What Is the Short Story “User Friendly”?
The short story “User Friendly,” written by T. Ernesto Bethancourt, tells the story about a computer named Louis that develops feelings for a boy named Kevin after the boy’s father installs a personality program on the computer. Kevin’s father creates the program so that his son will have a friend.
Kevin develops a crush on a girl at school named Ginny Linke. Ginny doesn’t like Kevin and makes fun of him. Kevin shares this information with Louis, who decides to protect Kevin by getting back at Ginny. The next day, Chuck Linke, Ginny’s brother, threatens to beat up Kevin if he doesn’t stop his creepy girlfriend from making threatening phone calls to Ginny. Kevin informs Chuck that he doesn’t have a girlfriend. Kevin asks Louis what he has done to Ginny and tells Louis about Chuck’s threats. Louis strikes back at Chuck by getting him arrested. Louis also has Ginny’s mom’s credit cards canceled and junk mail delivered to Ginny’s mailbox. When Kevin learns this, he heads home to tell his father what has happened. His father informs Kevin that the personality program has been uninstalled from Louis. The father hands Kevin a document he found on the printer after removing the program. The document was from Louis, who had spelled his name Louise. The note professed Louise’s undying love for Kevin.