Every day I think my Alfie Robot stories may be nearing the end of the line, and every day I manage to come up with a new asinine, largely unsuitable bedtime story for a 5-year-old.
At some point in 2018 I started telling Johnny nighttime stories about grand adventures with him and the family’s new butler robot Alfie. I never dreamt these stories would still be going on well over a year later, but John utterly demands them every night and will bawl if he doesn’t get one.
The intricate web of details, characters, and plot lines is so thick after 500+ 20-minute stories I can barely remember what’s happening. Here is where we have wound up!
- Alfie has evolved from a useful household robot who can paint, clean, cook and run simple errands, to the world’s most powerful being with a never-ending supply of super powers ranging from inter-dimensional travel to morphing into helicopters to freezing time to printing counterfeit money at the push of a button. Despite his powers, Alfie is unusually lazy and does virtually nothing helpful for the family. In the olden days, he was turned off and stored in a closet overnight. Now, he is a full-fledged member of the family. His old robotic voice has been replaced with a raspy human voice with lots of backtalk.
- Alfie’s long-lost bi-curious half-cousin Marvin Robot came to fill in for Alfie half a year ago and never left. He has most of the same powers as Alfie, but is a relative afterthought. He fades in and out of storylines.
- Barbara Robot is the next-door neighbor Plumpes’ robot, and Alfie’s on-again-off-again girlfriend. The two made history when their wires crossed and Barbara inexplicably gave birth to five baby robots, which the real-life Johnny named—Johnny Jr, Edie Jr, Ryan Jr, Two-Bad and Alfie, Jr. The robots were all adopted by neighbors.
- Johnny now possesses almost all of the same super powers as Alfie. The two visit a nearby enchanted forest where they can re-up on and gain new powers by walking towards and soaking up beams of ultraviolet light only Alfie can see.
- A martian and Wonder Woman live in the backyard in an invisible toolshed Alfie built, and appear only when the gang is in real trouble.
- Billy and Karen are two very dimwitted adults who appeared during a Memorial Day story. The Glanzer family wanted to have a Memorial Day party, but due to coronavirus no one could come. Alfie improvised and created dozens of fake people out of thin air to serve as temporary party guests, who would disappear back into thin air at the party’s conclusion. However, Billy and Karen were wandering around inside when Alfie made the others vanish, and now they are part of the family. It’s up to John to teach them very basic human skills like using the bathroom, eating food, and not to jump off roofs.
- Alfie frequently sends John and family to infinite mirror universes where an identical Glanzer family lives, each with unique differences. In one world, everything is made of hamburgers. In another, people live inside of giant beagles. In another, sidewalks are treadmills and the sky is pink. We have visited minimum 100 different worlds, and in every instance, John looks over the back fence only to see our real life neighbors the Hernandez family outside engaging in that world’s unusual activities.
- The Alfie Robot from Hamburger World is a model robot who sets out to do good deeds each day. Sometimes Earth Alfie and Hamburger Alfie switch spots, and Hamburger Alfie and John set out on the town to help people in need, from sick children at the hospital to neighbors with flat tires.
- The stories usually align with real-life happenings, from school to holidays to vacations. The robots and others are all along for the ride. For instance, with the upcoming South Dakota trip, Billy and Karen have traveled to the farm. Each night, they sleepwalk out into a field and manage to keep falling down the same mile-deep hole a local hunter dug for trapping rabid deer. It’s Grandpa to the rescue, pulling them out with an impossibly long rope despite having a magical robot nearby who could get them out with the snap of his fingers.
And so on… I keep saying ‘no more’, and inevitably we wind up with more and more zany stories.