Charles Brailing is growing annoyed watching his wife play with a set of magic rings. He calls his pal Tom. Charles tries to engage his wife in conversation, but she is not interested.
He suggests a vacation, but that somehow turns into her snapping at him for them having no children. He takes her hands and she gasps as if something a little more intimate occurred. The lack of children is starting to make sense. Apparently that Design for loving is too stiff for Charles.
Charles manages to get Tom on the phone and they agree to meet. Not that Lydia is making it easy — she is alternately accusatory, frigidly cold, and pathetically needy.
Charles makes the bizarre claim that he is at home with his wife as they are standing outside the bar. Tom is drunk enough to take the bet.
Sure enough, they look in the window and Charles appears to be inside with his wife. Charles blows a whistle and the other Charles comes outside.
They card says he is a model which is a very optimistic 7 years in the future. Tom claims not to be able to tell them apart even though Charles II, made to his specifications, seems to have about 4 inches on Charles I. I suspect Lydia would be thinking the same thing. Design for loving I announces his intention Design for loving fly to Rio for some fun while the iron man services Lydia. Say, maybe he does know what women want.
Tom thinks this is a swell idea. But when he goes home, he is horrified to discover that his wife has beaten him to the punch and replaced herself with a robot. So her problem is not really solved. Charles I wittily proposes relocating to a closet which I suspect he has some experience of living in.
Charles II ominously tells Charles I that they Marionettes are far more advanced than the company is aware. Tom shows up that the Brailing Design for loving and tells Charles that his wife has replaced herself with a Marionette.
Charles II tells him these are strange times when strange machines are moving into our lives and taking over. That night, Charles II brings Lydia a martini in bed where she is still playing with the rings.
Even Charles II is annoyed at this. He kisses her hand and takes the airline ticket out of his pocket.
He places it on the nightstand for reasons unknown. Is he going to now take Lydia to Rio? Then how to explain the single ticket?
Then he better not let her see that ticket or it will not be so happy. There is an imbalance here that might have required an hour to remedy. Tom and Charles Design for loving in the same situation, trapped — in their eyes — with an incompatible, annoying wife. However, it is Tom and Lydia that will benefit from the new robots.
Or maybe that lack of Design for loving is the point. Overall it is a fine story, just done in by some weak characterizations and a couple of married schlubs who think themselves superior and entitled due to mores that were out-dated even in I seem to have come across this blog a little late.
Thank you, whoever you are, and please resume posting.
Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Of course even in we have nothing like this technology. Based on the same short story as the first episode of Ray Bradbury Theater.
Luckily, I saw it years ago, thus did not need to rewatch it for this blog. The light comes on automatically when he enters.