Robert the Robot was feeling most cranky, down and out, in the doldrums. Life is hard when you’re a robot – after you take – off, there are many highs and lows and you often land back down on your launch pad with a bump in moondust. Life is hard when you’re a robot – jobs for robots are very hard to find – you may try engineering, or being a car mechanic (since you have so much experience with space rockets), an airline pilot or factory stacker – but no – one really wants to employ a robot with creaky joints. Life is hard when you’re a robot – you get rusty nuts and bolts in the rain which make your robotic dancing difficult indeed and your electronics can short circuit quite easily. To get sparkle in your life, you must plug into the electricity supply (which sometimes can fuse) and spark plugs are very expensive. Life is hard when you’re a robot – just like science fiction and everyone else seems creepy – crawly. Robots eat their dinner mechanically from satellite dishes and aliens, androids and asteroids get invited as guests. Life is hard when you’re an alien – it hard to keep up with the latest millennium fashions – robot accessories such as space helmets with or without filters and antennaes. Life is hard when you’re a robot – finding a parking spot for your spaceship (which can often malfunction) can be quite a nuisance and you have to time travel on time. Robotic dancing is great, of course. Except if you slip on a puddle of oil and crashing around with all the other robots can leave you bumped, battered and bruised. Your metallic paint chips and your carberettor bursts, billowing steam everywhere. If you wish to transform into a rather more modern, space age version of design of space buggy, the engines cost a fortune ! Life is hard when you’re a robot – battling with Daleks. Life is hard when you’re a robot – when you’re shopping, sometimes people confuse you with a supermarket trolley or a bicycle. All the cans in the row of baked beans and spaghetti stick to you magnetically – but the one good thing about being a robot is that you never need a can opener, a wrench or a spanner.

Depending which language they are on … robots speak a number of languages, from uranius to marsglish. Of course, because of the lack of gravity in outer space, they speak in metallic speech bubbles. In the rain, robots speak with a rusty voice especially when moondust makes their voices croaky. Robot speak starts thousands of light years ago and finishes at three light years away on the other side of the universe … Sometimes, when robots speak, the sound waves transverse through the hole in the ozone … and bounce off satellites like radars … before landing in a crater on the moon. Robot speak is sometimes not understandable, since it is spoken mainly to aliens on the other side of the cosmos. In fact, that’s how Saturn got it’s rings … they really are radio waves echoing through the universe. Meterorites help robots sing and then they really hit the high notes. When the Sun shines, robots speak warmly … when it rains, robots get lock jaw. Robots drink deisel … and sometimes even get drunk … when they do, it is even harder to tell what they are saying ! Sometimes, robots need spectacles – but it is very difficult to get glasses that fit when you haven’t got ears to rest them on … and your glasses fall off the end of your nose. No wonder all of this leaves robots feeling cranky …


Gum Drop Robots
1 package powdered fruit pectin
¾ cup water
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
3 to 4 drops peppermint oil or other flavoring oil
Food coloring to match flavor
In a small saucepan, combine fruit pectin, water, and baking soda; set aside.
In a 2-quart saucepan, combine sugar and corn syrup, mixing well. Cook both mixtures, stirring alternately, until foam subsides in soda mixture, about 5 minutes. Pour pectin mixture in a slow steady stream into the boiling sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Boil and stir one minute more. Remove from heat and stir in flavoring and food coloring. Pour into prepared molds or buttered 8×8 inch pan; let set for 24 hours. Remove from molds or cut into squares using a knife dipped in warm water. Let stand at least a day before packaging. Makes about 20 pieces.

© Jacqueline Richards 2005


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