Futurama

Fan Fiction

The Leela Diaries, part 1
By Ramon_51

December 30, 2999

Dear Diary:

Another year has slipped away and I am still alone. My life is a boring routine of work, eat, and sleep. But, you gotta do what you gotta do. You’d think that as the sole member of an unknown alien species here on Earth, I wouldn’t have to wear this stupid career chip. How I wish I could do something else!

When will my knight in shining armor come to take me away from all this? Why can’t men see me for who I am? Why am I always being called ‘eyeball’ and ‘freak’ by almost everyone? It’s almost more than I can bear.

So instead of crying I’ve learned to fight. Sometimes that helps but sometimes it doesn’t. I mean, I broke the blind kid Terry’s nose at least three times when I was at the Orphanarium and it still didn’t shut his trap.

Well, dear diary, I need to go make my lunches for the next month. I hope there’s room in the freezer.

Maybe next year will be better, who knows?

January 1, 3000

Dear Diary:

The past 24 hours have been a blur. In that time I made friends with three people (well actually two people and a robot), deserted my old job, got chased by the cops, and got hired as a Space Ship Captain! Some day!

It all started when a freezer jockey from the stupid ages named Philip J. Fry came to me around four o’clock yesterday for his fate assignment. After we exchanged the obligatory remarks, he submitted to the probulator with surprising ease – and only the occasional odd yelp of pain. I was glad to be able to tell him he had at least one living relative.

The fun began when I told him that his career assignment was as a delivery boy. He took off like a striped ape! I chased him through the lab, but the little stinker managed to maneuver me into one of the cryotubes…good old Number 40.

“Zap!” I was deep frozen before I could get out. Oddly enough, he must have come back to reset the timer, because I unfroze five minutes later…not the default 1000 years! I sprang out of the cryotube as soon as the door opened.

I wanted to punch Terry in the nose when he sounded off with his melodramatic greeting of, “Welcome to the world of tomorrow!” What a jerk! Anyway, I tried to get good old Ipgee, my boss, to just let Fry go. I’m glad he didn’t let me leave off pursuit, or I’d still be stuck in that dead-end job.

Fry was about as hard to track as an elephant in a china shop. Nobody screams in the tube unless they are being mugged! With the help of eyewitnesses and the usual security feeds into the old Wristamajigy, I tracked him across town before reestablishing contact with him at O’Zorgnax’s pub.

He bolted on me. Since he seemed to have taken up with a robot, I followed procedure and called for backup. Those worthless morons Smitty and URL responded…with their usual, “We’ll be there in five minutes.”

I trailed Fry and his robot buddy (his name turned out to be Bender) to the Head Museum. Once Smitty and URL showed up, we went inside and quickly found Fry and Bender. I advanced, ready to administer the career chip to Fry. Unfortunately, Fry bumped the Presidential shelf and down came Tricky Dick Nixon with a resounding “CRASH!”

Alarms sounded and Nixon started gnawing on Fry’s arm. It was so funny! It was all I could do to keep from laughing.

Then things got ugly. Those two testosterone-charged, Neanderthal “Peace Officers” started beating Fry and Bender for no reason. I tried to reason with Smitty and URL, but they wouldn’t listen. Then that squinty eyed little punk Smitty insulted my nose.

Something snapped! I laid into both of them, putting them out of action. Nothing like a little humility administered via the knuckle to the head route! I told them I didn’t need their help any more. Instead, I set off after Fry and Bender on my own.

They barricaded themselves into the Hall of Criminals. After trying to get them to open the door, I finally gave up and kicked it in. As it sprang open, they were already on the way out of the window. Bender managed to bend the bars before I could dive out after them.

They headed down a blind alley from which they couldn’t exit without passing by me, so I used the Neutron Laser in my Wristamajigy to torch the bars. Back on the trail, I followed them down into the ruins of Old New York. When I caught up with them, Fry didn’t even try to run.

As a matter of fact, he placed his fate and his future in my hands. It was then that I realized that there is something special about him. I don’t know…I guess it’s that he is so vulnerable. There’s an odd sort of pathos about him. He’s also gentle and trusting, something that could get you killed in New-New York. On top of all that, he’s not bad looking either.

Up until now, I thought I was the loneliest person in the Galaxy. As it turns out, Fry may be a close second. At least I have a small circle of friends. He had no one. Well, that has changed.

Getting back to the story, dear diary, instead of implanting his career chip, I extracted mine! That made me a job deserter. But I didn’t really care! Rather a short cannon shot into the sun than to spend another day forcing other people to accept jobs they hate.

To make a long story short, we went to meet Fry’s only living relative, a Professor named Hubert J. Farnsworth. He’s a wrinkly old crackpot who is a 150 years old if he’s a day. But he saved our skins.

When the cops tracked us down, we escaped in his Intergalactic Space Ship. Oh, I didn’t mention that the Professor had a delivery business, did I? Anyway, we blasted off right at the stroke of midnight with laser bursts skimming past the ship as we ascended into the heavens. Guess who was piloting the ship…ME!

Still, things looked bleak for all three of us. With no career chips, we were bound to be hunted down if we stayed on Earth. Our salvation came from an envelope in the Professor’s pocket in the form of career chips from his recently deceased crew. You know what they say, any port in a storm!

What really freaked me out was when Fry cheered at the thought of being a delivery boy! Still, I can’t complain. If he hadn’t resisted at first, I’d have still been in that dead-end job. So now I work as a Spaceship Pilot for a small delivery service…the Planet Express. I can’t wait for tomorrow!

January 3, 3000

Dear Diary:

You wouldn’t think that a simple delivery trip to the moon could turn into an adventure, would you? Well, that’s only because you haven’t tried to do it with a guy from the Stupid Ages, a spoiled rich girl, and a kleptomaniac, antisocial robot. Of course, I’ve already introduced you to Fry and Bender. Now I’ll introduce you to the spoiled little rich girl of our group, Amy Wong.

Yes, you heard right…Amy Wong…of the Mars Wongs. She is an engineering intern at Planet Express! She dresses in a pink jogging suit that bares her midriff. Why would somebody with that much money dress like a homeless person? Oh well, there’s no accounting for taste.

I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a clumsier human being. She darned near put my eye out with a cleaning pick! But I have to admit, she gives every job 100%.

Anyway, back to the adventure.

Our day began when Hermes – he’s the accountant/business manager at PE – announced we had a delivery to take to the moon. Since Professor Farnsworth chose me to be the Captain as well as the pilot, I was determined to do a good job. What I couldn’t believe was how excited Fry was when I told him we were going to the moon. He acted like a kid in a candy store.

My original plan was to deliver the crate and come straight home. I mean, what’s on the moon that I haven’t seen a dozen times? However, Fry begged me to go and see Luna Park. Why can’t I resist those puppy dog eyes of his?

So we wound up touring the Park. What surprised me was Fry’s eagerness to go out on the surface. I found myself thinking, “What could be more boring than driving around on the surface of a dead moon?” Still, the puppy dog eyes got to me again.

So, I suggested we go on the bumper cars to get us onto the surface in a controlled and – so I thought – safe environment. Fry was so excited he could barely contain himself. Lord, he almost jerked my arm out of the socket as he half-dragged me to the ride.

