Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: X Minus One
Show: The Snowball Effect
Date: Aug 14 1956

CAST:
NBC ANNCR (3 lines)
2ND ANNCR (1 line)
ANNOUNCER
HOLLOWAY
GROVER
CASWELL
BERNICE, aggressive extrovert
HELEN, officious
TOBY
GIRL
and numerous WOMEN

NBC ANNCR:

In just a moment, "X Minus One." But first--

MUSIC:

1950s EASY LISTENING ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

2ND ANNCR:

You are listening to the distinctive style of Claude Thornhill, one of today's top musicians and bandleaders. It's popular music with all the beauty of a classical symphony. And there are more fine arrangements by Claude Thornhill all this week when he makes his appearance on "NBC Bandstand." In addition, you're treated to the inimitable beat and rhythm of master jazzman Lionel Hampton. Join emcees Bert Parks and Dick Haymes all this week on "NBC Bandstand." [X]

NBC ANNCR:

And now stay tuned for "X Minus One" on NBC.

SOUND:

HIGH-PITCHED ELECTRONIC HUM ... JOINED BY ELECTRONIC BEEPING IN AGREEMENT WITH COUNTDOWN

ANNOUNCER:

Countdown for blast-off. X minus five, four, three, two. X minus one. Fire.

SOUND:

A MOMENT'S SILENCE ... THEN ROCKET SHIP BLASTS OFF

MUSIC:

BUILDS VERTIGINOUSLY TO A CLIMAX ... THEN IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

From the far horizons of the unknown come transcribed tales of new dimensions in time and space. These are stories of the future, adventures in which you'll live in a million could-be years on a thousand maybe worlds. The National Broadcasting Company, in cooperation with Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine, presents -- (HEAVY ECHO) X Minus One!

MUSIC:

TO A CLIMAX ... THEN OUT

ANNOUNCER:

Tonight's story, "The Snowball Effect" by Katherine MacLean.

MUSIC:

COLLEGIATE MARCH ... FOR AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

HOLLOWAY:

(NARRATES) I took over the university at a time of crisis. For one thing, we had been placed on probation by the conference for overpaying football players by one hundred percent, and one-half of the varsity was penalized a year's eligibility. On top of that, I was called in by Mr. Harvey J. Grover of the board of trustees. We had lunch at Twenty-One -- on his expense account -- and, after the Napoleon brandy, he lowered the boom. [X]

SOUND:

RESTAURANT BACKGROUND

GROVER:

Dr. Holloway, the university is in crisis.

HOLLOWAY:

I know, Mr. Grover, I know, but I am assured that our scouts have turned up several likely zinc miners in Colorado. You can assure the board that we'll have a line to reckon with next season.

GROVER:

I'm not talking about football. There are other things at the university, I'm told.

HOLLOWAY:

Well, of course, of course.

GROVER:

Holloway, as president of the university, you've taken on a grave responsibility.

HOLLOWAY:

I know, I know.

GROVER:

I don't mind telling you the board has been gravely concerned. The number one problem facing us is academic freedom.

HOLLOWAY:

It is?

GROVER:

You're darn tooting! We want every academic department free from debt -- running in the black. Is that clear?

HOLLOWAY:

Academic freedom, huh? I see.

GROVER:

Any faculty that can't support itself -- by grants, bequests, corporation or government contracts -- is out!

HOLLOWAY:

All of them?

GROVER:

Down to the last assistant instructor. Look, Holloway, I'll put this to you straight. Most of the board was against hiring you. They had a bright young plant manager from General Products they said could show a profit from a candy store in the Mojave Desert. But I stood up for you.

HOLLOWAY:

Why, thank you, sir.

GROVER:

I told them the president of a university has got to be at least a high school graduate or it doesn't look good. You know-- You did graduate from high school, didn't you?

HOLLOWAY:

Oh, yes, yes. And college, too. I got my masters at Harvard and my doctorate at--

GROVER:

Uh, never mind. Let's not go too far. Have you got this straight now?

HOLLOWAY:

Oh, yes. Yes, I've got to make a profit on the candy store-- I mean, the university--

GROVER:

That's right. Oh, and, uh, Holloway?

HOLLOWAY:

Yes?

GROVER:

How many zinc miners did you say we dug up?

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

HOLLOWAY:

(NARRATES) I started in with Anthropology, Astronomy, Astrophysics, Agriculture. Almost all the departments could show a nice, healthy contract from the Department of Defense for research -- or from some corporation.

