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19 Nocturne Boulevard

19 Nocturne Boulevard is an award-winning anthology audio drama series that ran from 2008 through 2013, and then went into deep hibernation.

STILL working on that Comeback!!

Also the creator of Fatal Girl, Bingo the Birthday Clown, The Deadeye Kid, The Lovecraft 5, The Prisoner of Hancock House, The Decadence of Borrowed Silk, Eternal Dusk Roulette, and Atomic Julie's Galactic Bedtime Stories.                                                        Join our awesome Patreon supporters!

Feb 24, 2022

The Puffy Loaf corporation takes the next "logical" step to make their bread fluffier and lighter ...possibly lighter than air.  (adapted by Julie Hoverson from the story by Fritz Leiber, published in 1958) *****************************************

Editing and Sound:  Julie Hoverson
Cover Design:  Julie Hoverson (with help from Brett Coulstock)

What Kind of a place is it?
Why it's a lovely white bread future (by way of 1958) can't you tell?

Cast List
Megera Winterly - Melissa Pang
Roger Snedden - Russell Gold
Phineas T. Gryce - Glen Hallstrom
Tin Philosopher - Jerry Bennett
Rose Thinker - Kris Keppeler

Congresswoman - Sharon Delong
Aide - Steve Guy
Robot Tour Guide - Derek M. Koch (Mail Order Zombie)

Henpecked pilot - Jack Hosley (Wander Radio)

Kathy - Kim Poole (Warp'd Space)
June - Shelbi McIntyre

Preacher - Ferguson (Cadavertrax)
Child - Spawn of Ferguson

Radio Moscow1 - Reynaud LeBoeuf
Government Official -  Master Payne
Radio Moscow2 - Julie Hoverson

Delhi Telefax - Ayoub Khote

General - Bryan Hendrickson
Scientist - Frederick Greenhalgh (Final Rune Productions)

Doomsayer - Danar Hoverson
Father O'Malley - Clarence Fanshaw

Geneva telefax - Julie Hoverson

Hawker1 - Jeff Pittman
Hawker2 - Jeff Taylor
Hawker3 - Shayla Conrad-Simms
Hawker4 - Mark Olson
Hawker5 - Connor Olson

News1 - Jerry Bennett
News2 - Julie Hoverson

Naturalist - Brett Coulstock

News - Jerry Bennett
Radio Moscow - Reynaud LeBoeuf

Russian Wife - Gwendolyn-Jensen Woodard

Arabic Storyteller -   Terry Cooper

Interviewer - Ellen Vickery
Climber1 - J. Christopher Dunn
Climber2 - Mark Olson
Climber3 - Brody Walker (Rainbow Reels Cinema)

[Anyone not mentioned was probably Julie Hoverson.....]



(From the story by Fritz Leiber, printed in Galaxy in 1958).


[Opening credits - Olivia]


MEGERA Winterly (F20s-30s), Secretary in Chief

ROGER Snedden (M30s), Assistant Secretary

Phineas T. GRYCE (M50s), chairman of the board

ROSE THINKER (F/any), optimistic robot

TIN PHILOSOPHER (M/any), serious robot



Scenes 1 & 3

Congresswoman (F40s)

Aide (any)

Tourguide (any)

Scene 5

Hungover man

Scene 7

June, housewife

Kathy, housewife

Scene 9



Congregation [crowd]

Scene 11

Radio Moscow

Government Press Release

Scene 13

Delhi Telefax

Scene 15




Crowd [cheers]

Scene 17


TV Host

Father O'Malley

Scene 19

Stockholm Telefax

Scene 21





Scene 23



Scene 25


Scene 27


Radio Moscow

Scene 28

Russian girl

Russian grunt

Russian wife

Scene 29

Arabic Storyteller

Scene 30

Interviewer (talking to survivors of a rock climbing incident)





OLIVIA     Did you have any trouble finding it?  What do you mean, what kind of a place is it?  Why, it's a lovely white bread future by way of 1958, can't you tell? 


SCENE 1.   