The ride was uneventful until Fry managed to derail the car and go free-wheeling on the surface. Oooh! He acted like such a jerk. But I kept my cool and said, “Okay, you can drive around for ten minutes. Then you’ll turn around and apologize for being such a jerk. Agreed?”

He agreed.

When the ten minutes were up, I wanted him to turn back. Like a little boy, he wanted to drive around just a bit more. In the next few seconds he almost got us killed by driving us into a moon quicksand filled crater.

I’m afraid Fry wasn’t very brave or resourceful. Sad to say, I had to rescue us from the crater. When we got out, I was so angry that if we hadn’t been linked together by our air hoses, I would have left him. We were low on oxygen and too far away to make it to Luna Park on foot. Just as Fry was ready to give up, we spotted a hydroponic farm.

The owner of the farm was a moonbilly from the shallow end of the gene pool. He wore a “The Moon Will Rise Again” hat, carried a shotgun, and had three robot daughters. It was like something from a bad joke about a traveling salesman!

He agreed to let us have some oxygen if we worked for it until sunup. It seemed we were stuck there for an entire lunar night…then until Bender showed up. We fled in the moonbilly’s go cart and almost made it back to Luna Park. Once again fate intervened, and an axle broke.

Luckily, we found the Lunar Lander…lost for centuries…as we tried to stay ahead of the advancing nightfall. We took refuge there. It was during our brief time in the Lander that all the anger and frustration that I had with Fry seemed to melt away.

No matter how much I try, his gentle spirit always touches me. As I said earlier, he is one of the loneliest people that I know, yet he is cheerful. I wish I could be as cheerful as he.

He so wanted me to see the moon through his twentieth century eyes. Believe it or not dear diary, I did. His plaintive description of how he saw the moon was enough to melt my heart and open my eye. There is more to him than meets the eye.

Thankfully, Amy came along and rescued us. Maybe she isn’t such a klutz after all, because she surely worked the controls to perfection. I wonder where she learned how to do that?

Anyway, Dear Diary, it is late and I must turn in….until next time.

March 14, 3000

Dear Diary - thank goodness it’s Friday!

The past few weeks have been crazy, mostly because of my helping Fry and Bender in finding a place to live. It all began innocently enough. Fry was driving everyone crazy with his slovenly way of living at the Planet Express building. He is a mess-making machine that really needs to be housebroken!

I don’t know what it is about that man. He drives me crazy. One minute, he is doing something thoughtful or sweet. Then, he follows up with some boneheaded stunt like drying his hair with the ship’s engines! Ooooh!

Anyway, when we (it was unanimous) kicked Fry out, Bender took him in as a roommate. Problem solved, right? WRONG!

Bender’s apartment turned out to be about the size of a broom closet. So as a result, Fry was soon in terrible physical shape because he couldn’t lie down or move around very much. Oddly enough, Bender seemed really cheerful as the result of having Fry for a roommate.

About two weeks ago, Fry came in with a crick in his neck that was so bad – he looked like his neck was broken. My womanly instincts got the better of me. He looked like a lost puppy! So, I told him he needed to find a new place to stay. I expected him to ignore my good advice, like he usually does. Instead he told Bender, “Well, I’m moving out.”

I expected Bender to react by burning Fry with a cigar or to at least curse him out. Instead he appeared so sad! Now I had two lost puppies…one human and one robotic! When will I learn?

The result was that I took them apartment shopping over the next few days. Between giant squids, dimensions we couldn’t use, and a location in New Jersey (Ugh) it was a painful process. We were pretty discouraged until we found an apartment on the Upper West Side.

Well, technically the Professor found it. One of his friends, a Dr. Mobutu and his wife were torn to shreds…leaving a very nice, rent-controlled apartment. Fry, Bender, and I practically flew over there.

It was really beautiful. If I was making a little more money, I’d have broken my lease to get it. But it didn’t take long for Fry and Bender to reduce the place to a pigsty. I mean, we came over for their housewarming party just one day after they moved in and the place already looked like a cyclone hit it. My hands itched; I wanted to clean the place up so badly!

Anyway, during the party we discovered that Bender’s antenna interfered with the TV reception in the whole apartment building. The result – Bender got evicted. He was so crushed when Fry didn’t go back to their old apartment.

I really laid into Fry about letting that mob of neighbors throw Bender out. When I tried to explain to him that Bender’s feelings were hurt he just said, “Don’t girl me with that girl stuff.” Rather than choke the life out of him, I left. Fry can be so dense some times.

For the next two weeks I had the nightmarish job of trying to keep track of a blind, stinking, sober Bender. It wasn’t pretty! Five o’clock rust is a nasty business.

When faced with the wreck of a robot that was once Bender, I suggested a solution, that Bender remove his antenna. His reaction was to call it ‘Little Bender’ and go on a two week non-drinking binge that was truly horrible to behold.

Now it’s not my nature to interfere, but after two weeks of suggesting that Fry help Bender, I felt it was necessary to confront Fry directly. While Fry and I were exchanging words, Bender staggered into the apartment. He looked so pitiful. What he did next made me want to cry.

After telling Fry that he couldn’t live alone anymore, Bender clipped off his antenna!

Right at that moment, ‘All My Circuits’ came on. The scene was a perfect illustration of the situation that Fry and Bender were in…with the human not understanding the robot’s position in life. I pointed that out and the two idiots got it backwards!

Bender actually apologized to Fry! Ooooh! Those two are like blotters. They soak everything up and get it all backwards.

At least we were able to find ‘Little Bender’ and get it reattached. Fry moved back in with Bender. As it turns out, the Robot Arms Apartments is a converted set of human apartments. The area where Bender slept was actually a vestibule to a three room apartment!

So I guess all’s well that ends well. Goodnight, dear diary!

April 13, 3000

This is the twelfth time I’ve tried to write this entry. My last entry was “I may not have found love on this mission, but I did find a cute little companion who excretes starship fuel. And that’s just as good.”

Ooooh! That is so wrong! I won’t lie to you, Dear Diary.

I may as well confess – I slept with that gross, self-centered moron Zapp Brannigan! He manipulated my pity for those who are lonely to get me into bed with him. Ugh!

Why did I do it? When Bender and Fry realized I had slept with Zapp, their looks made me want to crawl away and die.

It might have been forgivable if Zapp was a decent lover or a decent human being. He is neither. No, he is just a self-centered pig who couldn’t satisfy any woman. Well, to be perfectly honest, he played on my desperate loneliness as well. Will I ever find someone to love?

Just a few days before I met Zapp, I had a nice date with a guy named Doug. Doug almost made me feel normal…then he licked the after-dinner mints from his plate with his vile lizard tongue. What a turn-off!

Anyway, back to the story. It all started innocently enough. The Professor sent us on a mission to Vergon Six. As he put it, we were on a “tax deductible mission of charity.” It seems the planet had been full of Dark Matter until a DOOP mining crew dug it all out…leaving the planet hollow and ready to collapse. So we went to save one pair of each type of animal before the planet imploded.

The flight to the Vergon System was a piece of cake, until we spotted the Nimbus – Zapp’s ship. Just prior to our spotting of the Nimbus, Fry and Bender were harassing me about my lack of a love life. That idiot Bender tried to persuade me to manufacture a fellow Cyclops by using a fork to poke someone’s eye out.

