7

The story which I read in about 1950 has to do with a narrator who has witnessed ordinary household machines in his home town rising up and attacking their owner/operators. Toasters, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, hair dryers in beauty salon. NO computers, or aliens from outer space.

It ends with him holed up in his house planning to drive away in his car at night. "She'd never turn on me would she?"

  • I think that this story was "covered" in The Outer Limits. I seem to recall seeing a story based on this in black and white. – ShadoCat Jun 7 at 20:05
  • @ShadoCat the one mentioned over at 60's-70's movie: home appliances revolting against the owners, maybe? – Jenayah Jun 7 at 20:10
  • I've read Skirmish but can't find anything at all about the Robert Bloch story, anyone know which anthologies it's in? – DannyMcG Jun 8 at 5:41
  • 1
    @DannyMcG Oops. No wonder you can't find it, I messed up the title. The title of the Robert Bloch story is "It Happened Tomorrow". It's available at the Internet Archive here and here. – user14111 Jun 8 at 8:04
  • The classic stories about rebellious machines are "It Happened Tomorrow" (Robert Bloch, 1943) and "Skirmish" (Clifford Simak, 1950) but the endings don't match your description, they are definitely not the story you remember reading. [I've corrected the title of Robert Bloch's story, which I erroneously gave as "It Happened Yesterday" in a previous version of this comment.] – user14111 Jun 8 at 8:05
5

The poem "Nightmare Number Three" by Stephen Vincent Binet is somewhat similar sounding:

We had expected everything but revolt

And I kind of wonder myself when they started thinking--

But there’s no dice in that now.

I’ve heard fellow say

They must have planned it for years and maybe they did.

Looking back, you can find little incidents here and there,

Like the concrete-mixer in Jersey eating the wop

Or the roto press that printed 'Fiddle-dee-dee!'

In a three-color process all over Senator Sloop,

Just as he was making a speech. The thing about that

Was, how could it walk upstairs? But it was upstairs,

Clicking and mumbling in the Senate Chamber.

They had to knock out the wall to take it away

And the wrecking-crew said it grinned.

It was only the best

Machines, of course, the superhuman machines,

The ones we’d built to be better than flesh and bone,

But the cars were in it, of course . . .

[...]

(I wish I hadn’t looked into the beauty-parlor

And seen what was happening there.

But those are female machines and a bit high-strung.)

Oh, we’ll settle down. We’ll arrange it. We’ll compromise.

It won’t make sense to wipe out the whole human race.

Why, I bet if I went to my old Plymouth now

(Of course you’d have to do it the tactful way)

And said, 'Look here! Who got you the swell French horn?'

He wouldn’t turn me over to those police cars;

At least I don’t think he would.

Oh, it’s going to be jake.

From PoemHunter.com

  • Yep. That's what I was thinking of, don't know if it is the one OP was looking for .... Blast from the past there! A long long time since I read it. And also the bit about the window cleaner and his own hoist – DannyMcG Jun 8 at 14:44

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