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The Advisor

It just so happened that Klaus Mashwitz was excellent at building robots and he built himself a robot to act as his personal confidante and close advisor. The Advisor accompanied him everywhere and the two were inseparable. Their fame spread. Klaus built other machines. He burned through forty million dollars and five marriages before The Advisor stopped him mid-stride, right when they were approaching the bamboo garden in Golden Gate Park.

"I've been a good friend and a proper counselor these many years," said The Advisor, his hand on Klaus' chest, holding him still, "and yet, looking back, I can see that my advice has been worthless to you. You've ignored all of it, the very information you designed that I give to you. And now, your life is in ruin."

Klaus was silent and nodded carefully. He spread his fingers out and answered only with, "What can I tell you?"

The Advisor was firm, "You can start taking my advice."

"I'll tell you what," said Klaus. "You've always been kind and good to me. So, I'll strike a deal with you. You give me one bit of advice and I will follow it. If it works out, I will follow the next bit of advice. And so on. I'm an old guy now, but--who knows--maybe it's time for me to put it in cruise control and hand things over to my oldest friend."

Now, you're not going to believe this, but Klaus took the bit of advice offered by the shrewd robot, his advisor! Gruesome as it is, The Advisor asked Klaus to kill himself. That way, The Advisor could replace Klaus' insides with new robotic viscerals and brain functions. A new Klaus which would live forever and live right and no one would know any different.

And so, Klaus did the shooting and The Advisor did the gutting.

Soon enough, the new Klaus was out on the streets, charming and dazzling mankind. Most people knew it wasn't Klaus, though. The Advisor's measurements were off a bit and about an inch of metal was exposed on the inside of Klaus' left eye. And the new Klaus had such a weak stomach that he often disturbed family meals by vomiting diodes all over the place.

But people got along with him. Good advice is good advice.

by why the lucky stiff

february 12, 2005