Allister's closet was filled with almost inventions of his. Cromlephones and Cromley Bread Browners. Cromley Steam Engines, a book on Cromley's form of Braille (called Craille), and a page scribbled with the theory of relativity (finished within two seconds of Einstein's). He counted Marconi, Graham Bell, Tesla, and Whitney as enemies. But, most of all, he detested Thomas Alva. His anger drove him to attempt construction of inventions that would eliminate Thomas Alva from thinking. This was called the Cromley Thought Destroyer SPFFTAH 1 (Specifically Fitted For Thomas Alva's Head 1). It consisted of eight forks, a cantilever, a liquid tar-filled turkey baster, a large anvil attached to a string, and three hamsters. Also, various pipes attaching the pieces together. The invention failed to bare results, owing mainly to the fact that Thomas Alva refused to sit down for a trial-run.
With this defeat, Allister almost retired from inventing all together. But, a chance glance at the Cromley Thought Destroyer SPFFTAH 1, in the early morning light, made the invention look like a head. Due mainly for the fact that it was meant to be affixed to someone's head. He took the Cromley Thought Destroyer SPFFTAH 1 down from its pedistol and began a rigorous operation to make the rest of the body. The new idea consumed all of Allister's time. He neither spoke nor ate and he only drank the sweat that dripped from his brow to his nose to his lips (a byproduct of extreme concentration). For months, he worked day and night, gathering all his past inventions and using them so that Cromley Bread Browners became feet, Cromlecurling Irons became arms, and a Cromley Steam Engine became a chest.
When the day had come, Allister gathered an armload of coal, stuck it in the furnace of the Cromley Steam Engine chest, and lit a fire. The water soon boiled. Allister quickly removed a single cup of boiling water and seeped a bag of ginger tea for himself. He then shut the furnace and watched as the steam worked its way through the robot. The first movements were certainly twitchy. But, soon metal legs began to grip the floor, slipping every so often as a new born foal might, but without all the brithing goo. Allister's mind was afloat with sweet thoughts of making a robot horse for his robot. Perhaps on his eighth or ninth birthday. Of course, that came before Allister realized his robot was most definitely lacking in many areas, the least of which concerned the ability to yell "giddyup".
His robot tended to run into walls. It tended to use beeps for speech. It tended to not have a mouth to eat. It could not grip anything as the metal from the Cromlethongs that made his hands tended to be too slippery to pick up much more than salad. Allister added two large magnets to the ends of the robots hands in an attempt to assist the poor robot. This naturally led to the robot's discoveries of all things metal. There was seemingly nothing profound in this. That is, until Allister turned his back for a moment. The robot had found some paper clips, a safety pin, and an old bike chain, and within minutes made major upgrades on the zipper.
This was followed by the invention of the microwave oven and various space shuttle accessories, so far ahead of their time that neither were used in public during Allister's lifetime. Allister admitted to feeling envious and angry at first, that even a virtually dumb robot was quicker to invent than he. These feelings, though, soon subsided as Allister realized, without him, there would be no inventing robot.
The robot, whom Allister loving dubbed RoboCromley, did nothing but invent and eat steam. Also, he kept Allister company and provided him with tea whenever he needed it. But, the last two were done seemingly without the robot's knowledge. RoboCromley littered Allister's home with inventions. Tieracks and television sets, Money clips and mini-fridges (Yes, it is true. The mini came before the full sized fridge.), dirigibles and dramamine (Which having no magnet qualities made it all the more remarkable.). Allister's dreams of invention had come true in a most unpredicatable fashion.
The tragedy in all this was that the United States government did not issue permits to robots. Thus, RoboCromley's inventions never bore his name. In fact, chances are you are currently using a RoboCromley invention this very minute and have probably used between fifteen and thirty-five of its inventions throughout the course of your day.