“Good morning, sir.”


“May I help you?”

“Just looking, thanks.”

“Certainly. Give me a call if-”

“What do you prices start from?”

“It depends on the quality and quantity, sir.”

“A rough idea.”

“Low grade unconcentrated aerosol is twenty-nine greitons. Superior concentrated crystal jar is one hundred and fifty greitons.”

“How long do they last?”

“The two examples I’ve given run from half an hour right up to a month and a half.”

“Half an hour? It’ll be half gone by the time I get home. That’s fifteen greitons for nothing.”

“Fourteen greitons fifty-siebels, but yes sir, that does seem a little extravagant. I would certainly suggest a concentrated version.”

“But I can’t afford one fifty.”

“In a crystal jar, though.”

“Yes, that’s probably very nice but…”

“Shall I leave you to look around?”

“What have you got up to sixty greitons?”

“In the concentrated variety, not very much but that will get you a week’s worth of unconcentrated.”

“A week?”

“Yes, sir.”

“That’s much better value than the thirty greitons-”

“Twenty-nine. Yes, sir.”


“It’s a different method of transportation sir.”

“Transportation? How?”


“What? I’m not letting you stick any needles in me!”

“It is the cheapest method.”

“And it’ll last a week?”

“Oh yes. Guaranteed to do that.”

“How big are these needles?”

“Tiny. You’ll hardly feel a thing. And we use new ones for every customer.”

“That sounds alright.”

“I can arrange that for you now. Anston! Mark II for this gentleman. Right away.”

“And you say it won’t hurt.”

“Slight sensation then you’ll feel a little light-headed but just think, you’ll get to live for another week!”

“You’re right. It’s worth every siebel.”

“It certainly is.”

“I’m surprised you’re not busier. Seeing as you’re the only place around here to sell-”

“We have our moments, sir.”

“But the people I do see look so happy. You look very healthy yourself.”

“Thank you, sir. Yes, we do provide a wonderful service. Ah, there’s Anston. Thank you. Now, sir, please open your shirt. I just need to get to your lungs.”

204 lung 644676“Lungs?”

“It’s the most direct route.”

“Oh my, that’s huge.”

“But the needle itself is small, see?”

“Oh yes, but I can’t see anything inside-”

“Of course not, sir. Air is transparent.”

“Silly me, of course it is.”

“And you’ll feel so much better. Ready?”

“As I’ll ever be.”

“OK, just a little-”


“Sorry about that.”

“What? What are you doing?”

“Won’t be long.”

“But you’re not inserting air, you’re-”

“Removing it. Of course, sir. Where do you think we get it from in the first place?”


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