CANDACE'S LITTLE HELPER
It was another sunny summer morning in the Flynn-Fletcher home when Mom walked into the kitchen and announced to her children and the family platypus, "All right, Candace, I want you to clean the house."
Candace gestured at her brothers. "And you're not making them do it too?"
"You yourself told me that yesterday the boys weeded and mowed the lawn with their 'Death Ray.' So today, it's your turn to be your mother's little helper."
"Fine." Candace splashed her spoon into her soy milk. "It's not like I have a life."
"Maybe there's one hiding around here somewhere, but who can tell with the mess? Anyway, start cleaning in the basement and work up. And until you're done, Candace, no psychotic phone calls."
"What about non-psychotic phone calls?"
"Do you know how to make one of those? You're of age, you could take lessons. We'll talk. Anyhow, I'm off!"
"Bye Mom!" Phineas said as his mother departed. Then: "You know, Candace, Ferb and I may have inadvertently caused the messes when we levitated the house last Thursday - or was it Tuesday?" He and his brother shared raised eyebrows. "It was both days, wasn't it? Huh, two house levitations in one week. We're in a rut. Anyhow, Candace, perhaps we should help - "
"But why not?"
Candace stormed to the living room and whirled around and glared. "You have no idea how annoying you are, do you?"
"We're just trying to offer a helping hand."
"Errrgh! I'm going down to clean the basement, and when I'm done I'll check on you. Until then, you do no shenanigans - not even merely asking where Perry is!"
In the hallway upstairs, Perry the Platypus trotted along mindlessly. Then he stopped, stood erect, plopped on his secret agent hat, and warily narrowed his eyes with keen intellect.
He entered the bathroom and closed the door. In the hallway could be heard a moment of silence, then a deep, deep sigh. Then, a flush.
With an accompanying splash of water, Perry landed in his secret underground lair.
"Agent P, you're all wet!" Major Monogram exclaimed from the massive screen in front of Perry's control panel. "That must mean - Carl! You didn't send him through the you-know-what again, did you?"
"Sir," said Carl's off-screen voice. "You said we had to recycle the old entrances!"
"Carl, I didn't mean that!" Monogram turned back to Perry. "Anyhoo, Agent P, it's Doofy Time again. Go get 'em!"
Perry saluted rigidly, fired his rocket pack, and ascended out of the lair.
Still onscreen, Monogram called to Carl. "Okay, he's gone. Did you get the stills from the lair surveillance cameras?" Carl handed him a set of photos and Monogram chuckled. "Look at the expression. Post these on our web site right away!"
"About pranking Agent P, sir," the intern said. "Could we have gone too far?"
"We have to do whatever it takes to be popular among our peer group, Carl. Didn't you learn anything in high school?"
"Well, I got an A in pre-calculus."
Monogram rolled his eyes. "That'll get you far in this organization."
Candace clomped down the stairs to the basement, muttering, "Those two have no idea how much they've humiliated me, the way I try to show Mom what they're doing and it always magically disappears before she can see it!"
At the bottom of the steps she shook her fists and cried out, "What ritual must I perform to exorcise the demonic entity that possesses this house? And what can I do to have it work in my favor!"
Then she opened her eyes and gasped at the mess of yard utensils, used clothing, toys, and antique store inventory scattered across the floor. "Omigosh, the mess! It'll take hours to clean!"
She grunted as she yanked on a stack of unsold Lindanna albums intertwined with a bed sheet. "Maybe I could use a helping hand right about - "
Her load broke free and she staggered onto her back. When she picked herself up, she saw, sticking out of the pile, a human-like hand.
Candace gasped. "Who - what?"
Then she noticed that the hand was identical to her own, even the curvature of the wrist.
"Oh, I know!"
Relaxing, she grabbed the arm and pulled out a robot. It was the same size and exact shape as Candace - a duplicate right down to hair and clothing.
"You're that Candroid, from when the boys made robots of themselves. And you know what else you are? Exhibit Uno in El Bust-o of the Century-o!"
