This short short story is from 2001, 2002 or thereabouts. Bonus points to anyone who can figure out where I stole the good professor from (using google doesn’t count.)
Why We Can’t Do Lots of Things at Once
Professor Challenger lives in the future. Because of all the time machines there are dinosaurs everywhere. Luckily most people are robots and when they are stomped they just drink oil from the kitchen faucets which make oil and then they get full size again after they drink enough like bicycle tires. Being stepped on is bad though because robots are very clean and dinosaurs are dirty. Professor Challenger has a solution! Small trained supersmart octopuses in your shoes. They just stay there until you are dirty and then they come out and clean you off with brushes. But the robots say the octopuses are illogical and they won’t put them in their shoes. They would rather use vacuum cleaners. Professor Challenger swears revenge! He kidnaps robots and sends them to the past where there are no vacuum cleaners. The octopuses in the past offer to help, but of course the robots don’t trust them. Instead they marry monkeys. If they’d only married octopuses we would have lots of arms and would be able to do lots of things at once!