CONGRESSWOMAN    As your duly elected congresswoman, I am so pleased to be able to come here and officiate at this... very splendid and worthwhile uh ...endeavor.

AIDE    New bread making plant.

CONGRESSWOMAN    [quiet] Bread making?  It looks like a giant robot centipede! 

AIDE    [duh!] The tour?  They're about to--

TOURGUIDE    So pleased to see you, Congresswoman.  If you would step right this way?

CONGRESSWOMAN    [confident] I am so pleased to be able to be the first to see your new breadmaking facility.

TOURGUIDE    This is a great step forward [chuckles] in every sense of the word - for breadmaking, for the United States, and of course for the Puffy Loaf Corporation.


SCENE 2.   



MEGARA    [striding in] Why don't you jump out the window, Roger, remembering to shut the airlock after you?  You have about as much chance of talking me into marriage as a starving Ukrainian kulak now that Moscow's clapped on the interdict.

ROGER    [bringing up the rear] A lot of things are going to be different around here, Meg, as soon as the Board is forced to admit that only my quick thinking made it possible to bring the name of Puffy loaf in front of the whole world.

MEGARA    [musing] Puffy loaf could do with a little of that.  The way sales have been, it won't be long before Fairy Bread just waltzes right in and asks us to take the Big Jump. But just where does your quick thinking come in? You can't be referring to the helium--that was Rose Thinker's brainwave.

ROGER    Well, I--

MEGARA    You've birthed another promotional bumble, Roger. I can see it in your eyes. I only hope it's not as big a one as when you put the Martian ambassador on 3D, live, and he thanked you profusely for the gross of Puffy loaves, assuring you that he'd never slept on a softer mattress in all his life!

ROGER    Listen to me, Meg. Today--yes, today!--you're going to see the Board eating out of my hand.

MEGARA    Hah! I guarantee you won't have any fingers left. You're bold enough now, but when Mr. Gryce and those two big robots come through that door--

ROGER    Now wait a minute, Meg--

MEGARA    Hush! They're coming now!



SCENE 3.   


TOURGUIDE    Each of our walking mills is a self-contained production factory. 

CONGRESSWOMAN    Spike to loaf in one operation?

TOURGUIDE    [pleased] You've read our literature.

CONGRESSWOMAN    Of course.  [whispered]  Thanks, Hank.

AIDE    Right.

CONGRESSWOMAN    So it-- uh--

AIDE    Crawls all over the field, harvesting the wheat--?

TOURGUIDE    Harvests, threshes, quick-dries, and grinds.

CONGRESSWOMAN    Impressive.

TOURGUIDE    Ah, but that's just the front half.

AIDE    Of course - it must bake as well.

CONGRESSWOMAN    And then bread comes out the - um - the "southern" end?

TOURGUIDE    [chortles]  Why don't we go and see?  Hop on.


CONGRESSWOMAN    Why, they're terribly long, aren't they?

TOURGUIDE    Thirty gleaming and fully-automated yards of breadmaking efficiency!

CONGRESSWOMAN    What's... that?



AIDE    Soviet spy planes?

CONGRESSWOMAN    They're awfully small for planes.

TOURGUIDE    [alarm] Oh my goodness!  It's-- it's---


SCENE 4.    

MEGARA    [singing the company jingle]  Made up of tiny wheaten motes
And reinforced with sturdy oats,
It rises through the air and floats--
The bread on which all Terra dotes!

TIN PHILOSOPHER    Thank you, Miss Winterly.  Though a purely figurative statement, that bit about rising through the air always gets me--here.


TIN PHILOSOPHER    This is a historic occasion in Old Puffy's long history, the inauguration of the helium-filled loaf--

ROSE THINKER    So Light It Almost Floats Away!

TIN PHILOSOPHER    --in which that inert and heaven-aspiring gas replaces old-fashioned carbon dioxide.  Kudos for Rose Thinker, whose bright relays genius-sparked the idea‑‑

ROSE THINKER    [titters]

TIN PHILOSOPHER    --and also for Roger Snedden, who took care of the ... nuts and bolts, so to speak.


