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. "I am here at the behest of my fans, but I'm not staying without security. I insist on security from day one. Deal?"
A waitress poured him some iced green tea. He took a sip and pointed at the glass. "Please, I need one more teaspoon 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 one in one of my pictures. 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. I don't even have 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 deadbeat 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. The stream of consciousness was sent 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.