The Natural Thunder Cafe is situated right next to a cave, which neighborhood children insist leads to the Center of the Earth. Actor Clift Barwell, presumed missing, dead, or both, has appeared in a booth at the cafe. "That's one hell of a hike," Barwell was quoted as saying. "The escalator was out," he chortled, getting a lot of attention from onlookers. Some acted as if they were seeing a ghost.
As he munched on an oozing burrito, Barwell became animated and an audience began to gather. "Although I was developing a fan base in the Center of the Earth, I have come back at the behest of my fans on the surface, but I'm not staying without security. I insist on security from day one. Deal?" A middle aged man at his table high-fived him.
A waitress poured him some iced green tea. He took a sip and pointed at the glass. "Please, I need one and a half more teaspoons of coconut palm sugar in that. I was safe in the Center of the Earth! Until reporters started asking around for me. I'm too famous!" He displayed his signature smile. "Next thing I know is I have a full police escort to the nearest border. Hello!? My standard contract insists on a stretch limo, full bar." He checked the audiences faces. "I'm just playing. I was fine with the scooter. I rode a motorcycle in one of my pictures, you probably know. Some in the papers said it was a stunt double, but it was mostly me. Any-who, the world couldn't live without me." He sipped again. "Perfect, sweetheart."
He paused to pick at a piece of tea leaf which was jammed in his front tooth. "But now, all I have is your love!" He handed the toothpick back to an admirer. "They kept my passport. I don't know why. It's not like I didn't take a ton of selfies with people and sign a whole lot of autographs. They didn't even give me back my wallet."
"Interview's over," announced the owner of the cafe, Mabel Gibbs. "Meal's over, too!" Gibbs gave a nod and slid the plate away from the freeloading customer as the waitress pried the burrito from Barwell's grip. "I just realized that you are that deadbeat who left those helpless kids to fend for themselves!" Ms Gibbs scolded him right before she kicked him out of the cafe. His stream of consciousness continued outside and this reporter had to catch a plane at the airport.
In other news, Bill Duckton is alive and well and he filed this story from Mulch Park. Reports of his demise are highly exaggerated.