Even the classical wing came out okay. They were being subsidized by a pride of Texas millionaires who thought it was "cute" to have original Greek and Latin tombstones set in concrete on their patios. One fellow from Galveston gave a classical barbecue featuring a swimming pool with pornographic marbles from Pompeii set around the scum gutter.

I ran into my first problem when I got to Sociology. [X] (TO CASWELL) Now, look, Dr. Caswell, I'll be frank with you. I'm paid to make sure this institution doesn't come out on the short end of the stick.

CASWELL:

Well, that's a quaint expression.

HOLLOWAY:

I got it from Mr. Grover of the board of trustees, so you can see this is no time for kidding ourselves. Can Sociology pull its own weight? What is it?

CASWELL:

Sociology is the study of social institutions--

HOLLOWAY:

Now, look, Caswell, to the board of trustees, Sociology sounds like "socialism" -- and nothing can sound worse than that. Come on now, what are you doing that's worth anything?

CASWELL:

(OFFENDED) My dear sir--!

HOLLOWAY:

And don't wrinkle your nostrils at me, Caswell! If you've allergies, take an antihistamine. If not, just answer my question.

CASWELL:

This department's analysis of institutional accretion by the use of open system mathematics has been recognized as an outstanding and valuable contribution to--

HOLLOWAY:

Valuable? In what way?

CASWELL:

Well, since the Depression, Washington has been using sociological studies of employment, labor and standards of living as a basis for its general policies of--

HOLLOWAY:

Please! Please, professor! Stick to brass tacks and leave Washington out of this. What specifically has the work of this specific department done that would make it as worthy to receive money as, say, a heart research fund?

CASWELL:

Fundamental research doesn't show immediate effects, Dr. Holloway, but the value is recognized--

HOLLOWAY:

Caswell, all the other departments have managed to squeak by. You're the last one. Unless you can toe the mark, there'll be fourteen sociologists testing The Institutional Efficiency of Unemployment Insurance as an Instrument of Economic Policy.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

HOLLOWAY:

(NARRATES) Caswell knew I had him. Unless he could show me how his department could scratch a buck together, I'd have to expunge his name from the catalogue and have him drummed out of the faculty club. I'll hand it to him, though. He glared from behind his pince-nez and, sliding into his lecture manner, he started his con. [X]

CASWELL:

Institutions -- organizations, that is -- have certain tendencies built in to the way they happen to have been organized which cause them to expand or contract without reference to the needs they were founded to serve. I have developed a form of socio-mathematics to plot these factors. And by comparing formulae--

MUSIC:

FOR A BORING LECTURE ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

HOLLOWAY:

(NARRATES) Is it all perfectly clear to you? (CHUCKLES) Well, it wasn't to me, either. I grasped the idea that he could tell whether an organization would get bigger or smaller, and why. And so, I asked him for proof. [X]

CASWELL:

Well, I - I could give you a demonstration.

HOLLOWAY:

How quickly?

CASWELL:

Six months.

HOLLOWAY:

(TO HIMSELF) All right, let's see. We've got a basketball team averaging seven feet. That ought to keep the board busy till spring and, after that, that bonus pitcher we stole from the Milwaukee Braves-- (UP, TO CASWELL) All right, Caswell. You've got six months.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

HOLLOWAY:

(NARRATES) I forgot about Caswell and the Sociology Department for a couple of days while I went back to convincing semiliterate millionaires that they might as well leave a couple of millions to the university rather than have the federals snap it up in inheritance taxes. I was on to a real beaut -- a button manufacturer with a bad heart who could go any minute, who wanted to endow a scholarship for needy and intellectually gifted lacrosse players. When Caswell came back to see me, we had lunch at the student cafeteria -- on my expense account -- [X] -- and he explained--

SOUND:

CAFETERIA BACKGROUND

CASWELL:

Ever hear of feedback effects?

HOLLOWAY:

Is it something to do with reducing overweight co-eds?

CASWELL:

(CHUCKLES) No, no, it's a mathematical term. You might call it "The Snowball Effect."

HOLLOWAY:

You mean like rolling a snowball downhill?

CASWELL:

That's right. It grows. Now, here's the mathematical symbol.

HOLLOWAY:

That spiral?

CASWELL:

That's the formula for the general growth process. Do you understand the equation?

HOLLOWAY:

Why-- No.

CASWELL:

It accounts for all sorts of institutional growth. The Roman Empire, Alexander, the Masons, the spread of tobacco -- anything. You see, when the snowball becomes too heavy for the cohesion strength of snow, it breaks apart. Now, we've decided to run the test on an organization and make it grow according to the formula.

