Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Lip-Syncing for Change

down and out at a downtown down escalator
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Johnny was delighted. The discarded candle stump was as large as his thumb and there was still an hour left before the morning rush started. He squeezed the wax find into his backpack beside Frankie and gave her an encouraging pat on the head – they’d soon be wolfing down breakfast. He gave the ground a kick and sped off on his spring bike towards the nearest escalator.

At the bottom of the down escalator, the boy quickly unpacked and assembled his gear. Gripping a needle with pliers, he caused it to glow red hot over the candle’s flame. Standing idly beside the moving stairs as if waiting for someone, he carefully pressed the needle’s hot tip into the rubber of the handrail as it rushed past. While keeping the candle close with one hand, Johnny twitched his other hand ever so slightly, etching the vibrations into the rail.

Within a minute the track was complete, and he fashioned a paper cone, fastening it to the needle with chewing gum. Frankie didn’t say a word as she scampered up onto his outstretched hand and stood there with open mouth. Johnny, hiding the cone behind the bitch, caused its point to freely follow the groove. An eerie but pleasing howl greeted the riders coming down the escalator.

Frankie moved her jaws realistically with the undulating wail, and the charmed commuters donated freely into the open backpack. After ten minutes, Frankie suddenly barked a warning at the sight of two uniformed guards at the top of the escalator, and jumped down into the backpack. While pressing the back wheel of his bike against the handrail, Johnny quickly packed his primitive phonograph. The wheel spring was wound up well before the guards were halfway down, causing the bike with the boy and his dog to accelerate away towards the nearest cafe.

FarmerJohn, Sep 03 2004

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       both the phonograph and the spring bike are impressive. but why is frankie a bitch?
etherman, Sep 03 2004
  

       Reminds me of an idea some archeologists were working on to reproduce the sounds of ancient languages. They looked for lines left on pottery by bits of hair or fibre that were touching the damp clay while on a potters wheel in the hope that some of the sounds would have been recorded. I don't think they got very far.
wagster, Sep 03 2004
  

       [etherman] 'Cause she ain't nothin' but a hound dog.
FarmerJohn, Sep 03 2004
  
      
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