What do men – or manbots - know about what a woman wants? I mean…really. Fry and Bender are both so clueless, although Fry never has a nasty edge like Bender.

When I was a little girl in the Orphanarium, I used to dream about finding my true love. I always envisioned him as adventurous, self-confident, with a good deal of fashion sense. From what I always heard about Zapp Brannigan in the media, he seemed to fit that mould. So, I must admit that sighting the Nimbus gave me a flutter or two.

It must have been pretty obvious, because Fry started teasing me with a grade-school chant of, “Leela’s got a boyfriend!” Fry. He is so immature at times.

At any rate, we docked with the Nimbus and met Zapp on the bridge. He really laid the flattery on thick, calling me “Beautiful and deadly – a potent combination.” I fell for it. Boy was I dumb!

We went to the mess hall to have lunch. Things were going well, until I mentioned our mission to Vergon Six. Zapp started a nonsensical rant about “Brannigan’s Law.” When I tried to reason with him, the pompous dimwit clapped Fry, Bender and I in the brig!

After a short while his First Officer, Lieutenant Kif Kroker came and got me. If I had known what was ahead, I would have refused to leave the cell. Instead, I went along…confident in my ability to talk some sense into Brannigan. When we reached the hatch to Zapp’s quarters, Lieutenant Kroker held out a skimpy outfit and said, “And he wants you to wear this.” It took a lot to avoid punching Lieutenant Kroker’s lights out, but I managed to knock on the hatch to Zapp’s quarters instead.

What met my eye when I entered really shocked me. The room was ablaze with candles, most of the furnishings were in red or pink, and there was a larger-than-life portrait of Zapp hanging on the wall directly opposite the entrance. But the piece-de-resistance was the heart-shaped hoverbed with Zapp’s bloated carcass sprawled on it in his bathrobe.

After some juvenile attempts at seductive behavior…including offering me champagne (which he mispronounced “Sham-pagin”), Zapp turned on the tears. That really threw me for a loop. I’d never seen a grown man cry like that. When he said “I’m just so lonely” I let pity overwhelm my common sense.

I wish I could erase the memory of what we did next but only time can do that. When I woke up afterwards, realized where I was and what I had done…I screamed. It didn’t wake Zapp, so I tried to get dressed and tiptoe out without waking him. No such luck!

Zapp called out, “Good morning, lover.” The sound of his voice made my flesh creep. When I tried to explain that our ‘encounter’ was a mistake, the deluded idiot felt sure that sooner or later I’d “come crawling back to him.”

When I told Zapp I was going to Vergon Six to rescue the animals no matter what, his answer made me realize that the moron really thought that I was going to come back for what he called, “sweet, sweet candy.”

Ooooh! I would have liked to beat him up, but we had a mission to complete.

When I went and got Fry and Bender out of the brig, I just knew that they knew. I felt so dirty. I was so ashamed of what I had done that I responded to almost any question about Zapp with, “We just talked. Okay?” Both of them were so clueless that it worked…for a while.

We managed to round up all of the animals with little trouble. We had found every animal except the Hermaphflamingo when I found a lovable three-eyed ball of black and white fur no bigger than a small dog. Bender and Fry wanted to cook and eat him, but I adopted him as a pet. I named him Nibbler, because he was nibbling on a rock when I found him.

To keep him safe, I put him in the hold with the other animals we had collected. What a mistake! When Bender caught the Hermaphflamingo we needed, we went to put it in the hold. We were puzzled at first, because the hold was empty except for Nibbler. As soon as Bender put the Hermaphflamingo down, we discovered what had happened to all of the other animals. Nibbler gobbled the bird down like a kid eating a spaghetti noodle.

Before we could go out and try to gather some more animals, the planet began to implode. We rushed to the bridge, all thoughts of rescuing animals gone from our heads. When I tried to lift off, the engines wouldn’t start. We were out of fuel!

Once again, that lazy idiot Bender had put all of our lives at jeopardy. Even though I had ordered him to fill the tank before we left Earth, he had simply sloughed it off.

Fry’s suggested that we call Zapp for help. My refusal to seek Zapp’s help made both Fry and Bender suspicious. My secret was out! I’ve never been so embarrassed in my entire life. Still, there was nothing to do but call Zapp and ask for help.

If Zapp had acted like a decent human being, he might have gained a little ground with me. Instead, he played the complete jackass…even forcing me to ask for help “more sexfully.”

I don’t think ‘sexfully’ is a word, but I knew what he wanted. I had to choke back my anger, but I did it. While I was pleading with that gross, stupid gorilla, little Nibbler climbed onto my shoulder. Zapp actually had the nerve to say that he wouldn’t rescue us until I got rid of Nibbler.

That was the last straw! After a few choice words, I hung up the videophone. Truthfully, I would have sooner died at that point than ever ask Zapp for anything.

As it turned out, Nibbler saved the day. Right after I hung up, Nibbler pooped enough Dark Matter for us to escape Vergon Six just before it imploded! As it turns out, we managed to save some of the animals that weren’t killed in the initial implosion/explosion. So the mission wasn’t a complete write-off.

Well, dear diary, I need to get a little sleep. I hope that I’ll never see that pompous buffoon Zapp ever again but I know that is probably a false hope. Oh well, I’ll worry about that when it happens. Good night!

May 1, 3000

Dear Diary:

Bender is such a lazy bum. He makes Fry look industrious! Fry…for some reason, it really bugs me when Bender takes advantage of Fry. There are times I’d like to just dismantle Bender.

Still, Bender is my friend…although I’m not sure he appreciates the fact. But I think our latest delivery may have made him appreciate Fry and me a little more.

It all began right after we got back from our trip to Vergon Six. The Professor was so pleased with our performance that he sprang for the price of admission to a blernsball game.

When he announced that we were going to a game and he was paying, I almost fainted. Really, you have no idea how cheap that amoral old goat is…he is so cheap he squeaks.

Anyway, we went to watch the New-New York Yankees pound the snot out of the Mars Greenskins. It’s funny, I don’t think of Fry as being from the Stupid Ages much anymore. He fits in so well. But when he showed his ignorance of blernsball, his being out of place came home to me again.

Fry actually thought it was like Stupid Ages baseball! I wanted to laugh when he said, “Hey, I'm starting to get the hang of this game. The blerns are loaded, the count's three blerns and two anti-blerns and the infield blern rule is in effect, right?”

I should have been nicer to him. Instead I replied in a sarcastic voice, “Except for the word "blern" that was complete gibberish.” I don’t know why I snap at him so much. He’s really a good person.

As soon as I snapped at Fry, Miller hit his 52nd blern of the season! Wow! He’s on a pace to hit 70 blerns this season. Oh my, I got distracted…where was I? Oh, yes. Anyway, Fry took my sarcasm with his usual good nature.

Before the game was over, Hermes wound up calling us back to the office for a delivery to Chapek 9, a planet inhabited by a crew of murderous radical robot separatists. As usual, Bender tried to get out of doing any work. He tried to take time off by claiming it was Robanukkah, the holiest two weeks on the robot calendar.

Really! If Bender used half the energy doing work that he expend trying to avoid work, he’d be a great co-worker. Instead, he invents holidays like Robamadan and Robonzaa or diseases like Roberculosis just to continue to sit on his shiny metal butt.