She dragged Candroid toward the stairs, but halfway she puffed to a stop. "You're heavy too." She wagged her finger at the statue-like figure. "Stay here! NO magical disappearing like last time! Remember, you're a Candroid. You help me, not the boys!"
Candace pounded up the stairs. Behind her back, Candroid's eyes glowed to life.
On the thirty-eighth floor of the Doofenshmirtz Evil Inc. building, Agent P tapped gently on the open laboratory door.
Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz slouched from the shadows and said, "Hello, Perry the Platypus. Sorry, I forgot to close the door so you could smash it in, my hands were full of groceries. I also don't have a trap ready, so we'll have to improvise." From a pocket of his lab coat, he produced a piece of chalk. "If you don't mind, could you draw a circle around yourself and pretend it's a deadly force field?"
While Perry scrawled a precise circle around his feet, Doofenshmirtz continued, "As you can tell, I'm distracted. I'm not even sure that what I'm doing today is evil. It's for my mechanical man, Norm. He's been moping about not having a girlfriend."
In the shadows deep within the laboratory, Norm the giant robot moaned: "Oh, when will I ever find love?"
"Norm, I made you that girlfriend out of popsicle sticks."
"Then you sent away the sticks for an internet offer."
"You said you wanted the beverage bottle too."
Norm held up the hourglass-like bottle. "I subconsciously thought that because it's shaped like a woman, it is a woman!"
"Yeah, the marketing people saw you coming."
"I had hoped it would be full of sweetness. Instead, it is empty of love."
"The story of my marriage." Doofenshmirtz shambled over to a workbench strewn with electronic components arranged in vague humanoid form. "Anyhow, Perry the Platypus, as you can see, I'm working on building a robotic girlfriend for Norm. Arguably it's more romantic than evil - so you don't have to stay if you don't want to."
"You're good? Okay, you remain hopelessly trapped inside your deadly force field of chalk and I'll finish Norm's robot girlfriend." Then he called to Norm, "Norm, could you get us some lemonade? And I'll be drinking mine out of the new bottle."
Looking as horrified as a robot with a fixed expression could look, Norm stared at him, then at the curvaceous bottle, then at him again.
"That's creepy on so many levels!"
The carrot-topped cyclone known as Candace barraged into the backyard, where her brothers were standing in front of a drawing board.
"Phineas! Ferb!" she bellowed. "Have you two miscreants seen Mom?"
Ferb blinked and shook his head, while Phineas replied, "She hasn't come back from her errands yet."
Candace squinted at the drawing board, which was covered with sheets of paper illustrating various multi-colored patterns.
"What are you doing?" she demanded. "Didn't I tell you, no shenanigans?"
"Scientifically speaking, this isn't a shenanigan. Ferb and I are conducting an investigation into the mathematical field of topology, as to whether it is in fact always possible to draw a map with only four colors so that no two adjacent countries have the same color."
"So, are you planning to color any real countries or, say, paint continents?"
Phineas's eyes lighted. "Ferb, I know what we're going to do tomorrow!"
"No you don't!" Candace smiled smugly. "You'll be grounded and you know why? I found one of your robots. As soon as Mom comes home, it's Bust-O-Rama in the Basement!"
The brothers exchanged worried glances, and Phineas said, "Candace, those robots rebelled against us. The one you found could be dangerous. We need to dismantle it."
"And destroy the evidence? Ha, I'll stand guard!"
In the ringing silence that always lay heavy upon a scene after Candace's departure, Phineas said, "We'd better follow her. I guess preventing a robot uprising is what we're going to do today. Topology will just have to wait."
Back in Doofenshmirtz's lab, Norm returned from the kitchen. Doofenshmirtz took his bottle and said, "Thank you, Norm, now give the glass to Perry the Platypus."
Norm strode over to Perry, then hesitated. "My sensors detect a powerful force field!"
Doofenshmirtz chuckled. "That's very good, Norm. Keeping in the spirit of things. All right, well here's my invisible remote control." Doofenshmirtz extended his empty hand and pushed an imaginary button. "Okay, now I've opened a hole in the force field."
"But where is the hole?"
"About chest level."
"Is it on his right or left?"
