With everyone gone elsewhere, Earth was perfect for gracious living—only there was nothing gracious about it!
he major-domo informed him as he moved toward the only chair at the table.
* * * * *
Robert warily retreated to the opposite side of the table and looked for another chair. None was visible.
Of course, he thought, trying to be fair. Why should anybody in this day have more than one chair? Robots don't sit.
He waited for the major-domo to leave, but it did not. The serving robots finished laying out the dishes and retired to posts along the wall. Finally, Robert decided that he would have to make his status clear or risk going hungry.
If I sit down somewhere, he decided, it may recognize me as human. What a stupid machine to have!
He started around the end of the table again, but the striped robot moved to intercept him. Robert stopped.
"Oh, well," he sighed, sitting sidewise on a corner of the table.
The robot hesitated, made one or two false starts in different directions, then halted. The situation had apparently not