Just as usually, the dangerous situation didn’t faze the Professor. When faced with sending a squabbling crew on a delivery to a planet where everyone would want to kill them, his only thoughts were, “Well then it's settled. So long, everyone!”

The trip was fairly routine. Fry and Bender picked at each other the whole way there. I felt such an urge to just knock their heads together.

Once we arrived, I put the ship into a hover over the surface. Bender, Fry and I went to the cargo hold together. After opening the ventral cargo hatch, I lowered the magnetic winch. I gave Bender some pretty specific instructions. Bender climbed onto the winch and, after replying to my instructions with a few sarcastic words, he descended to the surface.

After he left, I felt my anger at him just blow away. So Fry and I went onto the bridge and prepared a Robanukkah party for his return. It looked pretty nice. Fry surprised me by his artistic ideas for the beer bottle Menorah and the banner. Just when I think I have him figured out, he does something to surprise me.

Then we got the call. Bender got himself captured by the robot separatists! After a few minutes discussion, Fry and I came up with a plan. Within a short while, we used some odds-and-ends from the ship to disguise ourselves as robots. Then we took the winch down to the surface.

I have to say that my heart was in my throat on the trip down. Fry was obviously scared, but he didn’t complain.

We headed straight for the city gate. Just before we passed through, two things that looked like pillars suddenly transformed into two huge robot guards. We tried to bluff our way through. The robots weren’t too sure, so they administered what they called, “The test.”

One of the guard robots said, “Which of the following would you most prefer? A, a puppy; B, a pretty flower from your sweetie or; C, a large properly-formatted data file?”

The other shouted, “Choose!”

Fry and I whispered to each other trying to figure out the answer. I’m ashamed to say that Fry knew the answer right away. I wanted us to pick the puppy. I’m glad we didn’t. Instead, I said, “Then we'll go with that data file.”

The guards transformed back into pillars. So, we got into the city without further ado. We sort of wandered around, looking for Bender. It seemed hopeless.

Then Fry had to use the bathroom. It was sort of funny to see him trying to robot walk with his legs held tightly together. Then I felt sympathy for him – even though I’d told him to use the bathroom before we left the ship.

I sent him behind some garbage cans to do his business. Unfortunately, a robot came by who thought Fry was leaking coolant. The robot offered to patch him up with some searing-hot resin. The look of alarm on Fry’s face was priceless!

We almost managed to bluff our way out of that predicament, until I sneezed. Then a klaxon began to sound, “Intruder Alert, Intruder Alert!” Shouts of “Get the humanoids!” and “Get the intruders!” rang out.

We ducked into a theater and shook our pursuers. It was a ridiculous “horror” movie in which humans breathed fire and ate robots. Plus, the three-dimensional effects didn’t work.

After the movie we took part in the daily human hunt. Every day at five in the afternoon, the robots of Chapek 9 go on a ritual hunt for humans. Watching them look beneath small rocks and beat tiny bushes with clubs would have been funny, except that a laugh would have probably gotten both Fry and I killed. I bit my lip until it almost bled, though.

As the hunt was concluding, Fry noticed a dilapidated old building, “Hey Leela, that looks like the Robot Porno Theater Bender hangs out at on Earth! Let’s go wait there. I bet he’ll show up.”

I nodded in agreement. When we entered the building, sure enough, there he was! We were so relieved to see him that we partially took off our disguises. When we tried to persuade him to come with us, he refused. We were on our way out of the building, when the Robot Mayor and his entourage walked in.

Busted!

The Robot Mayor yelling, “Bender! Do something!”

Bender grabbed us, “Uh ... got you ... you murderous flesh piles!”

They dragged us off to the so called “Hall of Justice” where we were put on trial and convicted without even a chance of making a defense. What a joke.

As soon as the Robot Judge found us guilty, we were dumped from the courtroom into a dark room. We must have fallen about fifteen feet. It was pitch black. Then a light came on and we saw the five Robot Elders. They were tall robots with bulbous eyes of different colors. They wore identical brown hooded robes.

I tried to get an explanation of what was going on, but the Red Elder simply said, “Silence! Bring in Bender.”

Then Bender walked in. He was certainly surprised to see us. When he asked “Hey, what is this?” the Blue Elder spoke replied, “Silence! It is time to put the humans to death!”

The Elders ordered Bender to kill us. I don’t ever remember being so scared in my whole life. But Bender refused. He explained that we were his friends and that we had never mistreated robots.

That didn’t matter to the Robot Elders. They wanted us dead. Since Bender wouldn’t do it for them, the Robot Elders prepared to “execute function control-shift-kill.” Their hands withdrew up their robes and re-emerged as ray guns!

Fry saved the day. Inspired by the movie we had watched earlier at the Robot Cinema, he stepped forward and shouted menacingly, “Stop! Take one more step and I'll breathe fire on you!”

They were so confused that we managed to make our escape.

Once again, Fry surprised me with his quick thinking and bravery. How can he act so goofy one moment and then save the day in the next? Oh well, I guess life has to have some mysteries.

Anyway, I never saw Fry or Bender run so fast. I had trouble keeping up with them. Of course, the mob of robots in hot pursuit of us who were baying for our blood did lend wings to our feet.

When we jumped onto the winch and began to ascend, I thought we had escaped. But the robots began to stack one on top of the other to try and catch us. Bender saved us by handing them he package we had originally risked our lives to deliver. It unbalanced the stack of robots and down they went.

Back on the ship, we managed to make a clean getaway.

Once we were in deep space, we had the Robanukkah party for Bender after all. Other than a little scrap between Fry and Bender, things went well.

So another mission ended without any of us getting killed, maimed, or mauled. All’s well that ends well!

May 15, 3000

Dear Diary:

Today I had anchovies on a pizza! They were awful, kind of what you’d expect for a fish that Decapodians would love. And to think that Fry turned down Mom’s offer to buy them so he could share them with us.

Perhaps I need to go back to the beginning.

Last week, we were sitting in the usual boring morning meeting at Planet Express when we were reminded that Fry is from another time and place.

He didn’t know that advertisements are beamed into your dreams! He was actually indignant about it. Can you believe it?

At least the discussion led us all to do some shopping. Amy, Bender, Fry and I wound up at Alien Overlord and Taylor. The Professor and Hermes wound up going into Little Neptune to “buy some things.”

Anyway, that idiot Bender got collared for shoplifting. For a robot that claims to be a criminal mastermind, he sure does some amateurish stuff. I almost laughed when I saw him in a tacky green turtleneck sweater with scads of merchandise stuffed under it.

As usual, we went to bail him out. The bail was $80 but we only had $79.50. Stupid Bender, if he hadn’t stolen my wallet we would have been able to spring him. But then, Fry wouldn’t have become a billionaire.

That’s right, a billionaire!

When Fry realized we were short by $.50, he was upset. That is, until he noticed a branch office of the Big Apple Bank.

It was only a short walk, so we all went over. Fry went up to the teller and after some conversation, pulled out his ATM card. What an example of Stupid Ages technology!

It worked, though.

I can still remember what the teller said, “OK, you had a balance of 93 cents…”

Fry seemed elated, “Alright!”

Then the teller continued, “And at an average of two-and-a-quarter percent interest over a period of 1000 years, that comes to…four point three billion dollars.”

