Archie's Computer

A/N: I don't own IBM, Microsoft, Windows XP, Windows Vista, or any other copyrighted major products corporations.

Chapter 1: An Advance to the Future

Stephanie, the Jewish girl that stayed with the Bunkers beginning in 1978, left the Bunker residence 3 years later to move in with another family relative. With Stephanie gone, as well as the absence of Mike and Gloria Stivick, this meant that Archie and Edith Bunker were all alone in their house.

They had friends and neighbors, but things still got lonely in the house. Everything seemed so boring. While the Stivicks and Stephanie were present, there was so much excitement and commotion that the Bunkers didn't concentrate much on how very little had changed in their house. Looking back, practically nothing had changed in their house over the past decade. Archie still had his same, beloved chair, they had their same bed, same clothes, same refrigerator, same books, same tables, same you name it! They did get a new color television, but that was about it.

One day, Archie was sitting in his chair watching the news and smoking a cigar. An ad flashed on the screen.

"Are you tired of living in the past? Are you bored? Do you want to accelerate your life and move to the future?" the corny narrator asked.

"Boy, you're tellin' me," Archie said.

"Then what you need is…AN IBM COMPUTER!"

Archie raised his eyebrow in wonder. "Computer, huh?"

"That's right, an IBM computer! It can do it all! You can do word processing, store databases, make graphical presentations, and even some programming with command, executive, and batch files!" the announcer said. On the screen, a picture of the 1981 IBM PC appeared on the screen. Green text glowed on it.

"Whaaat?" Archie half-yelled, sounding confused. "What's that mean?"

"You're probably asking, 'what does all this mean?'" the announcer said.

"Shaddup," Archie talked back to the announcer.

"Well, folks, the IBM is really simple to use once you get the hang of it. And did we mention, you can even play games on it! Go out to your local mall and purchase an IBM computer today!" the announcer exclaimed. Then, a deep voice mumbled the words on the fine print, which appeared at the bottom of the screen. "Requires one 5.25 inch floppy disk to load operating system. Average user may find computer not user-friendly. Computer not a multi-tasking machine. Use carefully."

At that moment, Edith ran into the room from the kitchen. "Aaahhhchiieee!" she yelled.

Archie turned his head and looked at Edith in a strange way. "What!" he snapped.

"I heard something from the neighbors about this thing called a computer. You can type stuff with it, and play games, and –"

"I know 'dat, Edith!" Archie said. "I just saw all that on the TV here. It sounds like a real good invention there, the computer. Come on, Edith, let's go to the mall and buy us one of them things."

"Oh, but Archie, those things must be really expensive," Edith said.

"Edith, they can't be that expensive," Archie told her. "Besides, things are too boring around here. We need a computer."

Archie and Edith walked down the street and took the subway to the mall. When they arrived there, they went to the electronics section. They looked around in amazement. They felt alienated among all the new TVs. None of them were made of wood or ran on tubes. They all had black plastic frames and had solid-state circuitry. They also had buttons rather than knobs. There were even some square boxes called videocassette recorders that had really large buttons that opened a slot for video tapes to be put in. The Bunkers felt outdated and out of place in the modernized store.

"Wh-wh-where are we, Archie?" Edith asked, sounding a bit scared. "Everything's so different than it used to be."

"It's the future, Edith. We'll just have to get used to it, that's all," Archie said. He then walked up to a salesman with a yellow checkered suit.

"Hello, how may I help you?" the salesman asked.

"Yeah, buddy, we're looking for a computer," Archie said.

"Oh…a computer, huh?" the salesman asked. "Not many people ask for those. You two must be really rich!"

Edith looked at Archie in an uncertain way, but Archie just flapped his hand to buzz her off. "Where are they?" Archie asked.

"Right this way," the salesman said, leading Archie and Edith to a little stand with a few IBM machines. They had large beige screens with glowing green text. There were images of the IBM logo on the screens, and there were blinking cursors. The computers all hummed together.

"Oh my…" Edith gasped. "I haven't seen anything like this before."

Archie gave Edith a funny look. "Of course you haven't, Edith. That's because it's a new invention." He turned to the salesman. "So, my good friend, how much for one of these things?"