Include anywhere: cashews, a drill press, silly men and a whistle.
There were times, she swore, when the station was overrun with humans. Like this one. The Festival of Live Performances bought them out of the woodwork.
She’d already passed four living statues and an eight-foot bride on the way to work, and got a cashew bar off the bride for the Minutes she put into the hat. Ant'il would have to donate it to the food bank, later. She wasn’t too sure about who would win in her biology versus cashews.
Still, the festival also bought in business. She threw open the usually shut partition that shielded her work from public view and set up the hazard rope to keep curious fingers out of things that could -say- shear them right off.
People watching people make things often became people buying things.
It was when she was busy at the drill press, whistling while she worked, that one of the live performances came to her. A cluster of humans (of course) dressed up in chain mail and tabards. Some were dressed in burlap, carried enormous backpacks and, for some reason known only to them, two coconut halves which they bought together in a specific rhythm obscure to Ant'il.
“How may I help you?” she risked.
“It is I, Arthur, son of Uther Pendragon, from the castle of Camelot. King of the Britons, defeater of the Saxons, Sovereign of all England!”
“Really?” Ant'il put the latest part of her work safely away and discretely hit the kill switch for the entire machine shop. She wouldn’t have trusted this lot in a pillow factory.
“And this is my trusty servant Patsy. We have ridden the length and breadth of the land in search of knights who will join me in my court at Camelot. I must speak with your lord and master.”
“Ridden? On… what?”
“A horse, of course.”
Horse. Oh yes. She’d seen a juvenile at a petting zoo, once. Leggy creatures that walked around on one talon and ate vegetation. There weren’t any here, though. “There are no horses. You have been using coconuts to imitate the sound.”
“No we aren’t,” said ‘Arthur’.
Oh, Powers. It was one of those performances. Where the goal was to get some hapless bystander irritated to the point where people started throwing money.
“If I get angry now, will you go away?” asked Ant'il hopefully.