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The Perfect Companion, part one

September 15, 2010

     “I don’t know, this doesn’t seem, well, natural.” Sylvia watched her son Andrew playing peekaboo with a PerfectCompanion from IdeaOcean.
     The salesman nodded understandingly, “I felt the same way, before buying one for my son.  Studies show that children with a PerfectCompanion do better in school and have fewer problems with self-confidence.”
     “I know . . .”
     “And they’re becoming as common in households as entertainment centers.  Almost every mom in my neighborhood has purchased one for her child, and you can see the effect in school.  I didn’t want my son to get behind either.  After seeing what it did for my child, I knew I had to become part of this.  PerfectCompanions are the future.”
     “I guess I’m old-fashioned, shouldn’t children play with other children?”
     “Of course, and nothing is keeping them from that, you can limit the child’s time with it, but your child never has to suffer the heartache of having his best friend move away, or grow apart.  The PerfectCompanion is programmed to grow up and protect him.”  The man’s voice dropped,   “Other kids won’t do that.”
     “Protect him?”
     “Protect him.  Keep him out of trouble.”  His voice dropped again into a conspiratorial whisper, “i don’t know about you, but being a single parent, its kind of nice being able to get away from raising the kid now and then and knowing he’s safe.”
     Andrew came running up to his mom, squealing with laughter as the Companion chased him. 
     She was sold.
     Sylvia knelt and tousled her son’s blond hair.  “Do you like your new friend, honey?”
     “Yes, I like Sam.” Andrew said in his three-year-old lisp.  “Is Sam going to stay with us?”
     “For as long as you like, sweetie.”
     “Yay!”
     “You two play for a little bit longer, your mom has to finish some paperwork with the nice man.”
     The little boy smiled with delight and then ran back to play with his new friend.

     Nine-year-old Andrew threw his brand new baseball mitt in the corner before running over to Sam and throwing his arms around it.  “I hate them, Sam, I hate them!  They’re so mean!”
     Sam wrapped its arms around Andrew, comforting him.
     “I don’t want to go back.  I don’t want to!” Andrew wept.
     Sam patted him reassuringly, “It’s o.k., I’m here.”
     “I’m serious.  I’m not going back.  I’m not.” He wiped his runny nose with the back of his arm.
     “I believe you.”  The soft voice of the Companion began to have its calming effect.
     “Why’d she do it?” Andrew asked.  “Why’d she make me join the baseball team?”
     “Your mom thought you’d have fun playing a sport with other children.”
     “I hate them!” Andrew shouted.  “I don’t want to play with them.  They said I threw like a baby and called me dough boy.”
     “Did you tell your mom?”
     “No.” He sniffed.
     “You need to tell her what happened.  I’m sure she won’t make you go back.”
     “You think so?”
     “I know so.”
     “You’re my best friend, Sam.” Andrew hugged his Companion.
     
Sam was right.
     Andrew didn’t have to go back.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Muninn permalink
    September 15, 2010 2:55 pm

    Scientists recently synthetic skin that can respond to touch. PerfectCompanions will be here sooner than we think.

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20100913/hl_hsn/researchersdeveloptouchsensitiveeskin

    Like

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