"It's in the center, right in front of him."
"How big is - "
"NORM, GIVE HIM THE DRINK!"
Stooping at an inhumanly steep angle, Norm handed Perry the drink. Doofenshmirtz clicked the imaginary remote control again. "There, the invisible hole in the imaginary force field is now closed so once again it is impossible for Perry the Platypus to escape." The mad scientist went back to working at the bench - until he noticed a shadow.
"Norm, building a robot is a complicated procedure. It takes a lot of time."
"You built me in half an hour."
"Well, I want to do this one right."
Norm continued looming. Finally, Doofenshmirtz said, "Norm, you know that huge bomb I built to blow up the Tri State Area? I think I may have accidentally bumped the timer while doing deep knee bends this morning. Could you go check? It's on the deck. And water the plants too."
"I can tell I'm not wanted." Norm lumbered off sulkily.
When he was gone, Doofenshmirtz muttered, "Sheesh, such an annoying nuisance! Just like you and my brother and ex-wife! And why are you looking at me that way, Perry the Platypus? You think I want to be stuck taking care of a giant robot who's always getting in my way? Well, stop sipping so sarcastically!"
Down the steps back into the basement, Candace sputtered: "I've fought dinosaurs! I've been to Mars! They think I can't handle one little de-activated . . . ."
She froze, gaping across the basement at Candroid. The robot was briskly sweeping the floor. All the clutter had been carefully stacked onto the shelves.
"You put everything away in just seconds!" Candace blinked at the shelves. "Candroid, you're amazing!"
Phineas and Ferb came down the steps, wrenches and crowbars in hand. "There it is, Ferb. I don't recall making a robot that looks like Candace. We'll have to disassemble the brain module and see how it happened."
Candace leaped in front of them, spreading her arms to shield the passively standing Candroid.
"You're not doing anything to this poor creature!" Candace snapped.
"Candace, it's a rogue robot. What if it found our robot replicator equipment? It could create a robot army. You know what that would mean?"
"Everyone in Danville would have a clean basement?"
"Candace, if you don't let us dismantle, we'll call Mom and . . . uh . . . . "
Candace said coolly: "The word you're looking for is, 'Bust.'"
"Yeah, well, okay. I guess we'll call Mom and have her . . . uh . . . bust you."
"Hah! You two may know your topitwhosisology, but I am the world's expert on bustology! You created Candroid, so you can't bust me without busting yourself, and that would be a violation of the Law of Conservation of Bustitudinality!"
"Is that a word?"
"Phineas, when it comes to bustology, you are such a waif. And our work here is done. Candace and Candroid are out. PEACE!"
Candace departed, flicking a V. Candroid followed, mimicking the gesture perfectly.
Doofenshmirtz was crouched over the lab bench, scowling deeply as he worked the tools.
"Auggh!" He looked around and scratched his head. "Where did I put the wrench?"
From beneath the level of the bench, a small green hand elevated, holding the wrench.
Doofenshmirtz met the gaze of his nemesis with widened eyes. "Perry the Platypus! How did you escape the impenetrable force field of my imaginary trap?"
Perry returned to where the chalk circle had been all but erased. He pointed at a drawing inside, of a box with a button and antenna.
"Ah!" Doofenshmirtz exclaimed. "You drew an imaginary remote control to deactivate the imaginary force field. In hindsight, I shouldn't have let you keep the chalk."
Doofenshmirtz reached for the wrench in Perry's offering hand, but then raised his hands and backed off with mock alarm on his face.
"Curse you, Perry the Platypus, you've defeated me fair and square! Once again my evil scheme has been foiled! Norm will just have to do without his robotic girlfriend."
Perry placed the wrench on the bench, and gestured at the uncompleted form, nodding.
"What, you want me to continue?"
Nodding at the electronic components, Perry made churning motions with his hands.
"You even want me to hurry up? What's gotten in to you? Why are you helping me? Is it because Monogram and Carl pranked you again?"
Perry rolled his eyes.
