I was nine or ten when I first caught the Get Smart bug. It was witty, sarcastic, and all about spies.
And for some reason, I don’t know why, Hymie the robot caught my attention. Maybe because he was so literal in following instructions, and this struck me as silly. If you were in a hurry and told Hymie to “shake a leg,” he wouldn’t walk faster -- he’d stand there on one leg while shaking the other one.
For some reason, I wanted the other kids at school to think I was a robot, like Hymie. So I took a piece of paper and drew a (very inartistic) sketch of my left arm, showing various freckles. Then I labeled the freckles as if they were buttons. This is a greatly improved version of a third-grader’s sketch.
Then I told Mom that I was going to leave some copies of this diagram out on the school playground to make other kids think I was a robot.
My mom showed great composure by pretending to go along with this scheme and seemed to take this stupid idea as if it were seriously to be considered.
Nowadays I can’t even count the ways that this was silly or dumb or what-have-you. The thing was drawn in pencil by a second- or third grader. Not too authoritative, huh? Also, if I remember right, I didn’t even write my name or any other ID on the scrap of paper. So how could kids know WHO was supposed to be the robot?