Fry hyperventilated and passed out.

It took a while to revive him. It didn’t take long for Fry to start spending, though.

That afternoon, he held a big party at Planet Express. We all had to wear top hats. Frankly, I think we looked ridiculous. The champagne was pretty good.

For the next couple of days, Fry spent money like it was water. He took Bender and me to Le Spa for a complete treatment. Oh, the massage was heavenly! I even took a full-body mud bath.

Later that day, we went famous painting shooting. Really. Fry, Bender, and I blasted the Mona Lisa with our first shot. Fry can really get things done when he puts his mind to it…which he seldom does, unfortunately.

That evening, we went to the Original Cosmic Ray’s for pizza. Fry told us to “keep the tab under 50 million dollars.” He must have been joking. You could buy the whole restaurant for a whole lot less.

The Robot Chef came over to take our order. Fry kept asking for anchovies – which everyone knows have been extinct for 800 years. The poor Chef went into overload and his head exploded. We finally went and got Chinese.

I don’t know what got into Fry, but he went from joyously spending money on others to obsessing about surrounding himself with Stupid Ages junk.

Five days ago, he went out and bought a historic 20th Century Apartment. It was in a ritzy neighborhood and probably cost millions. He had it filled with awful Twentieth Century junk. As if that wasn’t enough, he went to Staadgi and Staadgi Auctioneers to buy more junk!

I tried to talk some sense into him, but he wouldn’t listen. That’s Fry for you, the more wrong he is, the more stubborn he becomes if you point it out. Sometimes he is such a blockhead.

I nearly passed out when he bought a can of stupid anchovies…dead fish…for fifty million dollars! Even worse, he got them after a bidding war with Mom. Such a kind, sweet old lady…how could Fry have bid against her? But then, I keep forgetting that he’s not from our time.

Once he got all the junk to his apartment, Fry became a recluse. When he didn’t come to work for three days, Bender and I went to see if he was OK. We found him sitting in the dark, listening to classical music.

Bender and I tried to reason with him, but Fry turned a deaf ear to us. He wanted to live in the past and told us, “Just leave me alone.”

As I left, I turned to reason with him one last time. He slammed the door in my face and caught my ponytail! Oooh! I could have killed him.

Bender came to the rescue by picking the lock. I wanted to go in and kick Fry’s butt, but Bender persuaded me not to.

Little did I know that after less than twenty-four hours, Fry would be broke except for his can of anchovies. Somebody robbed him of everything he had.

Why can’t I stay mad at him? When he said, “Leela! Bender! I missed you so much!” my heart leaped. He was so sincere and so needy.

As I said earlier, he was getting ready to use his anchovies to make us a pizza when Mom showed up. She offered to buy the anchovies, but Fry refused her point-blank. She took it gracefully when she finally realized we were going to eat them.

There were only two of us who liked the anchovies – Fry and Zoidberg. As a matter of fact, Zoidberg went slightly crazier than usual when he smelled the anchovies. Heck, he went berserk. I know he’s an eating machine, but he polished off the pizza in five seconds flat.

He kept running around shouting, “More! More!”

The Professor finally zapped him with a stun stick. It calmed Zoidberg down like a charm.

So, Dear Diary, now you know the whole story. I’d write more, but it’s getting late. See you later!

May 29, 3000

Dear Diary:

Just when I think I’ve seen it all, something comes along that proves me wrong. Believe it or not, Fry became Emperor of Tri-Sol for a few days!

Just how did a twenty-five year old delivery boy become the Emperor of an entire planet?

Well, it all started about a week ago when I caught Bender watching a cooking show! He tried to tell me he was watching robot porn, but I saw Elzar just as clear as day! It seems that Bender has always been interested in cooking. Too bad his interest in cooking didn’t translate to cooking ability.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Right after I caught Bender watching the Essence of Elzar show, we had one of our daily company meetings. Hermes was in rare form. He finally got around to demanding that Bender do something for his pay.

Bender volunteered as the ship’s cook.

Since the ship’s pantry was empty, Fry, Bender and I went down into Little Neptune to pick up some supplies. While we were there, Fry almost got his lungs carved out by an unlicensed street organ hustler and his goon.

Anyway, Bender and I saved Fry just before he got carved up like a Xmas Turkey.

Oooh! Fry can be so infuriating. When I cautioned him to be careful, he got an attitude. I axe you, what do you do with a man like that? He can be so sweet and endearing one moment. Then he follows it up by acting like a jerk.

We argued all the way back to the Planet Express Lounge. We were still arguing when Professor Farnsworth came in to tell us we were making a delivery to Tri-Sol in the forbidden Zone.

When I asked, “Professor, are we even allowed in the Forbidden Zone?”

He replied, “Why, of course! It's just a name! Like the Death Zone or the Zone of No Return. All the zones have names like that in the Galaxy of Terror!”

Before I could reply he said, “Off you go. Pleasant trip!”

Since we were having some trouble with the Number 2 Dark Matter Converter, Amy came along. Zoidberg hitched a ride because he was bored.

The trip was uneventful, that is except for the dinner. It was Bender’s first meal, so I encouraged everyone to be supportive. That was before I tasted dinner. It was the saltiest slug I’ve ever had…served with a glass of salt water.

Ugh!

I think we were all still feeling the effects of the dinner when we landed on Tri-Sol a few hours later. We set down at the landing pad about a mile from the Palace.

Before Fry took off with the package, I warned him to stay out of trouble. He actually mocked me to my face! He was making “yak-yak” motions with his hand while rolling his eyes. I smacked his hand. He’s lucky I didn’t punch his lights out.

While Fry took his stroll though the 130 degree heat, I ran a few system checks with Amy. Bender, as usual, did nothing while Zoidberg rooted through the garbage for leftovers.

About two hours after Fry left, I began to get worried. He never moves very fast on any delivery, but two hours – even allowing for his having to wait because of Palace protocol – was setting a slowness record.

I scanned the area between the landing pad and the Palace. I could clearly see that Fry had made it to the palace…but there were no return tracks.

“Damn.” I muttered loudly enough for Amy to hear.

She grinned and asked in a voice just dripping with innuendo, “Worried about Fry?”

Her suggestion that I might be worried about Fry as something other than a friend startled me. My reply sounded a bit strained, “Yes, just as I would be for any other crew member.”

“Oh, I see.” Amy replied with the grin still on her face.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I asked.

“Nothing.”

Before I could respond Bender sauntered onto the bridge, “Hey big boots, isn’t Fry back yet?”

“No,” I replied.

“Then let’s go get him. I’ve got a hot date with some fembot floozies when we get back.”

Anyway, we trudged off to the Palace. I half expected to have to rescue Fry from some dungeon. What I found absolutely blew my mind.

Fry had become Emperor of Tri-Sol! He was seated on a golden throne inside the palace, with two Tri-Solian females fanning him.

How did he become Emperor? Get ready for this…he drank the old Emperor. After I warned him not to touch anything, he picked up the first thing he saw and drank it. He just never listens.

Worse was yet to come.

As his Captain, I ordered Fry back to the ship. Did he listen…NO! He decided to stay, a high-quality decision that almost cost him his life.