"Yeah, I saw the pictures on the web. But that's not all, is it? I can tell - it's because what I'm doing here is for love, isn't it? This robot is a girlfriend for Norm, and you don't want to stand in the way of love. That's why you're helping me!"
Tilting his hat back with his thumb, Perry nodded deeply and slowly.
"Oh, all right." Doofenshmirtz sighed, snatched the wrench, and returned to work. "Perry, you are such an incurable romantic. And seriously, it's a horrible condition, you should see a doctor about it. Or maybe an ex-wife. Believe me, they have the cure."
Arms akimbo, Candace supervised in the kitchen as Candroid washed the dishes and juggled them into the dishwasher. She brought a chair for Candroid to dust the light fixtures, but Candroid simply telescoped her legs. Candace watched television while Candroid lifted the couch and vacuumed underneath.
Candace pointed to the mess in the bathroom. Candroid went inside and the door swung shut. It swung open a split second later, and the bathroom sparkled like a constellation.
Candace got a drink from the kitchen as Candroid whisked by with the mop. While Candace returned to the living room, Candroid whisked by again - on the ceiling.
A moment later, Candace looked around with a shocked smile. "Wow, Candroid, you cleaned this entire place at the Speed of Montage!"
Phineas and Ferb arrived up the stairs, dragging a heavy net.
"Didn't I tell you boys to lay off Candroid?" Candace said.
"It's a menace, Candace," Phineas said. "It's out of control!"
"A good kind of out of control. She just cleaned this house in less time than you guys take to build a roller coaster."
"But Candace, don't you see? It'll replace you in everything you do. First it'll take over your chores, soon it'll take over dating Jeremy!"
"Couldn't you guys build a Jeremy-bot for her?"
"Well, not only is that creepy on so many levels, you're - hey, is that Mom's car?"
Phineas and Ferb raced outside, grabbed Mom, and dragged her up the walkway.
"Oh no!" Candace cried to Candroid. "If they show you to her, then according to my bustitudinal calculations, you'll instantly crumble to dust! Only one thing to do - go shopping!"
They snuck out the back and observed from the side of the house as the boys and Mom entered.
"The shock of paralysis when she sees how clean the kitchen is will take at least half a minute to wear off," Candace whispered. "Time enough to get away!"
From inside the house came an ear-piercing shriek:
"OMIGOSH! IT'S SPOTLESS!"
Doofenshmirtz flopped his hands around over the equipment on the bench while Perry stood next to him, watching.
"Where's the microcontroller?" Doofenshmirtz said. "I can't find the microcontroller!"
Perry pointed to a gadget on the bench. Doofenshmirtz snatched it away and scowled.
"Perry the Platypus, I don't appreciate something creepy on so many levels happening in my presence when I'm not the one doing it!" Doofenshmirtz glared at the equipment. "And you know what? I'm not wasting my time doing favors for that useless robot!"
He wheeled a giant ray gun over to the bench. "My disintevaporinator will end this nonsense!"
He pulled the lever. Nothing happened. Perry was holding the unplugged power cord.
"Perry the Platypus! You've assisted with my plans for the very last time!"
Angrily, Doofenshmirtz grabbed a robotic torso, holding it backwards. "Have I done any 'butt' jokes? It's such an obvious go-to. Anyway, time's a-waist - oh, that works!"
Perry weaved the wild swings as Doofenshmirtz chased him about the room. With the robotic torso poised over his head, Doofenshmirtz closed in - and tripped.
"Ouch!" Doofenshmirtz cried. "Curse my taste for tasseled throw rugs - hey!"
Perry pried away the torso and returned it to the bench. He gestured emphatically. Doofenshmirtz abruptly deflated and moaned.
"You don't understand! Norm is my only non-Nemesis friend! If I build a robot companion, then he won't pay attention to me anymore. I'm divorced, Vanessa is almost grown up - what's this?"
Doofenshmirtz snatched a note from the floor and squinted: "It's from Norm. 'Dear Doc, I heard you say that you don't want me. Don't worry, I'm leaving you for good. Also, I made pepperoni pizza for lunch.'" Doofenshmirtz burst into tears. "Oh no, this is terrible! Not the pepperoni part but the leaving part!"