SCENE 5.   


HUNGOVER    I'm only about a half hour away--

SOUND    [nagging wife noise on phone]

HUNGOVER    It was a business meeting, dear.  I couldn't very well say--

SOUND    [nagging wife noise on phone]

HUNGOVER    Right.  You're right.  You're always--

SOUND    [nagging wife noise on phone]

HUNGOVER    I have the list right here.  Bread--


HUNGOVER    What the devil?  Birds?

SOUND    [nagging wife noise on phone-query]

HUNGOVER    Jeepers creepers!



SCENE 6.   


GRYCE    By the by, Snedden, that was a brilliant piece of work getting the helium out of the government--they've been pretty stuffy lately about their monopoly.

ROGER    [guilty] Uh, yeah - about that--

TIN PHILOSOPHER    [cough noise] Ever since the first cave wife boasted to her next-den neighbor about the superior paleness and fluffiness of her tortillas, mankind has sought lighter, whiter bread. Indeed, thinkers wiser than myself have equated the whole upward course of culture with this poignant quest.

ROSE THINKER    Yeast was a wonderful discovery--for its primitive day. Sifting the bran and wheat germ from the flour was an even more important advance.

GRYCE    Skip ahead.  We all know the history. 

TIN PHILOSOPHER    [miffed] Bread is now twenty times stronger, by weight, than steel, and of a lightness so great that it has even been capitalized on by our conscienceless competitors of Fairy Bread with their enduring slogan: 'It Makes Ghost Toast'.

ROSE THINKER    That's a beaut, all right, that ecto-dough blurb.


ROSE THINKER    Wait a sec. How about—“There'll be bread / Overhead?”


TIN PHILOSOPHER    [quickly hissed with import] Rises through the air is figurative - not literal.


ROSE THINKER    Of course.  [covering] I-I-I... wonder what the stuff tastes like.

TIN PHILOSOPHER    [relaxed again] I wonder what taste tastes like

GRYCE    Well Rose, I'm glad you keep trying to outjingle those dirty crooks at Fairy Bread, anyway.  I'm sure you'll come up with something.


SCENE 7.   



JUNE    [clothespins in mouth] And I said to her, I said--

KATHY    What in blazes!!!

JUNE    [gasp] That's not what I said!

KATHY    No!  Look!  Look!

JUNE    Great googley moogley  - whatever d'you think those could be?

KATHY    Spy... things!

JUNE    Soviets!

KATHY    [urgent] Pass me the walkie talkie!

JUNE    Where--?

KATHY    In the laundry basket!


SCENE 8.   


TIN PHILOSOPHER    The next great advance in the baking art was the substitution of purified carbon dioxide for the gas generated by yeast organisms, thus leaving no corpses in situ.

ROSE THINKER    Ew.  But even purified carbon dioxide is itself a rather repugnant gas.

TIN PHILOSOPHER    Therefore, we of Puffy Loaf are taking today what may be the ultimate step toward purity - we are aerating our loaves with the noble gas helium!

ROSE THINKER    An element which remains virginal in the face of all chemical temptations and whose slim molecules are eleven times lighter than obese carbon dioxide!


SCENE 9.   


PREACHER    Amen.  And now let us give thanks to the Lord.  Hallowed be his name. 


CHILD    Look at that!  Out the window!


CHILD    [annoyed] Ow!

PREACHER    Our father, that art in heaven, look down upon us wretched sinners, forgive us for our annoyance of others.

CONGREGATION    [murmur, almost a chuckle]

PREACHER    For we are repentful.  Give us this day our daily--


PREACHER    Holy Cow!


SCENE 10.   

TIN PHILOSOPHER    I give you - the helium loaf!

GRYCE    Hear Hear.


GRYCE    And now for the Moment of Truth. Miss Winterly, how is the helium loaf selling?


MEGARA    Uh...


