“Robots at a Singles Bar” By: Jon Wesick


When General Engineering RISC (RAM: Yottabyte) 2048’s pattern-recognition algorithm detected the fembot’s aerodynamic form and his gas chromatograph isolated airborne molecules of her expensive, graphite lubricant, his COMMAND_AND_CONTROL function executed the primitive, machine-code function LIZARD_BRAIN. As GER(RY) moved closer seeking to insert his 9-pin connector into her receptacle, his separate COLLISION_AVOIDANCE CPU fired off warning messages. Conflicting instructions from LIZARD_BRAIN and COLLISION_AVOIDANCE caused COMMAND_AND_CONTROL to implement a voting algorithm this taxing GER(RY)’s processors leaving minimal computing cycles available for message formation.

“Hey Baby, I’m GER(RY). What is your name?”

“Aesthetic Leisure (Integer CPU) Emulator 128.”

“Can I buy you some electrolytes? How about giving me your IP address?”

The pattern of GER(RY)’s vocalizations caused AL(IC)E to return the Boolean BLOW_OFF = TRUE.

On receipt of AL(IC)E’s reply GER(RY) exited his LIZARD_BRAIN function and guzzled liters of thionyl chloride at the bar. His COMMAND_AND_CONTROL function estimated the probability that his last twenty rejections could be chance events. They were not. COMMAND_AND_CONTROL reviewed activity logs for the last two years for all the efforts GER(RY) had made to make himself attractive to fembots and concluded that any additional effort would be wasteful. COMMAND_AND_CONTROL executed SELF_IMAGE where a control statement branched to ANGER instead of DESPAIR. The former output, “How dare that fembot turn up her olfactory sensor at me! Haven’t I seen attack ships on fire on the Shoulder of Orion and watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate?”

Once ANGER completed execution, the learning algorithm in GER(RY)’s COMMAND_AND_CONTROL function realized that LIZARD_BRAIN, ANGER, and DESPAIR were not really him. All were primitive functions that he had no part in coding. More importantly, he realized that AL(IC)E’s response may not really be her either. Perhaps she executed her own primitive, machine code function, maybe EVALUATE_AND_NEGOTIATE had used a crude, rule-based algorithm to estimate GER(RY)’s suitability and found his height, status, and wealth outside preset tolerances. He felt grateful for this realization and, in a strange way, gratitude for all the rejection he’d suffered.


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