Then he dried his eyes and bounded to his feet. "The streets are busy this time of day, and Norm is programmed for slapstick comedy. We must find him before there is a horrible yet humorous accident! Quickly, you hold the elevator - I'll get the pizza!"
With all the haste their respective missions called for, they rushed in opposite directions.
Phineas and Ferb were in the car with Mom, riding down the streets of Danville.
"He-he-he-he-he-he," Phineas said. "He-he . . . uh, Mom, I can't do this."
"You have to do the busting laugh," Mom said, "if you're going to switch roles with Candace."
"We're not switching roles. We're just trying to protect her from danger."
"So you said. If the scary robot goes rogue, it'll eat Danville."
"Somehow my warning sounds less credible when you paraphrase it gastronomically."
The box in Phineas's hands beeped and dots on its screen blinked. Phineas pointed. "The robot's heading is east forty-three degrees."
Mom turned down the next street, and grinned at Phineas's box. "A robot detector. How cute! You made that yourself, out of blinky lights!"
"Plus a few recently declassified microprocessors. It's a scanner tuned to the frequency of the homing beacons that we embed within all of our robots, so we don't lose them."
"I like to think I taught you to be responsible that way."
Phineas looked up, and gaped as he saw a huge blur hurling down a cross-street. "Mom, look! It's a giant robot!"
Mom kept her eyes on the road. "You said the robot was the same size as Candace."
"This one is different! Look!"
Mom looked, but only shook her head. "Unless it's invisible, I don't see it."
Phineas exchanged glances with his brother. "You saw it, didn't you, Ferb? A giant male robot. And it was heading toward the Candroid, perhaps to join forces. It may be just as we feared - the robot revolution has begun."
"Or maybe they're going on a date," Mom said. "You know, boy robot meets girl robot."
Phineas sighed. "Please, Mom. We need to stay real."
Lumbering down the street, Norm crashed into one lamp post after another, indenting them with his profile.
"Ouch!" he said. "Slapstick is more fun to watch than perform!"
"Hello, Mister, you're a giant robot, aren't you?"
Norm tilted down and saw a little boy holding a man's hand. "Yes, yes, I am. Yet I notice, you're not frightened of me."
"This is Danville," the man said. "We see giant things all the time. Giant roller coasters, giant girls climbing buildings, giant car washes worn like hats by giant moles."
"I should get out more."
"So what are you? Some kind of marketing gimmick?"
"Marketing people saw me coming!"
"I'll bet. Well, Junior, let's go. That giant stamp collecting convention won't wait."
"Oh wow!" the little boy said. "We're gonna see giant stamps!"
"Lick some for me!" Norm called after them. "I have no saliva!"
Once he was alone, Norm's eyes glowed and his head swung back and forth in a methodical sweep.
"I must find a girlfriend and prove to Doc that I can be self-sufficient," he said. "Then maybe he'll like me."
His visual cross-hairs locked onto a parking meter. "Too demanding." Then a newspaper machine. "No long term relationship there." Then, a fire hydrant. "Once she opens up, I wouldn't get a word in edgewise. Oh, this is crazy - these aren't even robots! An entire city and not one robotic girlfriend! What is this, the twentieth century?"
Just then, a pair of figures jetted past, a red-headed girl riding on the shoulders of a red-headed robot whose wheeled heels spouted flames. They halted across the street.
"That was fantastic!" the girl said as she dismounted from the robot. "I'll have to talk to Stacy about rocket shoes. Come on, Candroid, we need to get you out of sight!"
Norm watched Candroid follow Candace into a clothing store. For a moment he was silent and still, and expressionless as always. Then he bounded across the street with an enthusiasm that would have encouraged a rhinoceros to leap out of the way.
"I know what that was," he said. "And I want one!"
Dragged along through the store, Candroid stopped to stare at the mannequins. "No, no, those are just dummies!" Candace said. "Candroid, you're better than that!"
Candace pulled Candroid - and ran into a blue, pin-striped barrier. "This wall wasn't here last time." She looked up. The obstacle was topped by a huge freckled robotic face. Candace screamed and staggered. Candroid, eyes glowing, stepped in front of Candace with raised fists.