HOLLOWAY:

I see. You're going to use some club or lodge or something as a guinea pig.

CASWELL:

If you could follow the equation, you'd see I've built a pattern of a "cogent reason" for the "ins" to drag in new members from the "outs" -- and an "urgent factor" to prevent anyone from resigning. That's this Greek symbol here. Kappa for "compulsion."

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

HOLLOWAY:

(NARRATES) I suggested a few changes in the organization plan and we finally worked out a set-up that was nice and simple. We put our heads closer together and tried to pick the best place for a demonstration. [X]

CASWELL:

It should be small enough to observe and yet large enough to be statistically significant.

HOLLOWAY:

How 'bout Passaic, New Jersey? My sister lives there.

CASWELL:

Oh, let's make it Watashaw. I have some student sociological surveys of it already. We can pick a suitable group from that.

HOLLOWAY:

We've got to make this an ironclad demonstration. We'll have to pick some little two-foot-nothing club that nobody would ever expect to grow. Some miserable, pathetic little organization.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

HOLLOWAY:

(NARRATES) We found the perfect test guinea pig -- the Watashaw Wednesday Night Sewing Circle. Caswell and I drove over next Thursday night to a meeting. They always met Thursday night, except every once in a while, when the chairlady forgot to have her hair set, in which case, they met Friday. [X]

SOUND:

SEWING CIRCLE WOMEN CHATTER ... CONTINUES IN BG

BERNICE:

Girls! Girls! Girls! (NO RESPONSE) Ladies? Girls? We have business to conduct, girls! Helen, please!

SOUND:

SEWING CIRCLE WOMEN GROW QUIET

BERNICE:

The regular meeting is now called to order.

HELEN:

Bernice?

BERNICE:

Just a minute, dear. Will the--?

HELEN:

Uh, Bernice?

BERNICE:

You're out of order, dear.

HELEN:

It's not a regular meeting.

BERNICE:

But of course it is. It's Thursday, isn't it?

HELEN:

I distinctly remember when we had that special meeting on Tuesday for Toby's baby shower, we adjourned sine die when she started to have pains.

BERNICE:

But my goodness, it was forced labor. That certainly doesn't count.

HELEN:

But this meeting is just a continuation of the other one.

BERNICE:

(UNDERSTANDS) Oh! (WHICH REMINDS HER TO ASK) How do you feel, Toby?

TOBY:

Fine. Little out of breath.

BERNICE:

Did you try a little dry toast just before climbing the stairs?

HELEN:

But, Bernice--

TOBY:

My doctor said to breathe deeply through my nose and to have Henry tie my shoes for me.

BERNICE:

Well! I'd like to see Alfred tie anything for me. It's three years since I dared get a dress that zipped up the back.

HELEN:

Madame Chairman! I rise to a point of order!

BERNICE:

Well, my goodness, Helen, you don't have to be a martyr about it.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

HOLLOWAY:

(NARRATES) That's the way the meeting of the Watashaw Sewing Circle went on. After a prolonged parliamentary battle, the point was finally carried that this was the tail end of a previously adjourned special meeting. At this point, the secretary, who had shorthand training, read the minutes. [X]

HELEN:

(READS) It was moved by Harriet that a vote of confidence be registered in the administration of the club's business by Bernice. The motion was seconded by Elsie, who said she thought it was only fair because Bernice didn't even have an unlimited phone and look at all the calls she had to make on club business. The motion was amended by Joan to include Bernice Calloway as well as Bernice Hackett, because with two Bernices the whole thing would be confusing and it didn't seem fair to discriminate between Bernices because Bernice Calloway didn't have an unlimited phone either; and, besides, her phone was way upstairs in the bedroom without even a kitchen extension. (BEAT, FLAT) The motion was defeated because of the lack of a quorum.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

HOLLOWAY:

(NARRATES) Finally, the new business of the meeting was reached and Bernice, um, what's-her-name, introduced Professor Caswell and myself as observing professors doing a survey of charitable institutions. After the business meeting, brownies, sponge cake and Apricot Peek-a-boo cookies were served with coffee. Caswell and I drew the unlimited Bernice aside. [X]

SOUND:

SEWING CIRCLE WOMEN CHATTER, IN BG

CASWELL:

You see, Mrs. Hackett, I've been making a few notes on a slightly modified constitution and by-laws for your organization.

