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Get Out of Our Skies!   By:

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The long suffering public went along with billboards and singing commercials; they tolerated half a dozen sales pitches in a half hour radio or TV show; they suffered stoically through the "hard sell" and the "soft sell." But when the hucksters turned the wild blue yonder into a vast television screen, they howled



On the first cloudy day in November, Tom Blacker, the shining light of Ostreich and Company, Public Relations Counsellors, placed a call to a shirtsleeved man on the rooftop of the Cannon Building in New York City.

His message brought an immediate response from the waiting engineer, who flicked switches and twirled dials with expert motions, and brought into play the gigantic 50,000 watt projector installed on the peak.

In his own office, Tom paced the floor in front of the three window exposure, watching the heavens for the results.

They weren't long in coming.

The eyes came first. Eyes the size of Navy dirigibles, with pupils of deep cerulean blue, floating against the backdrop of the gray cumulus. The long lashes curled out almost a hundred feet from the lids. Then the rest of Monica Mitchell's famous face appeared: the flowing yellow locks, the sensuously curved lips, parted moistly from even white teeth. From chin to hairline, the projected image above the city was close to a thousand feet in diameter.

Then, as if the floating countenance wasn't alarming enough, the ruby lips began to move. Monica's sweet sultry voice, like the first drippings from a jar of honey, overcame the city sounds, and began crooning the syrupy strains of Love Me Alone . Which happened, by no coincidence, to be the title and theme song of Monica's newest epic.

[Illustration: Monica's image plastered across the heavens stopped traffic in all directions.]

It was a triumph. Tom knew it the moment he looked down at the crowded thoroughfare eighteen stories beneath the window. Traffic had come to a more than normal standstill. Drivers were leaving their autos, and hands were being upraised towards the gargantuan face on the clouds above.

And of course, Tom's phone rang.

Ostreich's big scowling face was barely squeezed within the confines of the visiphone screen. He said nothing intelligible for two minutes.

"Relax, Chief," Tom said brightly. "I've been saving this as a surprise."

Ostreich's reply was censorable.

"Now look, D. O. You gave me carte blanche with this Mitchell babe, remember? I figured we really needed a shot in the arm for this new picture of hers. The receipts on her last turkey couldn't pay her masseurs."

Ostreich, who had built his firm by establishing golden public images for various industrialists and their enterprises, had anticipated trouble the moment he let the barrier down to admit such unworthy clients as Monica Mitchell. But he had never anticipated that his ace publicist would display such carnival tactics in their promotion. He growled like a taunted leopard.

"This is a cheap trick, Tom! Do you hear me? Turn that thing off at once!"

"Who, me?" Tom said innocently. "Gosh, D. O. I'm no engineer. I left instructions with the operator to keep the projector going for three hours, until sunset. Don't think I can do anything about it now."

"You'll damn well have to do something about it! You're ruining us!"

"Look at it this way, Chief. What can we lose? If anybody takes offense, we can blame it on that Hollywood gang."

"Turn that damn thing off! If that blankety face isn't out of the sky in ten minutes, you can start emptying your desk!"

Tom was a redhead. He reached over and snapped the visiphone switch before his boss could have the satisfaction. He stomped to the window, still raging at Ostreich's lack of appreciation.

But he chuckled when he saw the activity in the street. The crowds were thickening at the intersections, and a special battalion of city police were trying to keep things moving... Continue reading book >>

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