Looking back, I realize that no one else seemed to think it odd that a shiftless 25-year-old delivery boy could drop out of the sky, kill the emperor, and be rewarded instead of punished. Why am I always the one to see the danger? Why am I always saving Fry’s butt when I should be kicking it?

At any rate, Fry invited us all to his Pre-Coronation Gala. While the others went straight to the party, I did a little investigating. What I found out horrified me. I discovered that the average Emperor of Tri-Sol reigned for one week! I also found out that the penalty for failing to recite the royal oath from memory was instant death.

Of course I went to warn Fry. I took him the Hall of the Emperors so he could see what I had found. It didn’t bother him a bit.

Earlier when the Tri-Solian High Priest, Merg, told Fry that he had to recite the royal oath absolutely flawlessly from memory, it didn’t seem to faze Fry one bit. When I told Fry that he would be killed on the spot if he failed to recite the oath from memory, he simply waved dismissively and said, “Yeah, I was going to thumb through that later.”

Can you believe it?

His response to my pleading with him to see reason was to tell a pointless story about the ant and the grasshopper. It was so frustrating! So I said, “I give up! You're gonna get yourself killed and this time I won't be here to save you.”

He responded with, “Who asked you to? I told you a hundred times to stop treating me like a baby. Now go. Go gather your nuts, you nagging grasshopper.”

I don’t know what kept me from stomping him right then and there. As it was, I shouted, “That's it! I'm never helping you again! If anyone except you needs me, I'll be in the ship.” Then I stormed off.

The next couple of hours are kind of a blur. I couldn’t help it, but once I left the palace I sobbed all the way back to the ship. As big of a pain as Fry can be, I still have feelings for him. Without him, I’d never have become a Star Ship Captain. The thought of his dying because I wasn’t there to save him was unbearable.

Back on board the ship, I paced around like a caged lioness. To ease my tension, I decided that a good workout would let off some steam. So, I headed to the cargo bay and set up my Arcturan Kung-Fu stuff. To my shame, I admit that I stuck Fry’s picture on the punching bag.

It felt good to pound it, though.

Finally, the call for help came…in the form of a collect call from Bender. Why they chose Bender to reason with me, I’ll never know. I guess that…deep down…they realized that I wanted to help Fry, no matter what. I couldn’t see allowing Fry to be killed to get the old Emperor – who apparently wasn’t dead – out of his body.

Right after the conversation began, it took a bizarre turn. Somehow, we began to talk about what I liked best about Bender! I’ll have to admit, I do like his in-your-face attitude.

After grabbing a utility belt, I headed for the Palace. It was surrounded by a sea of obviously unhappy Tri-Solians. Some of them tried to stop me, but I made short work of them. Honestly, I think I could conquer that planet with a butter knife.

But I digress.

I scaled the wall to enter the Throne Room. When I got there, I found a very different Philip J. Fry. To say that Fry was humbled by his experience is an understatement. Realizing that he was crying because he thought I was dead had a powerful effect on me. Before me was the lovable, vulnerable, thoughtful Fry that I care about so much.

The problem before us was that Fry needed to cry the Emperor out of his system. I knew what we had to do. We had to speed up his crying.

So I said, “Listen, Fry, I think I can get us out of this if you're willing to let me help you.”

Fry’s reply took me back to that day in the ruins of old New York, “Thanks, Leela. From now on, I'll take all the help you're willing to give. I know you just want what's best for me.”

I don’t like to dwell on what we did next. We pinched, punched, tweaked, twisted, hair-pulled, and cigar burned Fry into producing a river of tears. It was a tough process, but we finally got the Emperor out.

I had to persuade the newly freed Emperor from continuing to beat Fry with a chair. Enough is enough, after all.

Once the Emperor was shown to the surrounding crowd, something like normality returned. The Tri-Solians went into their nocturnal phase. It was really quite beautiful. But I decided we didn’t need to hang around. After all, somebody might assassinate this Emperor…somebody who didn’t like “solids.”

Our trip home was uneventful. The Number Two Dark Matter Converter is working perfectly. Zoidberg consumed every bit of garbage on the ship. Best of all, the Fry that I care about is back. I hope he’s come back to stay.

Well, Dear Diary, it’s time for bed. See you later.

June 7, 3000

Dear Diary:

Once again, Fry has managed to completely surprise me. New-New York was threatened with destruction by a huge hunk of garbage and Fry showed us how to survive. Or did he just postpone our day of reckoning in a typical 20th Century fashion?

Anyway, I guess the best place to begin is at the beginning.

It all started right after we went to the Academy of Inventor’s Annual Symposium. The Professor decided to take what he thought was his latest invention – a death clock – to compete for the Academy Prize.

The Symposium was a nice affair, even if most of those attending were over a hundred years old. We ran into the Professor’s worst enemy, a nasty, self-centered old geezer named Ogden Wernstrom. He and the Professor had a sharp exchange of words before Wernstrom wandered off for his nap.

I sure was glad to see Wernstrom go before I lost my self control. The Professor may be a cranky, amoral old crackpot…but he’s my cranky, amoral old crackpot! Besides, I hate seeing anyone try to bully someone else.

At any rate, we killed the time before the presentations of each invention by chatting and munching on the hors de oeuvres. They were pretty bland, but what do you expect at a gathering of old geezers?

Wernstrom led off the presentations. He showed off his “Reverse Scuba Suit.” Believe it or not, a fish actually put the darned contraption on, climbed out of the tank, and fetched a stick!

On his way off the stage, Wernstrom came by the table and sneered, “And what will you be presenting this evening, grandpa?”

The Professor retorted, “Let’s just say it’ll put you young whippersnappers in your place!”

Wernstrom replied in a disdainful tone, “I just hope it’s not as lame as that death clock you presented last year.”

I could see the Professor almost go into shock as Wernstrom walked away. Then the Professor grabbed a dinner napkin and began to scribble furiously.

Some of the inventions were pretty nerdy. The one just before the Professor went on stage kind of took the cake. The scientist…I think his name was Reginald Nerdis…had a helicopter beanie!

It really pains me to write these next few lines. When the Professor went up in front of the crowd with his dinner napkin presentation, he bombed miserably. He was jeered off the stage. We took him home and he wept all the way there. He was still sniffling when we got to the meeting room.

What is it about me and crying men? Why am I such a sucker for tears? That idiot Zapp Brannigan played on that weakness to get me into bed. I’m just glad the Professor didn’t try to put the move on me. Anyway, where was I? Oh, right!

Fry encouraged the Professor not to give up. Granted, he said it in one of the goofiest ways possible, but it worked.

The Professor shouted, “By God, you’re right! I’m going to build that Smellescope!”

The next morning Bender, Fry and I went up to the attic where the Professor normally builds his inventions. We…well, I was a little worried. We hadn’t seen the Professor for 12 hours. At his age, he could have fallen and not been able to get up.

Just as we reached the door we heard the Professor shout, “Eureka!”

We were all so startled that we ran into the attic room. The Professor stood before what looked like a telescope on steroids. Fry asked, “Did you build the Smellescope?”

The Professor responded with, “No, I remembered I’d built one last year. Go ahead, try it. You’ll find that every heavenly body has its own particular scent. Here, I’ll point it at Jupiter.”

Fry smelled around for a while before he found what had to be the most awful smelling object in the Galaxy. After I realized that it was moving, the professor determined that it would strike New-New York in less than 72 hours!

