I was in the potting shed up at Galloper Grange, with Dave and Sam, the Gardener, and I mentioned to them the prize in today's great JNM competition.
'We could do with a robot around ‘ere,' said Sam, with feeling. 'Diggin' over that old vegetable patch hasn't half given my back jip! I wonder where I could pick one up?'
'Ed says, it all starts with a Czech,' I commented.
'Ar, a bloomin' big one I expect!' said Sam, 'I don't s’ppose robots comes cheap.'
'No, not a cheque - I mean, a chap from Czechoslovakia,' I explained.
'Well, if he's gotta bring it all the way from Czechoslovakia, no wonder it's expensive!' retorted Sam, 'Anyway, I can't see Sir Horace aforkin' out fer nothin’ foreign!'
'No, no!' I said in exasperation. 'The IDEA of robots came from Czechoslovakia. Ed says this guy called Karel wrote a play about people who made artificial workers and they called them 'robots' cos that's the Czech word for 'worker'.
'I don't 'spect they gets lumbago, neither,' mused Sam.
'What, Czechoslovakians?' said Dave.
'Garn no! Robots! ‘Ere, p’rhaps I should give this girl a ring.'
'What girl?' I asked, mystified, as I often am by Sam's rambling conversations.
'Well, this 'ere Carol, from Czechoslovakia,' said Sam. 'The girl what builds the robots!'
'He isn't a she - he's a he! And he didn't build robots, he just wrote a story about them,' I insisted. 'And anyway, Ed said that was nearly eighty years ago.'
'Right,' replied Sam glumly, 'so the batteries 'll be flat by now then?'
See you soon