Artist Crafting Music Box Hopes It Delights At Least One Child In Post-Apocalypse

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TEMPE, AZ—Telling reporters that the notion helped inspire him to continue creating, Keith Gein, a local music box artisan, expressed his hope Friday that his latest work would delight at least one child in the post-apocalypse. “I work hard on each of my crafted items, so it’s nice to imagine that eventually one of them could be used to provide a moment of wonder to a dirt-smeared waif looking through a garbage dump for scrap metal to trade for potable water,” said Gein, confirming that such thoughts—of a scrawny, almost silent child curiously undoing the metal latch, hearing a few bars of the theme from Love Story, and dropping the item in surprise, only to pick it up again, mesmerized by the copper musical mechanism—helped him to get through a long day of sanding and painting the small wooden boxes. “I make an okay living from local art fairs and tourists passing through town, but I deal with the hassle of ordering art supplies and renting booth space because someday there could be a small boy, no more than 6 or 7, turning one of my boxes over and over in his hands as he lies on a pile of old rags in a bombed-out basement that’s the closest thing he’s ever known to a bedroom, vowing to learn more about the long-forgotten society that produced such an enchanting object. You know, that’s the person I’m really doing all this for.” Gein added that he had always privately prayed the post-apocalyptic child could also use a shard from one of his home-blown glass vases to slit his throat after the sounds of the music box attracted the cannibal horde.

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