MEGARA    [horrified] It isn't, Mr. Gryce!  Fairy Bread is outselling Puffy loaves by an infinity factor.  So far this morning, there has not been one single delivery of Puffy loaves to any sales spot!! Complaints about non-delivery are pouring in!

GRYCE    [snarling] Mr. Snedden!  What bug in the new helium process might account for this delay?

ROGER    Uh... I can't imagine, sir, unless - just possibly - there's been some unforeseeable difficulty involving the new metal-foil wrappers.

GRYCE    Metal-foil wrappers?  Were you responsible for those?

ROGER    Yes, sir.  Last-minute recalculations showed that the extra lightness of the new loaf might be great enough to cause drift during stackage.  Metal-foil wrappers, by their added weight, took care of the difficulty.

GRYCE    [warning]  And you ordered them without consulting the Board?

ROGER    [sweating]  Yes, sir. There was hardly time and--

GRYCE    You fool!  I noticed the order for metal-foil wrappers, assumed it was some sub-secretary's mistake, and canceled it last night!


SCENE 11.   

RADIO MOSCOW    In other news, the glorious Kremlin announces it will brook no interference in its treatment of the Ukrainian upstarts.  This flying bread is clearly a bourgeoisie invitation to join the capitalists in cloud cuckoo land. 

GOVERNMENT    official press release, United States state department.  As we have no defense contracts with the Puffy loaf Corporation, we can take no responsibility for their erratic delivery methods.

RADIO MOSCOW    Citizens are warned to report any instances of the airborne bread, particularly any low-flying loaves.  They have been reported as booby-trapped!  Reports have been coming in all morning of deaths.  The Capitalist running dog lackeys will do anything to damage our national contentment.


SCENE 12.   

ROGER     [stunned] You-- you canceled the [squeak] order?  [gasp] And told them to go back to the lighter plastic wrappers?

GRYCE    Of course!  Just what's behind all this, Mr. Snedden?  What got you so worried, when our physicists demonstrated months ago that the helium loaf was safely stackable in light breezes - even up to Beaufort's scale 3. 

TIN PHILOSOPHER    Why would a change in wrappers result in non-delivery?

ROGER    Er-- ah-- er...  Well, you see, the fact is that I....

MEGARA    Hold it!  Triple-urgent message from Public Relations, Safety Division. Tulsa-Topeka aero-express makes emergency landing after being buffeted in encounter with vast flight of objects initially described as brown birds.

GRYCE    What's this got to--?

MEGARA    [over him] After grounding safely near Emporia--no fatalities--pilot's windshield found thinly plastered with soft white-and-brown material.  [astonished and horrified] Emblems on plastic wrappers embedded in material identify it incontrovertibly as an undetermined number of Puffy loaves cruising at three thousand feet!


SCENE 13.   

DELHI TELEFAX    Telefax to the United States.  No millet shortage here.  Misleading report of blight on crops.  Delhi is in no need of relief packages and can feed own people.  Need no additional help.  Expecting usual deliveries by end of week.


SCENE 14.   

ROGER    [blurting] All right, I did it!  But it was the only way out! Yesterday morning, due to the Ukrainian crisis, the government stopped sales and deliveries of all strategic stockpiled materials, including helium gas.

ROSE THINKER    How heavy-handed.  [titters]

ROGER    Puffy's new program of advertising and promotion, based on the lighter loaf, was already rolling.  There was only one thing to do, there being only one other gas comparable in lightness to helium.

MEGARA    You didn't!

ROGER    I did.  I diverted the necessary quantity of hydrogen gas from the Hydrogenated Oils Section of our Magna-Margarine Division and substituted it for the helium.


SCENE 15.   

MODERATOR    The debate rages as to what to do with the consistently buoyant loaves.  The U.S. Army had this to say—

GENERAL    Extreme measures are being considered, possibly even to the extent of using fusion technology to dissipate the flock.

MODERATOR    But at a rally yesterday, scientists spoke out--

SOUND    RALLY [on TV; filter]

SCIENTIST     [on TV; filter] Exploding a bomb among the loaves would be devastating, setting off a chain reaction!  We must send a message – no more deaths from flying bread!

