A Day in the Life of Goddard
“Wake mode, Goddard!”
INITIALIZE. ACTIVATE ALL PROGRAMS AND SUBROUTINES.
Goddard opened his eyes, saw Jimmy smiling at him, and barked a morning greeting. He watched Jimmy hop out of bed, followed him into the bathroom to the autobarber, and then to the closet to the autodresser. Shoebot put Jimmy’s shoes on him.
Jimmy slid down the banister to the ground floor and Goddard hopped onto the banner himself, landing in a crash at the front door. He shook himself off.
Jimmy walked into the breakfast nook and sat down. “Morning Jimbo,” Hugh said over his paper. “Goddard.”
“Hello son,” Judy said. She set a plate of eggs and bacon in front of Jimmy, and then went to the cupboard. Goddard wagged his tail hearing his favorite lug nuts rattle in the box. Judy poured him a generous bowlful, and Goddard gobbled them down.
RETROVILLE STANDARD TIME: 7:38 AM. CHANCE OF JIMMY MISSING BUS (AGAIN) 82%.
Goddard tugged at Jimmy’s pants and whined. Jimmy jumped off his chair and said “Goodbye guys!” He grabbed his backpack up off the floor.
“Bye son!” Hugh called out. “Do us proud!”
“Bye, Jimmy.” Judy kissed Jimmy on the hair.
Jimmy dashed out the door and saw the bus driving away, with Cindy looking at him out of the window. She stuck her tongue out at him and shook her head.
“Let’s show her, Goddard,” Jimmy said. “No helicopter today. Rocket-mode Goddard!” Goddard transformed and Jimmy hopped into the seat. Within seconds he had pulled up next to the school bus, looking in the window at Cindy. “Don’t stick your tongue out at me, Vortex.”
“You know, you’d think a genius would invent something like – I don’t know – an alarm clock!” Cindy said.
“I did invent something. Goddard! See ya at the playground!” Goddard rose into the sky and a few minutes later he landed outside the school. Jimmy waited patiently for the bus to arrive, then watched everyone get off. “You’re too slow, Vortex.”
Cindy rolled her eyes. Libby was walking behind Cindy, and she pet Goddard on the head. He barked and licked her face. Carl and Sheen walked up and greeted Jimmy and Goddard both.
“Bye boy!” Jimmy said, and they all trooped into the school, leaving Goddard all alone outside. He considered shutting down, but he had just started up, so he went into the park nearby to chase squirrels around. Then he flew into the air and over Area 86, to scramble the jets, and chase the Phantoms Fighters around. They gave better chases, and at supersonic speed. Goddard liked to listen into their radio banter, and new they called him The Retroville Bogey. They still hadn’t been able to figure out who or what he was. Goddard knew Jimmy, or Carl maybe, would say don’t tease the military, but they did need their exercise or they’d get fat.
Goddard returned to the Neutron home and set down outside the clubhouse. His metal detector popped up and he scanned the backyard. It was difficult to do, with Jimmy’s lab underneath, but Goddard soon found what he was looking for and began digging. He unearthed his prized possession, a titanium dog bone, well chewed, that Jimmy had given him on his first birthday when he was still version 1.0. Nothing says love like titanium. Goddard had considered eating it several times, but being precious metal, it was too precious to him. So he buried it again after looking at it.
DOG ROUTINE 412 COMPLETE
Goddard then relieved himself, so Hugh would have something to do when he came home from work.
DOG ROUTINE 413 COMPLETE
Goddard’s dish came out of his back and he contacted Vox via Neutronic Wireless.
“Good morning Vox, how are you today?” Goddard asked.
“I am well Goddard,” Vox replied. “All lab experiments running properly. Security systems online.” Vox paused. “Shall we play a game?”
“Of course,” Goddard replied.
“How about a nice game of Global Thermonuclear War?” Vox asked.
“I was thinking more along the lines of chess,” Goddard said, and barked out loud.
“Fine,” Vox agreed.
Being Neutronic inventions, and operating at 6,400 Terabits per second, Goddard and Vox played 10,000 chess games. Followed by 12,000 games of Scrabble, 13,000 games of Monopoly, and 15,000 games of poker. Then 2 games of Go Fish. Goddard wasn’t fond of fish.
Vox was an excellent player, though she couldn’t bluff, for Goddard just sent her voice through his lie detector.
Now it was 12:30, and Goddard had an important date he never missed.
“Vox, establish link with Galactic Internet,” Goddard asked.
“Confirmed,” Vox replied. Vox wasn’t as personable as Goddard was, Goddard knew, for she was a computer after all, but Goddard could tell in her voice that Vox had just winked at him. The roof of the clubhouse lifted up and a large antenna came out, aiming at one of Jimmy’s satellites.
Goddard logged onto the Internet and found Roxy waiting for him at the Pandimensional Pooch Place.
“Goddard! It’s so good to hear your voice again.”