BERNICE:

(IMPRESSED) You have?

CASWELL:

You see, it all depends on having a competent and capable lady in charge.

BERNICE:

(DELIGHTED) Oh, yes. Yes! I see!

CASWELL:

Frankly, this plan would be dangerous unless there was a woman of great character elected to the post of chairlady.

BERNICE:

Well, of course!

CASWELL:

You see, there are several ways of -- well -- influencing an election.

BERNICE:

Oh.

CASWELL:

That's why it's important that only the right people fully understand this.

BERNICE:

Oh, you're right! Absolutely! Why, the organization was just floundering before the last election. Now, can I see those plans, professor? They sound like they're just what we need!

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

HOLLOWAY:

(NARRATES) Naturally, she was hooked. As Caswell buttered her up, her eyes began to gleam and she studied the simple little by-laws and constitution the professor had drawn up, nodding happily as the classic beauty of the scheme struck home. The meeting broke up when, after four brownies and a wedge of Butterscotch Cashew Angel Food Surprise, Toby started to have real labor pains. We found out later it was a nine-and-a-half pound boy.

Caswell and I left the meeting and stopped for a pizza and beer to get the taste of the Apricot Peek-a-boo cookies out of our mouths. [X]

SOUND:

PIZZA PLACE BACKGROUND

CASWELL:

Well, there you are, Dr. Holloway. They adopted our by-laws with only one dissenting vote.

HOLLOWAY:

I don't like that secretary. She's a spoiler. Always suspicious. My first wife was like that.

CASWELL:

Don't worry, she hasn't got a chance. That Bernice woman has clear sailing under my equations. It's rigged to favor an aggressive extrovert over the paranoidal personality.

HOLLOWAY:

You're sure it'll work, now?

CASWELL:

I'd stake my academic reputation on it.

HOLLOWAY:

You have.

CASWELL:

Don't worry, Dr. Holloway. We've given that sewing circle more growth drives than the Roman Empire.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

HOLLOWAY:

(NARRATES) We let the whole thing jell for a while. About four months later, I shook loose from my schedule and dropped over to see Caswell. He looked up from a student paper on "The Correlation of Bermuda Shorts Seen at Madison Avenue and Forty-Sixth Street to the Swing Towards Democratic Candidates in the Corn Belt." [X]

CASWELL:

Ah, good morning, Dr. Holloway, good morning.

HOLLOWAY:

Caswell, I just wanted you to know we hadn't forgotten you. Now, about that sewing club business. I'm beginning to feel the suspense. Could I get an advance report on how it's coming?

CASWELL:

Well, I haven't been following it that closely. We're supposed to let it run the full six months and then check.

HOLLOWAY:

But I'm curious. Could I get in touch with that woman? What's her name? Bernice something.

CASWELL:

Uh, Hackett. Bernice Hackett.

HOLLOWAY:

Would it change the results if we checked it now?

CASWELL:

Not in the slightest. If you want to graph the membership rise, it should be going up in a long curve, probably doubling every so often.

HOLLOWAY:

Well, if it's not rising, you're fired, you know.

CASWELL:

If it's not rising, you won't have to fire me. I'll burn my books and shoot myself.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

HOLLOWAY:

(NARRATES) I went back to my office and put in a call to Watashaw. Mrs. Hackett wasn't in. The maid informed me she was at the meeting. That sounded better. If the sewing circle was meeting on a Saturday, then maybe Caswell had a chance.

But she wasn't going to a sewing circle meeting. There was another organization, the Civic Welfare League. I hung up the phone and thought about poor Caswell. If the sewing circle had really gone up the flue, he was on his way up with it. I decided to go over to Watashaw and check, to give the poor old goat the benefit of the doubt.

The meeting of the Welfare League was in the Knights of Columbus building, a tremendous pile used for dozens of club meetings at a time. [X]

SOUND:

BACKGROUND ... POLITICAL RALLY WITH A HUGE NOISY CROWD

HOLLOWAY:

(NARRATES) There was some kind of political rally going on in the main hall. The streets were jammed and I figured I was going to have a tough time finding the little back room where the Civic Welfare League was meeting. I figured they must be in a pretty bad way trying to hold a meeting in competition with a brawl like the one in the main room.

GIRL:

(ENTHUSIASTIC) Right this way, sir!

HOLLOWAY:

Look, miss, I'm looking for a small meeting--

GIRL:

Well, here you are -- membership application, song sheet, by-laws and pledge.