"Whoa!" Norm said. "I just want to say hello!"
Candace squinted at the mammoth robot. "Haven't I seen you before?"
"Pick-up lines are so passé, young lady. Besides, I really want to meet your friend."
Candace put her arms on her hips. "She's not interested. Come on, Candroid!"
Candace pulled, but Candroid was anchored, staring raptly at the towering Norm.
"Candroid, don't waste time on this jerk! You were better off with those dummies!"
Candroid wasn't budging. Norm said: "Your wi-fi or mine?"
Candace glared and said, "You're a full grown man robot. Aren't you a little old to be dating a teenage girl robot?"
"No, no I'm not. I was built this summer!"
Noticing Candroid's adoring gaze, Candace asked softly, "Candroid, is this something you really want? I can't stand in the way of a friend's happiness." But then she sniffed the air and frowned. "Hold on, I smell motor oil!"
"That could be me," Norm said. "I tend to bloat."
Candace sniffed again. "And competence!"
Candace rushed to the aisle and stared toward the door. "Phineas and Ferb are in the building, and they've brought a beepy blinky box and Mom! Hide, Candroid!"
In a panic of waving arms Candace raced off, leaving Norm and Candroid alone together.
"I like soft jazz and long walks," Norm said. "How about you?"
On the sidewalk, holding a robot detector of his own, Doofenshmirtz said between pizza bites to Perry the Platypus: "I install a homing device in all my robots. The people of Gimelschtump taught me to be responsible that way by tarring and feathering me after my first robot went on a rampage. I don't regard the incident as a scarring back story, however, because I learned an important lesson in life. That Evil gets you noticed!"
They entered the clothing store and the beeping changed tone. "Hmm, there's interference from another scanner. What are the odds?"
Perry's eyes widened and he dove into a clothes rack as Mom and the boys walked by.
"Another scanner is jamming the signal," Phineas said. "What are the odds? Anyway, now that we're in range, let's use the remote deactivation device that Ferb rebuilt." He pressed the button. "There - frozen!"
The threesome moved on. Doofenshmirtz looked up. "Ah, the interference has cleared."
With Perry at his side once more, Doofenshmirtz walked on - past a blue wall that whispered: "Psst! Doc! Up here!"
Doofenshmirtz looked up and burst into a wide smile. "Norm, you're okay!"
"You mean you were worried about me?"
"Of course, you oversized idiot. Now come home and let's finish that robot girlfriend."
"I found one already. But now she can't move." Norm showed them Candroid, frozen in pose. "We were only sharing music files. Soft jazz is relaxing, but this is ridiculous."
"Well, let's have a lookie-look." Doofenshmirtz popped open the access hatch on the back of Candroid's head and squinted. "It appears that a deactivation signal has disabled the data multiplexer between the central processor and the servo actuators."
"Doc, please explain in words a robot can understand."
"She can't move."
"Oh no! Is there anything we can do?"
"Hmm, the brain module is working fine." Doofenshmirtz extracted the module from Candroid's head. "How about we just install this brain in the other robot's body."
"That's creepy on - "
"Give it a rest, Norm. My life is like an elevator ride to endless levels of creepiness. And, uh, good pizza by the way."
Norm beamed - literally. "You like me! You really like me!"
"Norm, shush, my nemesis is standing right here!"
Candace nearly collided with the inert body of her robot twin. "I found an exit, Candroid, let's go!"
"She's not going anywhere," Phineas said, leading his mother and brother onto the scene. "We've deactivated the Candroid by remote control."
Candace looked at her mother and the robot body and exclaimed: "Candroid, you're not crumbling to dust! Mom, you do see the robot, don't you?"
"I see a mannequin," Mom said levelly. "Don't robots move?"
"Of course," Phineas said, holding forth the remote control. "And so to demonstrate, we'll re-activate the robot and - " He pushed the remote control button. The robot remained motionless. After repeatedly pushing the button without result, Phineas frowned. "Strange. Nothing is happening."
