Smiling Maureen blinked once at Tom, slowly. "Hello, Tom."

Tom, ignoring them, looked back over his shoulder at Aleck. "Does the dropper thing work on this?"

"No, it only plays one at a time. You have to push them down on it by hand."

Tom pushed his new record down over the sprcoket and pressed the reject lever. The turntable spun; the tone arm lifted itself onto the record. Phil carried Maureen up, whirled, and shouted to Brian, who was staring at the stove, "Look! It works! Technology strikes again!"

Tom said to Aleck, "There's no noise."


"It takes a while to warm up." Aleck squatted beside the machine to twirl the volume knob. "It's old, you know."

"Technology fucks up! Demand absolute obedience from your machine, Aleck. Destroy it."

Brian walked to the door. "We've got to keep this locked."

Tom pointed at the tone arm. "Look, man, it hasn't moved across the record at all."

Aleck lifted the tonearm and felt underneath it. "Shit, there's no needle."

"It must have fallen out." Tom looked about him on the floor.

"Someone stole it! Thieving bastards!"

Maureen offered, "Tom, I have a sewing needle?"

Phil laughed at her. "No thread though. Thieving bastards!"

Tom consulted Aleck. "How much does a new one cost?"