Teetering Thomas was the most popular attraction at Zyke’s Famous Circus and Menagerie. People would come from far and wide to see The Ultimate Gareth, whom one could kick and punch repeatedly for the duration of twenty seconds; or they could spend their hard-earned cash on Sweet Yasmine, who ate broken glass without apparent concern for her digestive system. But without Teetering Thomas, Zyke’s commercial enterprise would’ve failed.
Teetering Thomas was billed as a balancing act, but his performance entailed so much more than that. “Balancing act” doesn’t do justice to the tower of detritus he perched himself upon, the sheer magnitude of this column. Desks, palettes, and crates -- wider things were stacked at the bottom. Suitcases, stools, and stemware -- narrower things were stacked at the top. Barrels. Egg cartons. Flashlights. Medicine balls. The whole thing was over forty-two meters tall.
(It should be noted that a column of stuff is not a ladder. A ladder is a metaphor; this stuff was only stuff, foremost and finally.)
The pivotal innovation came when Dr. Florence K. Detweiler, best known in her capacity to guess the condiments associated with your last three meals, designed The Earwig™. This device allowed the user to hear sounds normally too faint for the human ear. Dr. Detweiler's intent was to explore the mysteries of the lower intestines; but when a young consumer inadvertently pointed The Earwig™ at the sky, she found that Teetering Thomas’s voice, heretofore inaudible due to winds and high altitude, was now clear as day. The potential for profit was immediately obvious.
One wondered: what had Teetering Thomas been saying to himself, all these many years? Alone atop his giant column, where he was neither bothered by unwarranted attention or the frivolous demands of small talk?
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