There’s a vending machine on Amber street.

Which you will find odd, if you are familiar with this mighty metropolis, for Amber Street and its surroundings more closely resemble an abandoned Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans than a city. But, there the machine is, dispensing cans of Bert’s Clam Juice.

I can’t say who Bert is or why he cans clam juice. I’d like to know, but his company isn’t listed in the stock pages, and the only result I get from an Internet search is people telling me not to drink the stuff. “It’s flat”, they say. “It will make you flat. You will blow away with the first breeze and get stuck to the side of a building. You will become street art. Everyone will think you are a Banksy original. People who love Banksy will try to place you under plastic protection. People who hate Banksy will pee on you. Disgruntled owners will try to scrub you off. Everyone will marvel at the way your eyes seem to follow them. I beg you, dear friend who lives in a world of three dimensions, do not drink this juice. Leave it be. It is for beings wiser and more terrible than you."

Oh, nonsense. I'm sure I, a red-blooded American, can handle a little clam juice.

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