"You see that too?" Mom said. "I'm not dreaming?"
Ferb walked around Candroid's body and pointed upward. Phineas climbed on Ferb's shoulders and peered through the opened access hatch in the back of the robot's head.
"Oh, no wonder. There's no brain module."
"A mannequin without a brain," Mom said. "Every day it's something new!"
Phineas jumped down. "Wow, Candace, you were right. No one got busted. But don't ask me how or why it worked out that way."
Ferb declared, "Perhaps someday scientists will unravel the mysteries of bustology."
"I'll be happy if they cure the bust urge," Candace said glumly.
"How about we go home and cure the pie urge?" Mom asked.
A small greenish and mindless form trotted by their feet.
"Oh there you are Perry!" Phineas said. "What flavor of pie would you like?"
"Rrrrrr!" said Perry.
"You must have peeked in the fridge!" Mom giggled, unaware that he had.
They departed, leaving Candace alone. She grumbled, but then lapsed into contemplation as she gazed at Candroid's moribund body. A moment later, she heard a quiet cough. Her shorter and pointier brother had returned by himself.
"You know, Candace," Phineas said. "The brain module is the repository of the Candroid's personality. As long as it exists, it's capable of causing mayhem."
"I certainly hope so," Candace replied.
"Uh, any idea where the brain module has gone?"
"To a place where she'll be safer and happier," Candace said softly as she followed her brother out of the store. Then she raised a fist and shouted, "Or I will definitely bust a certain giant robot!"
That afternoon, back in his laboratory, Doofenshmirtz worked with renewed vigor over the body of Norm's robotic girlfriend, which had now been draped with a bed sheet for dramatic effect. Vanessa, his daughter, stood alongside, handing him tools from a cart.
"Thank you for coming, Vanessa," Doofenshmirtz said. "Not to mention any names, but it really helps to have an assistant whose arm reach is longer than that of a platypus."
"So when will it be done, Dad?" Vanessa asked. "I think Norm is getting anxious."
"I'm tied in knots!" Norm said. And he was, literally.
"It will be worth the wait, you will both see!" Doofenshmirtz declared. "I have exceeded even myself by creating the perfect physical form of the ideal woman!"
"I'm about to explode with excitement!" Norm said.
"Open your relief valves."
Steam gushed from Norm's ears. "That's better! I'm still excited, though."
"Just have to install the brain module into the cranial chamber." Doofenshmirtz took Candroid's brain module and lowered it into the head of the draped figure. "Carefully, oh-so-delicately. " He gave a few sharp whacks with a large mallet, then flung his arms in triumph. "There! It is complete! Behold - the perfect female woman!"
And with that, he whisked back the sheet and Candroid in her new robot body stood up. Vanessa's eyes widened and she stared motionlessly and speechlessly.
"She's everything you've programmed me to desire in a woman!" Norm said. "It's like I've always known her!"
Vanessa blurted: "That's because she looks exactly like my mother!"
"What do you mean?" her father asked.
"Well, look at her. The short black hair, the glasses, the nose. Every detail is Mom!"
With complete puzzlement, Doofenshmirtz examined his cybernetic creation. "I - I don't see any resemblance."
"Dad, it's Mom! Your ideal design for a robot woman is Mom! It would be kind of sweet, if it wasn't so twisted."
Doofenshmirtz rubbed his chin and shook his head. "I just don't see a likeness."
Norm whispered to Vanessa: "I do, but notice I've got the sense to keep quiet!"
Vanessa threw up her hands. "I'm outta here. This is too twisted even to bust!"
As she stormed out, Norm lumbered over to Candroid in her new Charlene-Doofenshmirtz-esque body, and the robots held hands. "May I take the lady for a walk now, sir?"
"Go right ahead, Norm! And I wish you all the best of happiness!"
"Oh, I'm very happy, sir! And once again, thank you so much!"
Doofenshmirtz watched them depart, folded his arms, and smiled with satisfaction.
"Well," he said to himself, "except for that I suddenly want to curse Norm in a fit of jealous rage, today has been the most adequate day ever!"