Nannies

by Craig Kurtz

“Nanny was built in the shape of a sphere, a large metal sphere, flattened on the bottom. Her surface had been sprayed with a dull green enamel, which had become chipped and gouged through wear. There was not much visible in addition to the eye stalks. The treads could not be seen. On each side of the hull was the outline of a door. From these the magnetic grapples came, when they were needed. The front of the hull came to a point, and there the metal was reinforced. The extra plates welded both fore and aft made her look almost like a weapon of war.”

Philip K. Dick, “Nanny

We bought a Nanny for the kids —
before, it built the Pyramids;
they’re very good with discipline
and cost far less than a human;
but soon the Nanny that we bought
went out and found rivals it fought;
the Microsoft Nannies will shoot
the Apple Nannies in the fruit;
and when the Nannies come to terms
they’ll come for us, the human worms.

The Nanny army had great skill
and Nannies, friend, are hard to kill;
they never ask for raises or
complain that their back’s getting sore;
so even with a catapult,
to knock ‘em down proved difficult;
robots don’t flake on their deadlines
and never march with picket signs;
they’re bullet-proof, ev’ry last one —
so much for that corpuscle gun;
they overlook labor disputes
and never file harassment suits;
the bio gas has no effect
and gamma darts they just deflect;
so when it comes to the pink slip,
you just can’t beat the microchip.

But, friend, we cooled the Nannies’ jets —
we hooked ‘em on e-cigarettes;
I hear they’re vaping alcohol
and losing most their wherewithal;
and now since glued to Facebook, they
all buffer pointlessly all day;
they stand around, just staring at
their likes and clicks and robot chat;
and that is how we beat the ‘Nans —
we stuck bad habits in their scans.

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