Hey kids, gather round and get close to Papa—I got something to talk to all of you about. We're all aware that the dust bowl was hard on Papa's farm, and how we never really recovered from its effects. And when Ma left us, well heck I don't think any of us thought the Hopewell family would ever bounce back from that.
But 1946 is going to be a good year for us, my blessed Margaret, my darling Gertrude, and little Mickey you lovable scamp. Because with the last of our savings I've purchased us a state of the art home computer!
The future is here in Oklahoma, children, and you're living it!
It knows when we've lost faith, and punishes us for it. Don't lose faith in the computer. Don't you dare, Mickey.I know, I'm hungry too! My stomach's been growling louder than a herd of cattle caught in a dust storm. The very same dust storm that destroyed what remained of our farm. But you know we all have to make sacrifices so we can afford the incremental payments on our very own home computer. This computer is going to change our lives for the better! So when you feel a rumble in your bellies, lay your eyes on our home computer!
Sure it's a behemoth of a machine, large enough to fill our entire house. Margaret, you had to give up your bed and dresser, and darling Gertrude, you had to give up the dollhouse Ma built you before she passed, so don't think I'm not listening to you because I am. Heck, we only have room in the house for this small table and a very modest spice rack. I miss my spices terribly. But we all have to be grown-ups about this and make sacrifices. For the computer.
The computer knows better than us. Remember that. The computer is better than us. I can feel it in my bones.
Little Mickey, my sweet sweet little sick boy. I'm sorry to say that we can't afford the medication for your seemingly everlasting prairie fever. And that's a damn travesty, it is and I know this. But I need you to be a big strong man for Papa. Look me in the eyes my sickly boy, and you stop coughing. Because your tiny, boy hands are the only ones that can fit into certain parts of our home computer. And we need you because of that. It's a very temperamental machine.
It knows when we've lost faith, and punishes us for it. Don't lose faith in the computer. Don't you dare, Mickey. I'll stop shaking you when your faith in the computer is back, or until your prairie fever has left your tiny, weak body.
Don't try and help him Gertrude, Margaret, my body is strong. The computer said so! The computer wouldn't lie to me! I named the computer “Ma”! I named her Ma! Ma wouldn't lie to me, not about our darling little boy, Mickey!
You'll be a baseball player, Mick. The computer said it would help you! It'll teach you to hit the ball farther than any man, because it knows. It knows, Mickey! Stop flailing or I'll put you in the computer!
I'll put you all in the computer! Just watch me!