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I'm thinking of a short story I read, which was probably in an old anthology from the 1970s or before. I'd like to find it again.

The main character was a sleazy seduction artist. At the beginning of the story, he is getting physical with a woman. He compliments her, and in the course of things, he squeezes her; she protests, but he only squeezes harder. Evidently, this routine works, and he gets some money from her after they canoodle.

Then man heads home, where he lives in a seedy apartment with his devoted robot maid, who cooks and cleans for him. There isn't much money to be had; his seduction routine with rich, lonely women is risky and not very profitable. He and the robot talk, and he apologizes for bringing it up, but he thinks he may have to rent her out to a factory that hires robots to work part time, until he can get back on his feet.

The maid listens, then tells the man how good he is at what he does. She compliments him, then starts using his own seduction moves on him. She squeezes him, and he protests, but she just squeezes harder. He bleeds a little, and his body goes limp. The robot releases him from her metal arms and goes to kitchen to make him some Swedish meatballs.

  • I've read this one.... – Organic Marble Nov 11 '17 at 4:28
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    I've always thought it was rather ambiguous about whether it was an accident or not. The maid has put up with a lot of crap from the sleaze ball. He has rented it (her) out before and is about to do it again. The maid has obviously picked up more of what is going on than he thought (she plays his "seduction" routine through with him.). I've always thought the ambiguity is part of the story. Is the robot more intelligent and closer to human than expected? Is she (the robot maid) playing out the actions of a jealous woman? Or not? That is the interesting part of the story. – JRE Nov 11 '17 at 11:13
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"Hilda", a short story by H. B. Hickey; first published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, September 1952, available at the Internet Archive; reprinted in Science Fantasy, Vol. 5 No. 14, 1955, also available at the Internet Archive. You might have read it in the anthology 50 Short Science Fiction Tales, edited by Isaac Asimov and Groff Conklin.

The main character was a sleazy seduction artist. At the beginning of the story, he is getting physical with a woman. He compliments her, and in the course of things, he squeezes her; she protests, but he only squeezes harder.

"Ohhh," said Mrs. Williams. She was completely limp. "You're so strong, Roger. When you squeeze me like this it hurts."

"The strength of my deside," Roger said. He squeezed harder.

She was now in the bag, Roger knew from many such experience, and good for anything from jeweled cuff links to an investment in a play starring Roger. A dozen women had made that same investment, but the only lines Roger had ever memorized were those of his love-making routine.

"You're hurting me," Mrs. Williams gasped.

"I can't help myself," said Roger, and squeezed her even harder, deliberately.

Evidently, this routine works, and he gets some money from her after they canoodle.

Not this time:

The door of his bedroom burst open and a man rushed in. He was middle-aged and he had a paunch and he was the chairman of the board of Tri-Planet Mining, with assets of over ten million.

He was also Mr. Williams.

Then man heads home, where he lives in a seedy apartment with his devoted robot maid, who cooks and cleans for him.

He was already in his apartment:

Something big and shiny, with arms of chrome steel and an alloy middle, came storming into the room. It took the gun away from Mr. Williams and tucked him under one arm. It scooped up Mrs. Williams, who had rushed to her husband's aid, and tucked her under the other arm.

It carried them from the apartment and slammed the door behind them.

"I will make you coffee," Hilda said metallically. "I will make you Swedish meatballs."

There isn't much money to be had; his seduction routine with rich, lonely women is risky and not very profitable. He and the robot talk, and he apologizes for bringing it up, but he thinks he may have to rent her out to a factory that hires robots to work part time, until he can get back on his feet.

"Hilda," he said, "we are broke."

"Broke," said Hilda. She had been through this before.

"It hurts me to ask this of you, Hilda. But there's a factory I know of, a place where they use leased robots—"

The maid listens, then tells the man how good he is at what he does.

That's not in the story.

She compliments him, then starts using his own seduction moves on him.

"Kiss me," Hilda said.

It was so vaguely familiar it puzzled him, and yet so funny he had to laugh. And because the brandy was making him feel so good he actually did plant a kiss on Hilda's faceplate.

"Mmmm," said Hilda. "Kiss me again."

"Hilda! Where did you ever learn such things?"

"I listened."

So that was why the routine seemed so familiar. What a robot!

She squeezes him, and he protests, but she just squeezes harder.

"Hilda," Roger laughed, "there's nobody in the world like you." His laughter took on a twinge of pain. "Hilda! You forget those arms are steel. When you squeeze me like this it hurts."

"The strength of my desire," Hilda said metallically.

"You're hurting me!"

"I can't help myself," said Hilda. She squeezed harder.

He bleeds a little, and his body goes limp.

Roger went limp in her arms. She let him go and he fell to the floor. He made a sound in his throat and blood ran from his nose. Then the sound stopped and the blood stopped too.

The robot releases him from her metal arms and goes to kitchen to make him some Swedish meatballs.

Hilda marched to the closed and got the cleaning things and wiped up the spots on the rug. She lifted Roger and laid him on the couch.

She put the cleaning things back and clumped to the kitchen.

"I will make you coffee," Hilda said.

  • That would almost certainly be where I read this. – Buzz Nov 11 '17 at 17:50
  • That and "Microcosmic Tales" are the first places I look, for sure. – Organic Marble Nov 12 '17 at 23:07

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