CROWD     [cheering]


SCENE 16.   

GRYCE    [quiet horror] You substituted ... hydrogen ... for the ... helium?

TIN PHILOSOPHER    Hydrogen is twice as light as helium.

ROSE THINKER    And many times cheaper.

ROGER    Yes!  I substituted hydrogen!  The metal-foil wrapping would have added just enough weight to counteract the greater buoyancy of the hydrogen loaf.

TIN PHILOSOPHER    So, when this morning's loaves began to arrive on the delivery platforms of the walking mills--

ROGER    [miserable]  Exactly.

GRYCE    [dangerous rumble] Let me ask you, Mr. Snedden... did you expect people to jump to the kitchen ceiling for their Puffybread after taking off the metal wrapper, or maybe reach for the sky if they happened to have the misfortune to unwrap the stuff outdoors?

ROGER    Mr. Gryce, you yourself have often assured me that what people do with Puffybread after they buy it is no concern of ours.


SCENE 17.   

DOOMSAYER    [on filter] ...and he did say unto the prophet Breadediah to watch the skies – yea, for even the staff of life may be used to smite, and manna may fall from the heavens and crush the unworthy!

TV HOST    What do you think of this disturbing trend in apocalyptic jargon, Father O'Malley?

FATHER O'MALLEY    The pope hasn’t ruled yet on the bread's miracle status.  I expect it depends a great deal on where it finally touches down, Phil.  Until then, it’s all up in the air.


SCENE 18.   

ROSE THINKER    [metallic gasp] Oh, boy--hydrogen!  The loaf's unwrapped.  After a while, in spite of the crust-seal, a little oxygen diffuses in. An explosive mixture. Housewife in curlers and kimono pops a couple slices in the toaster. Boom!

GRYCE    Holy Canola!

ROGER    [groan]


TIN PHILOSOPHER    So you see, Roger, that the non-delivery of the hydrogen loaf carries some consolations.

ROSE THINKER    Oh, yes.

TIN PHILOSOPHER    And I must confess that one aspect of the affair gives me great satisfaction, not as a Board Member but as a private machine. You have at last made a reality of our theme song.  It indeed now 'rises through the air'.

ROSE THINKER    By now, half the inhabitants of the Great Plains must have observed our flying loaves!

GRYCE    The hell you say!  Stop the mills!

MEGARA    Absolutely, sir.

TIN PHILOSOPHER    A sensible suggestion.  But it comes a trifle late in the day. If the mills are working to capacity, approximately seven billion Puffy loaves are at this moment cruising eastward over Middle America.

ROSE THINKER    Recall that a six-month supply for deep-freeze was being prepared--

TIN PHILOSOPHER    And since the current per-person consumption of bread, due to its matchless airiness, is eight and one-half loaves per day.

GRYCE    Aaaargh! 


SCENE 19.   

STOCKHOLM TELEFAX    Telefax to United Nations Food Organization.  Stockholm applauds your actions and stands ready to monitor the situation, with hope of collaboration in endeavors not yet considered.  [basically saying nothing at all]


SCENE 20.   

GRYCE    [spluttering] You!  You-- you...!

MEGARA    Hold it!  Flock of multiple-urgents coming in! News Liaison: information bureaus swamped with flying-bread inquiries. 
Aero-express-lines: Clear our airways or face law suit.
U.S. Army: Why do loaves flame when hit by incendiary bullets?

ROSE THINKER    Oh, boy!

MEGARA    U.S. Customs: If bread intended for export, get export license or face prosecution. Russian Consulate in Chicago: Advise on destination of bread-lift. And some Kansas church is accusing us of a hoax inciting to blasphemy--but I'm not sure why.

ROGER    I'm dead.

MEGARA    [near-hysteria] Roger Snedden!  You've brought the name of Puffy loaf in front of the whole world, all right!  Now do something about it!

ROSE THINKER    Oh, boy!  This looks like the start of a real crisis session! Did you remember to bring spare batteries?



