Pantomime watched as all the other robots in the factory danced.
He tapped his little metal toe off beat and turned down all the
lady-bots that asked him to boogie. Oh, how he yearned to be in
the spotlight twisting his metal torso from side to side with the
tempo, but the last time he tried he was laughed at and shunned
by the others. You see, a mishap at the factory caused poor
Pantomime to be built without an important coordination sprocket.
Without that metal piece, his danced moved appeared as if he
hadn't had his joints oiled in days.
Pantomime became sadder and sadder with each day. He moved slowly
and didn't do any of the work assigned to him. He was jealous of
all of the other robots, and bitter that he was built without his
inner coordination sprocket. He decided he had to have words with
the factory owner.
"Mr. Factory owner, Sir?" beeped the robot.
"Yes Pantomime," said the man, "what can I do for you?"
"Sir, it must be no secret to you that I just simply can not bust
The factory owner nodded.
"It makes me very upset, Sir. Dancing is my passion. If I can not
dance I can not function properly. I want to ask you if it would
be possible to have my coordination piece installed. It would
mean so much Sir, and would make me so happy."
"Oh Pantomime, I apologize, but that inner piece has not been
manufactured for many, many years." explained the man. "I am
afraid it would be impossible to find."
That night, while the other robots recharged, Pantomime stood in
front of a shiny steel wall. He jerked his arms and legs and
studied his reflection while he tried to dance.
"There must be someone, someplace that has that inner piece!" he
cried. "I have to go find it and prove to the others that I can
dance. I just have to."
So Pantomime packed some extra batteries and fuel in a bag and
set out on his journey.
'I'm going to find my inner piece.' thought the determined robot.
He couldn't bear another day of watching the others twist, tango,
and mash potato.
Pantomime first came upon a large building just a few miles away
from the factory. "Cal's Line Dancing Studio. Fun for the whole
family." read the sign. Curious, Pantomime entered the studio and
was at once thrilled by what he saw. Moms and dads and children
and grandparents all dressed in western costumes, and
simultaneously stomping to country music.
"Hey there!" called Cal from the front of the studio.
"Come on and join in on the fun!"
Stomp. One, two, rock forward. Curtsy, three, four, do-si-do,
stomp. One, two, rock forward. Curtsy, three, four, do-si-do...
This went on for days.
Pantomime learned the line dances quite quickly, and even Cal was
impressed with his success, but the robot just still wasn't
'I want to be original. I want to be able to do all kinds of
dances. These people all look like herded cattle.' he thought.
'Besides, I still have not found my inner piece. I bet once I
find it I will be able to break dance with the best of them! I am
wasting my time here.'
Pantomime was very thankful to Cal and his students for accepting
him and teaching him to stomp and twirl in a row, but that was
all it was. He would never be the dancing king he dreamed of if
he did not get away from the simple repetitive moves of line
dancing. That night he snuck away from the studio, and renewed
his search for his inner piece.
Weeks later while refueling at a gas station, Pantomime was
befriended by the most beautiful human he had ever seen.
"What's the matter little bot?" asked the woman. "You look down."
"Oh," sighed Pantomime. "I can not find my inner piece so that I
can dance. It is hopeless. No one can help me."
The woman put her arm around his cold steel shoulder plate.
"Don't you know who I am?"
"Silly bot. Madonna is my name, and I think I am just the person
to show you how to boogie."
Immediately Madonna threw Pantomime into her truck and whisked
him away to her mansion in L.A.
"Come on Pantomime! Vogue!"
Both Madonna and the robot were getting frustrated. This was the
fourth week of practicing dance routines and Pantomime still
appeared as if his joints were rusted and in need of oil.
"Don't just stand there! Let's get to it! Strike a pose there's
nothing to it!"
"Enough." beeped Pantomime with exhaustion. "I am hopeless
Madonna. Without my inner piece I just don't have the
coordination. Besides, these are your dances. I need to be
original. I need my own style. I'm sorry for wasting your time."
"Wait!" yelled Madonna.
But it was too late. Pantomime had already wheeled away.
Exhausted and depressed from his journey, Pantomime sat on the
curbside just outside of an old auto-mechanic shop to rest. Not
long after he had started sobbing, the owner of the shop sat next
to Pantomime and attempted to comfort him.
"Down on your luck, buddy?" asked the grizzly old man.
"Oh. Sorry Sir. I will move if you like. It's just that I am so
tired and so upset. I have come from the old factory, to line
dancing at Cal's, to L.A. with Madonna, and I still haven't found
my inner piece so that I can dan... oh never mind."
"You're inner what?" asked the man.
"Inner piece. It's a very rare coordination sprocket I was built
without, and because I don't have it, I look like a fool when I
dance." explained Pantomime.
"Oh yes. I am very familiar with that sprocket you are talking
about. Actually, we even used to manufacture it right here in
this very shop." said the man.
Pantomime's eyes glowed. "You mean, you have the piece! Can you
install it for me?"
"Whoa now, robot. I think you're getting a little ahead of
yourself. I said we used to manufacture it. But we sold out of
those things years ago."
Another let down for Pantomime. He started to sob uncontrollably.
"But who says you need one of those. Come on," the grizzly old
man flicked the switch of his radio, "show me your moves."
Reluctantly, Pantomime stood up. He wiped the tears from his eyes
and started to bend and twist his mechanical limbs in the same
way that he used to back at the factory. The same way that
everyone used to make fun of. The same way that he had avoided
and forgotten about for many months. He felt awkward and
embarrassed in front of the auto shop owner.
"Wonderful!" chuckled the grizzly man. "What do you call such an
"You think this is dancing?" Pantomime was stunned.
"Why yes! Pantomime my friend, that has to be the most original
dance I have ever seen in my life! What do you call it?"
Just then Pantomime came to a realization. He had had the power
to boogie all along. He didn't need a silly coordination
sprocket, or dance lessons. The inner pieces already inside of
himself were all he needed to be able to dance the most original
dance of his time. The auto-mechanic had opened his eyes. He
needed to make his own waves in the world of dancing in order to
Pantomime felt a sudden confidence that he had never felt before.
His choreography, although awkward, was his own and he was proud
of it. He looked at the old grizzly auto mechanic, who was still
waiting for an answer to his question.
"I invented it." smiled Pantomime. "It's called The Robot."