We did some research on the Internet to try to determine where it came from. It turns out that the object was a ball of garbage launched into space by New York in 2052. When we found that out, I couldn’t help saying, “Fry, what the hell were you people thinking back then? How could you just throw your garbage away?”

For the next few minutes I tried to explain to a very defensive Fry how in the 31st Century, we recycle everything. He just didn’t see the wisdom of our approach. I remember thinking, “Now I know why we call that time period ‘the Stupid Ages.’”

Within a few minutes, the Professor, Bender, Fry and I were standing in front of Mayor C. Randall Poopenmeyer’s desk at Citihall. We explained the situation to him but he didn’t seem quite convinced. So, he called in his science advisor…none other than Wernstrom!

After an unpleasant exchange between Wernstrom and the Professor, Poopenmeyer decided that we were right. He picked up his phone and called in the military. The result of our meeting was the conclusion that the only way to keep the Garbage Ball from burying New-New York was to blast it apart with precisely positioned explosives.

Guess who got the mission?

We made it to the Garbage Ball with very little trouble. When we got there, I couldn’t believe how excited Fry became about a monstrous pile of filth. He started raving about how it was a “glorious monument to the achievements of the 20th Century.”

He started digging through piles of filth like an excited terrier looking for a fox. I have to laugh when I think of how Fry suddenly sat bolt-upright with his head stuck in a plastic six-pack holder. He was gasping for air and tugging frantically at the plastic.

Of course, I cut him loose.

After that little bit of fun, we went to plant the explosives. When we got to the right spot, I activated the time-delay detonator. We were supposed to have 25 minutes to get away. As it turned out, the Professor set the detonator for 52 seconds…not 25 minutes.

I was furious! We were all going to die because of the Professor. I’m ashamed to say, but we all went a bit crazy. We threw the bomb back and forth before Bender threw it into space. It detonated harmlessly.

Our reception when we returned to Earth was decidedly chilly. There were hostile crowds with signs outside the Planet Express Building. All the way to Citihall we were jeered at by passers-by.

I was both angry and a bit dejected…that is until I saw the Professor at Citihall. He was so upset with himself that I couldn’t stay angry at him. I got angry at the Mayor when he brought that rat Wernstrom in, calling him a “real scientist.”

What really got my goat was that Wernstrom managed to con the mayor out of a tenured position, a big research grant, and five research assistants! Then he walked out, leaving the city to its fate.

I’m glad that the Professor came up with part of the answer to avoiding having the city crushed by a wandering ball of garbage. He realized that we needed something just like the Garbage Ball to knock it away without causing it to break up.

What’s really funny is that Fry completed the answer by suggesting garbage! Not only that, he showed us how to do something we 31st Century sophisticates had forgotten how to do – make garbage!

In less than a day, we had enough garbage to make a ball large enough to do the job. Believe it or not, when we had our garbage ball perched on top of a rocket, ready to launch, that jerk Wernstrom showed up! He mocked the Professor, saying “If my calculations are correct, we’re all going to die horribly.”

I’m so glad we showed him up! The rocket worked perfectly! Well, almost perfectly. It did knock the old Garbage Ball into the Sun. But the other garbage ball flew off into space, destination unknown.

Later that day, the Professor got the Academy prize which the Mayor confiscated from Wernstrom, “after it became apparent that he was a jackass.”

The Mayor praised Fry, too. The crowd cheered loudly and then began to really celebrate. For a moment, I felt as if I was the only sane person on the square. I asked, “Should we really be celebrating? I mean, what if the second garbage ball returns to Earth like the first one did?”

Fry’s response apparently summed up everyone else’s feelings, “Who cares? That won’t be for hundreds of years.”

It seems that we’ve gone back to the Stupid Ages. Oh well, you can’t win them all! Good night Dear Diary! I’ve written enough for one sitting.

July 14, 3000

Dear Diary:

Sorry I haven’t written in a while. There wasn’t much happening until a week ago. Then over the short space of a few days, Bender put us through the torments of Robot Hell – literally!

Now I don’t want to sound judgmental, but Bender really has a talent for causing trouble. Like most of us, he is a mixture of good and bad. The problem is that his good side normally surrenders to his evil impulses without much of a struggle.

Our latest brush with death – or worse – began after we went to a Beastie Boys Concert. They were in good form, busting mad rhymes with an 80% success rate. Bender was on good behavior, even pouring Fry a beer from his chest cavity. But, nothing good lasts forever.

The first sign of trouble was when Fry and Bender jumped into what Fry called “an old-fashioned mosh pit.” He seemed so excited when he jumped in! So, like an idiot, I followed him in. People were just knocking each other around, slamming into each other and crowding so close there was no way we could dance.

Well, you know how much I hate being jostled. So, I used a little Arcturan Kung-Fu to clear the area. Mosh pits must be a guy thing from the Stupid Ages. Only a guy or a manbot could enjoy one.

Anyway, I climbed back to my seat without having to pound anyone else. Fry and Bender joined me just in time to sit through the final number. Just as the concert ended, an old friend of Bender’s named Fender came by our seats. He invited us to meet the band.

Wow! We actually met the real Beastie Boys! I can hardly believe it, we got backstage and everything. They sure were cute. If only they weren’t just heads in jars. While Fry and I were talking with them, Bender disappeared. If I had known what trouble Bender was going to put us through, I’d have chased him down and pounded some sense into his head.

It’s funny, I sort of suspected that something odd was going on. I mean, after the show Bender kept disappearing into the bathroom every five minutes. The odd noises coming out of the bathroom, the smell of ozone and his obsessive need for privacy should have alerted me sooner.

I finally became so suspicious that I actually knocked on the door and asked, “Are you jacking on in there?”

He replied “No! Don’t come in!”

Before I could continue, the Professor came in with a box of subpoenas that we had to deliver to Sicily 8, the Mob Planet.

They say what you don’t know won’t hurt you. Well, it isn’t true about electricity abuse. Bender almost got us all killed on what should have been a routine mission.

Something funny…in a creepy sort of way…happened when we were on Sicily 8. Big Vinnie was the fruitiest example of a mob boss I’d ever seen. Instead of the traditional black pin striped suit, he wore a purple and silver sequined number. He even wore rouge and lipstick!

He really seemed interested in Fry. I tried to spare Fry’s feelings by pretending not to notice and not laughing, but it was so hard!

Even Fry, who can be slow to pick up on a situation, had his “Gaydar” go off. When he handed Big Vinnie the box of subpoenas, Big Vinnie grabbed Fry and gave him a big kiss, right on the lips! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh!

As we were heading home, Fry was still rattled a bit. He sat without speaking for a while. Then he spoke up, “I know Big Vinnie said he was giving me the kiss of death but I still think he was gay.”

Fry caught me a bit by surprise and I just said the first thing that popped into my head, “Did he use his tongue?”

It was Fry’s response that really floored me, “A little.”

Ugh! I thought I was going to barf. I was so grossed out by what had happened to Fry and so engrossed by an electrical disturbance in the Coal Sack Nebula, that I didn’t notice Bender slip out of the cockpit.

Do you now what the jerk did? He steered us into the middle of the disturbance to feed his habit. He got so toasted, both of his legs melted. If that was all that had happened, I wouldn’t have been so angry at him.