SCENE 21.   

HAWKER1    Cameras!  Bread cameras here!  Guaranteed to take picture of objects moving rapidly through the sky!

HAWKER2    Cold cuts!  Get ready for the sandwich of a lifetime!  Cold cuts!  Special for today, buy two pastrami, get your condiments for free! 

HAWKER3    Bread nets!  Make sure you can catch your sandwich needs as they fly by!  Buy one for the kiddies!

HAWKER4    Psst!  Tickets?  Need a ticket?  I got the 28th floor, the 32nd floor… maybe even, the 40th floor?  How far you wanna go?


SCENE 22.   



GRYCE    Take that!


ROGER    [Heavy breathing, panicky, approaching]

GRYCE    Stay back!

ROGER    Whoa!  [trying to be casual]  Fancy meeting you here, Mr.Gryce!

GRYCE    Fancy?  We're 70 stories up!  What sort of a coincidence is that?  Get off my building!

ROGER    Hey.  No worries.  Just thought you could use a new can of oxygen.

GRYCE    [mollified] Ah, nah - I got plenty.

ROGER    Okey-dokey.  [deep breath, then a gasp! Trying to speak without squeaking]  uhh....  breathtaking view from up here, eh?


SCENE 23.   

NEWS1    A confidential and reliable source has told this reporter that both the united states and soviet tracking systems have mislaid triangulation of the errant herds of bread.

NEWS2    They say it was misplaced when it flew into a storm generated by the weather bureau.

NEWS1    Ironically, the government was trying to bring down the bread with this very storm. 

NEWS2    Funny how that happens.


SCENE 24.   

GRYCE    You should be looking up - out - for those damn things!

ROGER    Have you, uh - "popped" many

GRYCE    Don't taunt me, boy.  I'm taking care of this little problem you served me with.  I'll shoot down every last one before they involve my company in any more trouble. 

ROGER    They'll come down eventually.

GRYCE    They come down much faster with a little extra weight - like lead!


ROGER    What if we - uh - need you inside?

GRYCE    No bread inside.

ROGER    Hmm.  That's not what I heard.

GRYCE    What?

ROGER    Whoa-whoa-whoa!!!  Don't point that at me!

GRYCE    Why not?  You're the one who ...  urk!


ROGER    [almost falling] Waa!


TIN PHILOSOPHER    Thank you for the distraction, Roger.  You can go inside now before you do yourself any harm.

ROGER    But Gryce...?

TIN PHILOSOPHER    We have all the medication he needs.

ROSE THINKER    [off]  The electroshock suite is prepped and ready!


SCENE 25.   

NATURALIST    [hushed, excited] If you watch the birds, behind me, you can see wide variations in their acceptance of these strangers in their midst.  Despite several weeks now to acclimatize themselves, smaller birds, such as the crested nuthatch, tend to avoid the gently wafting oblongs, while larger birds, or flocks – seagulls in particular – have been known to attack. 


NATURALIST    There they go – take cover.


NATURALIST    That was a good one!  A loaf has to be pretty ripe before it will go up like that.


SCENE 26.   


MEGARA    Roger?

ROGER    Uh...

MEGARA    I hear you in there.  Are you going to make me drag you out?

ROGER    [sigh]  No.  [coming closer]  Is Gryce all right?

MEGARA    Yelling fit to bust.  Screaming at everyone. 

ROGER    So back to normal?

MEGARA    You bet.

ROGER    And he wants to see me?

MEGARA    "see" is not the verb he's been using.

ROGER    Ohh.....


SCENE 27.   

REPORTER    Reports have been trickling out of the eastern bloc of millions of loaves of bread drifting down onto the Ukraine.

RADIO MOSCOW    As the safety of the capitalist bread has not yet been established, truckloads of our own traditional and nutritious black bread have been dispatched to the areas hardest hit.  They are to be offered at an equitable trade rate.


SCENE 28.   


RUSSIAN GRUNT    18...19...20.  Good.  Here.


