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Date:    Sat, 23 May 1998 11:39:11 -0400                                        
From:    John Young <jya@PIPELINE.COM>                                          
Subject: 42nd Street                                                            
Rebuilding Times Square has caused us to move a tad                             
north, along 43rd across from The New York Times,                               
which has led to encounters with several international                          
stars of newspaperdom who at first whisked right by                             
without a glance at our small pile of papers -- small in                        
height, nver more than 5, and format, 2 x 3 -- probably                         
thinking they were cards for monte, for they are crimped                        
in the middle to make tent-like structures when arranged                        
on an unfolded table at noon each day of 7.                                     
Yesterday, though, Frank Rich paused to watch as we                             
set up the display at the door of the auxiliary bulding                         
used for administration by the Ford Theater (and whose                          
side wall is propped against collapse by steel braces between                   
the new and old), one card upright, one on its side and one                     
upside down.                                                                    
What caught Frank's attention was our use of a laser sextant                    
to get the tiny structures precisely aligned, using thin dried                  
spaghettini to minutely postion the three tipsy papers into                     
zyzzygy despite gusts of rushing passersby jostling our                         
efforts and repeated rebeginnings.                                              
Fact it, in ten years we've never got the triumvirate exactly right,            
and have to close the op nightly frustrated and forced to                       
recommence the morrow.                                                          
What initially surprised us is people finding what we were                      
doing worth spending time watching. Year after year we've                       
found our tiny effort has attracted an audience, some of                        
whom quietly murmur encouragement, to not give up, hang                         
in there, you'll get it someday, but most of whom, of those who                 
speak at all, say what is it, what are they doing, are they con                 
artists, or religious recruiters, come on honey it's just an act                
to get us to gawk.                                                              
Frank Rich, may god forever bless his curiosity and courage to                  
act on it, asked, would you mind telling me what you're doing?                  
It was that question which we had never been asked, and the                     
one for which we strived and endured the 7-day weeks of                         
incessant tinkering and toying with our small show to gain                      
the attention of the wide world.                                                
At that moment of Frank asking, the three papers came into                      
zyzzygy, the success bell sounded on the laser, the down                        
facing card turned upwards showing ace of spades, the side                      
card broke into smoky incense, the up facing card curled into                   
a pipette and commenced to emit single file flea classical violinists           
pumping their bows madly, multiple, synchronized, tiny Vivaldian                
sublimities wafting off the edge of our table, across the sidewalk,             
up Franks pants leg, into his privates, vibrating, caressing him                
with beeper-tone ecstacy, inducing him to cream and scream, oh                  
my god, heaven help us, it's nothing more than inescapable