button to start the “cleaning” program.
– << Thank you, my love >> her parents said. – << Please, go watch TV while we tidy up your room. >>
Once, Enricus came home at midnight because he stayed at a friend’s house playing computer games.
– << Are you already there, my love? >> said robot mom when she saw him come in … – << I’m very happy with you. Do you still want to watch TV or are you going to bed? >> added his robot father.
Enricus frowned: so they weren’t even worried about me? His real parents would have had a big argument with him and would have forced him to promise not to do it again. He lay thoughtfully on the bed, feeling a slight discomfort in his chest.
Things soon got worse… Enricus had indigestion from the fries, ice cream, gum, and pizza. On a day when he had a severe stomach ache, he went to see Cartapus.
“I’ve had enough,” Enricus said. – I feel bad, I can no longer swallow even half a spoonful of ice cream.
Sage Gramaticus scratched his head: he had not thought about cases of indigestion …
That same night, Enricus saw his robot parents head into the kitchen and take the ingredients one after the other. Cookies, flour, wheat, chorizo, cheese, yogurt, pepper, salt, sugar trays, liquid from the sink, napkins…. All at a frantic pace as they repeated:
– << Let’s make a great pizza! >>
They then ran over to Enricus… to put it on the pizza too!
Enricus fled to the house of his friend Marius, where the robot mother received him:
– << Did you run away from home? I’m very happy. Go watch TV and I’ll bring you pizza. >>
In his laboratory, Gramaticus Cartapus was pulling his hair very nervous: why were things going so bad? Why weren’t the children happy? Why were they sick? Food was not good for little Earthlings. They had become very fat, pale, without muscles, and all of their teeth were turning black. He checked his “control screen”: the children’s dreams had changed. Now they wanted green beans, meat, boiled fish, calcium, and protein. They wanted to go to bed early and brush their teeth after eating.
Cartapus sounded the special siren to gather all the robot mothers and fathers in his workshop … These machines had to be urgently reset!
Little by little, all the children who inhabited Asteroid 2024 began with tummy aches … Then came the crying and “I want to go home” … Cartapus, an interstellar sage … I could not understand what was happening. In the rush, he forgot to finish reprogramming the robots, so he sent them half-adjusted to their homes to take care of the children …
But things got worse. The robots, they cooked the clothes, they cut the screens, they made earth shake and they placed the bed in the bathtub… Quite a disaster!
Cartapus opened his family-size spaceship and picked up all the children who inhabited the asteroid one by one.
The planet ended up exploding: a great flare! Just a few minutes after Carpatus’s ship with all the children inside set course for Earth.
Stepping on earthly ground, the children jumped into the arms of their true mothers and fathers, savoring the caresses that were nothing like cold robotic hands, their kisses, which were not necessarily one on the forehead and two on the cheeks, but also in the hair or nose. Then it was heard:
– Mom, you scold me when I don’t do my homework please!
– Get me some fish! And salad!
– Give me the toothbrush!
– I want to go to bed early!
All the children of asteroid 2024 asked for sincere rules and congratulations, some sweets but not too many. It was no longer possible to spend your days eating chocolate and pizza, playing computer games and doing nothing else. Because chocolate tastes even better when eaten after soup and fish. This is how robot dads and moms disappeared forever and real moms and dads took care of their children again
What happened to Cartapus? Well, he also came to Earth … and decided never to try to replace parents with dumb robots.