Oooh! The electrical discharges damned near fried all of the navigational electronics as well as some of the primary control systems. That nitwit nearly destroyed the ship…and Fry and me with it!

How we made it home I’ll never know.

Once Amy jack hammered Bender from his perch atop the ship, Fry, Zoidberg and I really gave Bender a talking to. The trouble was it pushed him to another extreme, one even more annoying – but not as dangerous – as his electricity abuse.

What was this extreme, you ask?

Bender found religion! When he came in the next morning, he was wearing a natty looking bow tie and singing cheerfully. Fry thought he was whacked out on electricity. But no, Bender announced he’d found religion.

If I’d have known that this would lead us to Robot Hell, I never would have said, “Give him a break, Fry. If this helps Bender clean up his act, then I think we should be supportive.” Sometimes I could just kick myself!

At any rate, everyone agreed with me. As a result, we all wound up going to Bender’s “exceedingly long, un-air conditioned baptism ceremony.” The ceremony wasn’t that bad. When they welded the symbol of Robotology to Bender’s chest, we knew that the ceremony was finally over.

Can you believe it? As a reward for our attendance, Bender decided to treat us all to Elzar’s for dinner!

We each ordered our favorite meal. When it arrived, we were all very hungry. Hermes summed up how we all felt when he said, “Mon, I’m hungrier than a Green Snake in a sugar cane field.”

Unfortunately, Bender kept us waiting while he said “Robot Grace.” He droned on for what must have been twenty minutes. By the time we got to eat, the food was cold. I didn’t care; I ate it as quickly as I could. Then I made an excuse – I think it involved ghosts – and went home.

As I slumped into bed, I remember thinking, “It can’t get any worse.” How wrong I was!

The next day I went into the Hangar and – lo and behold! What did I see? That idiot Bender was sticking a symbol of his religion onto my ship, saying “That ought to convert a few tailgaters.”

Oooh! That was it! I hatched a plot with Fry and the Professor to reacquaint Bender with a little thing called sleaze. That afternoon we headed for the Sin City of the East – Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Right after we arrived, Bender, Fry, Nibbler and I went for a stroll down the boardwalk. I made sure we went down the sleaziest part of the boardwalk. Bender didn’t seem to notice where we were, he just wondered why someone would hire us to make a delivery to Jersey.

To make a long story short, Fry and I coaxed Bender into his old sinful habits. Well, it wasn’t that hard. Just a little encouragement and the old Bender was back. In the twinkling of an eye, he was on stage at the “Power Strip” dancing with Hookerbots, smoking, drinking, and throwing money from a stolen purse to the surrounding floozies.

He tore the symbol of Robotology from his chest and tossed it into a bowl full of dip. Then he said, “Ill catch you two losers later. I’m going to spend the rest of this evening with some fine femmebots.” When we last saw him that evening, he was lurching out the door with a group of four young, giggly femmebots.

Fry and I got rooms at the Trump Trapezoid, where Bender was staying. Fry tried to persuade me that we could save money and have more fun by staying in a single room, but I turned him down. I mean, Fry is cute and funny but he is so unreliable.

So, Nibbler and I spent another quiet evening – alone.

The next morning we went to collect Bender. To our surprise, he was gone. Worse still, there were signs of trouble. Fortunately, Nibbler was able to track Bender to an abandoned amusement park called Reckless Ted’s Funland. Remember? They closed it down when all those people caught salmonella from the flume ride.

Anyway, Nibbler led us right into the old ride called the Inferno. For some reason, when we went inside, I felt my flesh creep. I noticed that next to one of the funhouse mirrors was a symbol of Bender’s old religion. When I called Fry’s attention to it, he did what Fry does – he immediately pressed it.

The mirror slid away to reveal a sight I’ll never forget if I live to be 160.

Stretching away into the distance was a huge flame-filled cavern, filled with robots, devilbots, and bugbots. The scenes of torture and pain were indescribable! We were looking at Robot Hell!

I don’t know how long we stood there, mesmerized by the ghoulish sight. Fry was the first to speak, “Unbelievable! It’s an actual, factual Robot Hell!”

I was still a bit stunned, “Who would’ve thought hell would really exist? And that it would be in New Jersey!”

Fry began a reply, “Actually…” But he didn’t get to finish his thought. Before he could, a trap door opened beneath our feet. We plunged down a long, spiraling slide into the very depths of Robot Hell.

Fry got sick on the way down, as well as picking up a few blisters on his bottom. If we hadn’t been in such a fix, I would have laughed. As it was, I tried to encourage Fry.

The end of the slide was pretty abrupt. Both Fry and I landed on our bottoms…kind of hard. We both looked up and gasped. We had found Bender…as well as the Robot Devil himself!

Fry found out that that the arch fiend had been torturing Bender with up-tempo dancing and singing. No one deserves such a fate!

I decided that the best defense was a good offense, so I asked (a lot more boldly than I felt), “Alright, Beelzebot, what’ll it take to get our friend back?”

The Robot Devil tried to lie to us, but I finally got it out of him. All we had to do was to win a fiddle contest.

Did I mention the fiddle was solid gold? Fry said, “Wouldn’t a solid gold fiddle weigh hundreds of pounds and sound crummy?”

What could be easier? I mean, I used to play the drums. They are kind of similar. Besides, I figured that Fry was right. Anybody would sound equally crummy on a solid gold fiddle.

So who knew? The Robot Devil whipped out the fiddle and started to play. To our surprise and dismay, he sounded really good! He even played with his tail!

We were boned!

My mind was racing, what could I do to get us out of there? To gain a little time, I started to play. The Robot Devil laughed at my efforts.

That made me angry, so I said, “Time for the drum solo” and swung the fiddle with all of my might. I connected with the side of the Robot Devil’s head. He went down like a felled tree.

Fry shouted, “Run!” The three of us ran pursued by hordes of bugbots and devilbots. Somehow Fry and I were separated from Bender. We were surrounded by a crowd of devilbots with pitchforks. I brandished the fiddle to keep them at a distance.

“Well, Leela old girl,” ran through my mind, “This is it. Sell your life dearly.”

Just then Bender swooped in. Somehow, somewhere he had gotten a set of wings. He snatched Fry and I up in his arms and flew upwards toward a rapidly closing exit.

It was obvious to me that we going to just miss escaping, so I said, “Hurry, Bender!”

He replied in a voice dripping with sarcasm, “I could if you’d drop the stupid gold violin!”

In the excitement, I had forgotten to drop the stupid – heavy – useless violin. In my embarrassment I could only mumble, “Oh, sorry.”

As soon as I let it go, we shot upwards and emerged from the gloom of Robot Hell into the sunlight. Even New Jersey looked good.

As we flew towards the ship, Bender promised never to be too good or too evil again. I asked if he could be a little less evil.

His reply was so typically Bender, “I don’t know…do you think you can survive a 700 foot fall?”

I decided to be quiet until I got my feet back on mother earth. When we finally landed near the ship, I decided that it would be best to just move on with life. Besides, Bender isn’t about to change. Men and Manbots…I’ll never understand them.

Still, all’s well that ends well!

Good night, Dear Diary! I have to groom Nibbler and then I’m off for dreamland.

Buddies