Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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The Squat Fellow Spinning the Slinky Squirrel Cage

and also causing it to traverse - Daughter Sue’s account
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On one day, the same day, of every year,
I run into town to see and to hear,
To buy custard croissants and sweet lemonade
And watch the Halfbakery Circus Parade.

There are creatures and clowns in the oddest attires
Like orange-robed Harley Krishnas on copper-coated tires
Or orbital guppies, loud ventriloquist mimes
And even a hippo playing dodgy silent chimes.

But my favorite oddity, coming last but not least,
Even better than the tails for all, tail-selling beast,
Is the giant, glass, gear wheel with steps of gear teeth
That comes rolling down Main Street on wheels underneath.

Behind, propelling it forward, a stair-stepping gnome
With white whiskers, red nose and hat-covered dome.
As the squat fellow climbs the never ending stairs,
On the gear front there walk slinkies, not one but two pairs!

While one slinky slinks down like slinkies often do
And another on the inside through the glass you can view,
But a third one within and a fourth one without
Hang upside down swinging around and about.

You’d think that it’s magic or sleight of the eye
That an under-tooth slinky can gravity defy.
Neither Velcro nor Nitinol helps it descend
Electromagnets, my friend, grab each bending end.

The squirrel cage of slinkies makes the parade quite complete
As the Halfbakery Circus rolls off down the street,
And as long as I dream and as long as I think,
I’ll remember that nimble gnome’s wave and his wink.

FarmerJohn, May 17 2004

Daughter Sue's drawing http://www.geocitie...ohnnie/slinky.html?
[FarmerJohn, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

[link]






       oh, I want one! do they come in smaller sizes?
po, May 17 2004
  

       Hmm, for two-finger stepping...
FarmerJohn, May 17 2004
  

       Wonderful illustration! Tickets for two, please!
Letsbuildafort, May 17 2004
  

       Nice. It's gonna take some nifty electro-magneting to get the upside-down ones to work, but never-ending slinkying would be fun to see.
spacemoggy, May 17 2004
  

       Ha! +
skinflaps, May 17 2004
  

       How could I tell this was an FJ idea?   

       I have trouble with the electronmagnetic upside-down slinky - I don't believe that would work, and even if it did, I think it would interfere with the smooth operation of the right-way-up slinky. But even absent upside down slinkies, I think this would be a sight to see.   

       Perhaps you could post the gravity-defying electromagnetic slinky as a separate idea?
DrCurry, May 17 2004
  

       An electromagnet on the “underside” of a step would hold one end of a hanging slinky while the electromagnet of the step above lets loose the other slinky end. The latter end swings down under the former and swings up the other side to land on the step below the former, where that magnet “grabs” it. To make these work would require timing and tested elasticity and would have no effect on the normal slinkies.
FarmerJohn, May 17 2004
  

       What a fun idea. Excellent drawing , Sue.   

       Makes me want to figure out a way to make slinkies walk up stairs.
Gromit, May 17 2004
  

       But best while midnight sunbathing.
FarmerJohn, May 17 2004
  

       And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street.
RayfordSteele, May 17 2004
  

       Hey, that's really cute. +
sartep, May 18 2004
  

       Aw, it's a family skill! <pinches gnome's cheeks> +
k_sra, May 18 2004
  

       I can't decide which one I like more; The drawing, the poem, or the halfbakery parade idea. They would each get my vote but you'll just have to split this one between them. (+)   
      
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