Goddard barked out loud. It was odd talking with Roxy, for he knew she was at the Junkman’s keyboard, typing with her tongue. She couldn’t directly link to the Galactic Internet like Goddard could.
“Where are you Roxy?”
“In the Crab Nebula, picking up used ion drives,” Roxy replied. “Same old, same old.”
“Now don’t talk that way, Roxy, you get to see the galaxy.”
“I suppose it is nice, the travel, but I’d rather see you Goddard.”
Goddard sometimes wished he had been programmed to blush. He barked instead.
“Thanks for that picture of you outside the Imperial Palace of Uppercrust Z,” Goddard told Roxy. “Did you do something to your ears?”
“How could I not! They look great.”
So Goddard and Roxy chatted for a good long time, longer than usual. Goddard being an intelligent dog knew these long distance relationships were hard to maintain, and the chances of success decreased exponentially with each light year, but it was good to have a pen pal.
“The Junkman is here,” Roxy announced. “And he wants to use the keyboard. He’s always annoyed that it’s covered with dog slobber.”
Goddard laughed. “Bye for today Roxy!”
“Goodbye Goddard! XOXOXO!”
“How is Roxy?” Vox asked as the clubhouse roof closed up.
“She’s fine,” Goddard replied. “See you tonight Vox!”
Goddard trotted across the street and found Humphrey chained up in Cindy Vortex’s back yard.
“Bow wow wow wow wow!” Humphrey said. Goddard translated. “Hi Goddard! Let’s go, I’m starved. Cindy’s got me on a diet again.”
Goddard’s hands came out of his back and he freed Humphrey and they set off down the street. Soon Ibsen, Marcia, Zeke, and Eustace’s Great Dane Thurston had joined them and they ran to the Candy Bar. Without pausing they jumped into the garbage bins and began to search around.
Dogs don’t mind if the chocolate sprinkles are ants, they taste good all the same. And because Sam never separated his recyclables, Goddard had a good time searching out the aluminum and eating it. Maybe Humphrey was right; maybe he did need to go on a diet.
Soon garbage was strewn across the parking lot and Humphrey called them to order. Being the best singer, he lead the other dogs in a rousing chorus of “Annie Get Your Gun,” “My Heart Will Go On,” “YMCA,” “Silent Night,” and “The Hamster Dance Song.” Each dog had a favorite and they were practicing howling for a benefit concert at the Retroville Home for the Old and In The Way. It was always a good time, especially when the nurses came out to chase them away with brooms, and then it was every dog for himself.
Sam came out of the Candy Bar with a broom. “What’s that fearsome noise, yeah!” He saw the dogs and the mess they had created. “You! Again! Beat it you mangy furballs!”
The dogs scattered, barking and whooping, and generally had a great time. Humphrey and Goddard ran toward home, knowing their masters would be back from school soon.
“Bow wow wow wow wow woof,” Humphrey said, as Goddard hooked him back up to his kennel. “See ya Goddard,” was the translation. “You were in rare form today.”
Goddard barked and hurried across the street to the Neutron home. He sat down on the porch to wait. The school bus drove up, and he ran to greet Jimmy.
“Good boy!” Jimmy said, hugging Goddard. “Bye Carl! Vortex.”
“See ya Jimmy!” Carl said, and walked off to his house.
“Bye, Neutron,” Cindy said, and walked across the street.
For a change, Jimmy and Goddard played several different games of fetch in the backyard. Jimmy usually hurried off to check his experiments after school. First Jimmy threw a hovering gravidisk about for Goddard. Then Jimmy had Vox fire anti-aircraft missiles out of the roof of the clubhouse and Goddard destroyed them with his laser eyes. Then Jimmy brought out one of his newest inventions, the Fetchomatic 8900, a ball that darted about the sky under its own power. Goddard found it very challenging, and was panting when he finally came in for a landing with the ball in his jaws. Jimmy poured him a cold bowl of motor oil.
Then Jimmy went down into the lab, Goddard at his heels. With Vox’s help they checked all the experiments. This took the rest of the afternoon. Judy called them to dinner.
For dinner Judy had made Hugh a duck-shaped meatloaf. “My favorite, sugar booger!” Hugh exclaimed. Jimmy had a meatloaf in the shape of Leonhard Paul Euler, Swiss mathematician. Judy had a green salad. And Goddard had zinc metal screws, powdered with brass shavings. What a treat!
After dinner Jimmy did his homework, which took about two minutes. Goddard followed Jimmy downstairs to watch television a bit, resting his head on Jimmy’s lap as Jimmy scratched his ears.
Then it was back upstairs to Jimmy’s room. Jimmy contacted Carl to play holographic Star Toad, Wrestlepalooza the Game, Blasteroids, and Jet Fusion: Goldtoe. After a long hour’s gaming, Jimmy bid Carl goodnight, got into his pajamas, and got into bed. Goddard curled up in his bed and plugged himself into the charger.
Jimmy yawned. “Goodnight Goddard. Sleep mode.”
Goddard barked goodnight.