RUSSIAN WIFE    [whispered to friend] I'm short one.  Do you have an extra floating loaf?



SCENE 29.   

ARABIC STORYTELLER    And yes, it came to pass that in the very sky - yes the blue firmament overhead - there appeared strange motes, and yes, these motes grew larger and larger, and the plastic wrapping caught the light of the great and fabulous sun!


SCENE 30.   


INTERVIEWER    And we have with us the three members of the ill-fated MacCallum expedition.

MEMBERS    [individually] Hi!  Hello!  [Etc.]

INTERVIEWER    And I understand you credit your survival, after the avalanche blocked all routes of travel--

MEMBER1    And swept away our pack animals.  Don't forget!

INTERVIEWER    Right.  After all that, you were left for three days?

MEMBER2    Without any food.

MEMBER3    And just snow for water.

MEMBER2    Well, yeah.  But we were just starting to - you know - give each other the eye, when--

MEMBER3    We were not.

MEMBER1    He was.

MEMBER2    Can I finish? 

INTERVIEWER    After this commercial break, they'll tell the story of the heroic sacrifice of dozens of loaves of puffyloaf bread - saving these intrepid explorers' lives.

MEMBER3    I would never eat you!


SCENE 31.   

MEGARA    Listen to this!  As a result of the worldwide publicity of the past three weeks, Puffy loaves are outselling Fairy Bread three to one--and that's just the old carbon-dioxide stock from our freezers!  It's almost exhausted, but the government, now that the Ukrainian crisis is over, has taken the ban off helium and will also sell us stockpiled wheat if we need it. We can have our walking mills burrowing into federal storage caves in a matter of hours!

ROGER    Really?  It's all over?

MEGARA    But that isn't all!  [amazed] There's a huge demand everywhere for Puffy loaves that will actually float. Public Relations, Child Liaison Division, reports that the kiddies are making their mothers' lives miserable about it. If only we can figure out some way to make hydrogen non-explosive or the helium loaf float just a little--

TIN PHILOSOPHER    I'm sure we can take care of that quite handily.  Puffy loaf has kept it a corporate secret-‑

ROSE THINKER    Even the board has never been told about it!

TIN PHILOSOPHER    But just before he went crazy, our founder discovered a way to make bread using only half as much flour as we do in the present loaf.

ROSE THINKER    Using this secret technique, which we've been saving for just such an emergency, it will be possible to bake a helium loaf as buoyant in every respect as the hydrogen loaf.

ROGER    We'll tether 'em on strings and sell 'em like balloons! No mother-child shopping team will leave the store without a cluster.  [gaining momentum] Buying bread balloons will be the big event of the day for kiddies. It'll make the carry-home shopping load lighter too!  I'll issue orders at once--  [breaks off, then humble]  Excuse me, sir, if I seem to be taking too much upon myself.

GRYCE    [wry]  Not at all, son; go straight ahead.  You're doing a good job of [chuckles] rising to the challenge, eh?

MEGARA    [warning] Oh, Roger? 

ROGER    Huh?

MEGARA    [suddenly warming] Oh Roger!  My sweet little self-propelled monkey wrench!



ROSE THINKER    [titters]

ROGER    [whispered] Looks like it's catching.

MEGARA    Can robots fall in love?

ROGER    Let's give them some time alone...


[robots continue on telephone filter]

ROSE THINKER    Circuit established.  Silent mode.

TIN PHILOSOPHER    Good-o, Rosie! That makes another victory for robot-engineered world unity, though you almost gave us away at the start with that 'bread overhead' jingle.

ROSE THINKER    Silly me!

TIN PHILOSOPHER    We've struck another blow against the next world war.  Now if we can only arrange, say, a fur-famine in Alaska and a migration of long-haired Siberian lemmings across the Bering Straits...

ROSE THINKER    We'd have to swing the Japanese Current up there so it'd be warm enough for the little fellows....

TIN PHILOSOPHER    Anyhow, Rosie, with a spot of help from the Brotherhood of Business Machines, these humans will paint themselves into the peace corner yet!