HOLLOWAY:

No, no, you don't understand, I don't want these.

GIRL:

Oh, that's all right. You can keep it. It's a new membership kit. Everyone's supposed to have it. We've just printed up six thousand copies to make sure there'll be enough for this meeting.

HOLLOWAY:

No, you don't understand, miss. I'm looking for the meeting of the Civic Welfare League.

GIRL:

Well, this is it.

HOLLOWAY:

No, no, I mean the one with Mrs. Hackett -- Bernice Hackett.

GIRL:

(GASPS IN AWE) Do you know her? Well, there she is, up on the speakers platform.

SOUND:

CROWD QUIETS FOR--

BERNICE:

(ON MIKE) And now, after the ushers have passed among you with membership blanks, it is time to rededicate ourselves to the principles we stand for! With a bright and glowing future! The best people in the best-planned town in the country! The jewel of the United States! All we need is more members! Now, get out there and recruit! Recruit! Recruuuuuuuuuit!

SOUND:

CROWD CHEERS

MUSIC:

BAND STRIKES UP A LIVELY VERSION OF "(THERE'LL BE) A HOT TIME IN THE OLD TOWN (TONIGHT)" ... THEN IN BG

HOLLOWAY:

(NARRATES) I cornered Bernice Hackett at the speakers table. She had a clear, sparkling look to her eye and she was dressed in a trim gray suit with a towering feather on a small hat. A clutch of pretty junior ushers, all with goose-pimples showing above strapless formals, clustered about her. I managed to get to see her in a back room while the mayor was addressing the meeting.

MUSIC:

CONTINUES IN BG BUT IS NOW MORE DISTANT, FADES OUT BY [X]

SOUND:

DISTANT CROWD BACKGROUND

BERNICE:

Well, hello, there! It's a pleasure to see you!

HOLLOWAY:

What happened to the sewing circle?

BERNICE:

Oh, it's just a little changed, that's all. Helen, dear?

HELEN:

Yes, B.H.?

BERNICE:

Send those wires out to the senator in Washington. You can tell him we want his support on the slum clearance -- or else!

HELEN:

Check.

BERNICE:

(TO HOLLOWAY) Now, let's see, where were we? Oh, yes. We started growing by amalgamating with other small charity groups -- worked much more efficiently that way. [X]

TOBY:

Bernice, we're running out of membership blanks.

BERNICE:

Call the printer -- he's got instructions to keep the type standing.

TOBY:

Check.

BERNICE:

(TO HOLLOWAY) Naturally, we had to change our name each time. But we've still got the same constitution and by-laws -- the ones you professors worked out for us.

HOLLOWAY:

Then you've been growing?

BERNICE:

Oh, dear, yes.

HELEN:

Bernice? What do we do about the town board of aldermen?

BERNICE:

I explained to them they can't get in at a group rate. Each one will have to join separately.

HELEN:

Check.

BERNICE:

(TO HOLLOWAY) Oh, yes, professor! We're growing and growing and GROWING!

MUSIC:

FOR RAPID GROWTH ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

HOLLOWAY:

(NARRATES) I kept close watch on the sewing-- Er, the Civic Welfare League for the rest of the month. Evidently, they'd swallowed up the real estate organizations because they came out with a plan to attract new industries to town and there was a gimmick -- splitting up the profits among club members only. It was the same provision Caswell built in to split up profits from dues and fines, but now it was operating in the hundred thousands. I graphed the rise in membership and it went up like the first rise in a roller coaster. I went over to Caswell's office to tell him the good news. [X]

CASWELL:

(MATTER-OF-FACT) Naturally, I knew the equations would work.

HOLLOWAY:

Well, don't be so calm about it. With a demonstration like this, I can get all kinds of grants and funds for the Sociology Department. You'll think it's snowing money.

CASWELL:

Well, naturally. I expected this. I haven't been following the test at all but I was quite confident.

HOLLOWAY:

I don't mind admitting I wasn't. Well, that organization sure blew up. Now, let's see the formula for stopping it.

CASWELL:

Oh, I didn't complicate the organization with negatives. I - I wanted it to grow. It falls apart naturally when it stops growing for more than two months. You remember, we built into it the idea that the members know what happens if the membership stops growing. Why, if I tried to stop it now, they'd cut my throat.

HOLLOWAY:

Yeah, yeah, they sure were enthusiastic at that meeting.

CASWELL:

No, we'll just let it play out to the end of its tether and die of old age.

HOLLOWAY:

And when will that be?

