The Snail Factory

Poncho Season

The Snail Factory

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Lloyd Spiecher is not to be confused with any individual in an office somewhere in the factory speaking into a microphone. The Snail Factory, priding itself on efficiency, simply hired the first animate loudspeaker they could find.

Mounted strategically in a spot with acoustics that resounded to every corner of the island, Lloyd started work in 1924 and still shows no signs of wear or tear. Fed a healthy diet of AC and provided a spectacular view, Lloyd wanted for nothing and spoke proudly every morning whatever words were wired to him from Charlotte's desk. Times were good for Lloyd.

And then Bull VanHorne came to town. Bull grew up in the Bronx and worked for his youth announcing sports games at Yankee Stadium. Booed out of town in 1928 when the Cleveland Indians defeated the Yankees by 18 runs in a 24-6 rout, Bull wandered the seas finding foghorn work where he could, finally ending up at the Factory.

There was no job opening for him, but he persisted and eventually got a job parroting Lloyd's words to the sub-basements where he was least audible. Lloyd took this as a personal insult from management. Sending a feedback pulse down in Bull's direction, Lloyd shorted out his competition and asserted his dominance, resulting in a vicious rivalry that took shape as soon as Bull was repaired.

Matters came to a head in 1941, when Bull and Lloyd finally had it out during a most important announcement, and this story shall also be told...