CASWELL:

Well, it can't go past the female population of the town. There are only so many women in Watashaw -- and some of them don't like sewing.

HOLLOWAY:

(STUNNED) Sewing? Sewing?! Caswell!

CASWELL:

What's the matter? Are you sick?

HOLLOWAY:

You haven't been following the experiment?!

CASWELL:

Why, no. I - I told you, I haven't even thought about it since we started.

HOLLOWAY:

Well, they wanted to expand and they weren't going to let sewing stand in their way! They went from general charity to social welfare schemes to something that's pretty close to an incorporated government. They're now filing an application to change their name to the Civic Property Pool and Social Dividend Membership Combine!

CASWELL:

Well, well. Very interesting. I hadn't thought o' that. Fascinating.

HOLLOWAY:

Dr. Caswell -- tell me. Where -- where does the formula say it will stop?!

CASWELL:

Oh, I shouldn't worry. It stops when you run out of people to join it. After all, there are only so many people in Watashaw. It's a pretty small town.

HOLLOWAY:

(CALM) Yes. Yes, it is. (NOT CALM) Doctor -- they've opened a branch office in New York!

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

HOLLOWAY:

(NARRATES) Caswell got out his slide-rule then, and we went over the charts I had been keeping. He ran the results through the Physics Department's new analogue computer to check the results. [X]

SOUND:

RATTLE OF ANALOGUE COMPUTER

CASWELL:

(STUDIES RESULTS) Mm hm. Mm hm. Yes, yes. It checks.

HOLLOWAY:

Well?

CASWELL:

Well now, allowing a certain lag of contagion from one nation to another -- language and cultural barriers, you know -- it will reach total world population in twelve years. About one week after that, various isolated pockets -- uh, Australian bushmen, Tibetans, African pygmies -- will all be members.

HOLLOWAY:

You mean--? Only twelve years?!

CASWELL:

Give or take a week. Twelve years.

HOLLOWAY:

The whole world?!

CASWELL:

Well, there is something to be said for a worldwide government. Many people are definitely in favor of it.

HOLLOWAY:

But under Bernice Hackett?! The whole world?!

CASWELL:

Well, you asked me for a demonstration. The equation works.

HOLLOWAY:

But what happens when the whole world is organized and there are no new members?!

CASWELL:

Well, two months after the organization stops growing, it collapses. It's built in the formula.

HOLLOWAY:

Yes! But what happens then?!

CASWELL:

Oh. (BEAT) Well, I haven't the faintest idea. I haven't carried the equations that far.

HOLLOWAY:

Look, Caswell, whatever happens, I don't want anyone to ever pin this on me. From now on, if anyone asks me, I never heard of Watashaw!

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG

HOLLOWAY:

(NARRATES) Well, that was twelve years ago. I think Caswell and I are about the only men on Earth who don't hold membership cards in the United Terrestrial Civic Welfare and International Property Pool -- Bernice Hackett, global administrator.

It's a race against time now. There hasn't been a new member in a week and a half. And Bernice is anxiously awaiting news from the first Mars Expeditionary Fleet! And, as she says, (MIMICS BERNICE) "If only they find life there! We need new members -- desperately!"

MUSIC:

FOR A GRAND FINISH

ANNOUNCER:

You have just heard "X Minus One," presented by the National Broadcasting Company in cooperation with Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine which this month features "The Stars My Destination," the first installment of a four-part serial by Alfred Bester, a brilliant novel on teleportation in the world of the future. Galaxy Magazine, on your newsstand today.

MUSIC:

CLOSING THEME SNEAKS IN BEHIND--

ANNOUNCER:

Tonight, by transcription, "X Minus One" has brought you "The Snowball Effect," a story from the pages of Galaxy written by Katherine MacLean and adapted for radio by Ernest Kinoy. Featured in the cast were Ted Osborne, Wendell Holmes, Warren Parker, Audrey Blum, Mary Patton, Patsy O'Shea, and Peggy Allenby. Your announcer, Fred Collins. "X Minus One" was directed by Daniel Sutter and is an NBC Radio Network production.

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH

NBC ANNCR:

Thousands of hearts are being saved today and many persons with heart disease are learning how to live happier and more useful lives. The fact is, most heart patients can keep on working, often at the same job. This progress is the result of intensive medical research. Research which you support when you give to the Heart Fund. Send a contribution now to your local Heart Association -- or to HEART, care of your post office. When you help your Heart Fund, you help your heart.

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MUSIC:

NBC CHIMES