I'm trying to find a story that I read around 1970. It was about a man who went to borrow money from a community of people, deemed undesirable or unusual at least. These people saved everything; they cut his hair for him and saved the trimmings, etc It was contained in an "best science fiction" anthology From the late 60s or early 70s. The story was called something like "the amazing people of ----- street"

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  • If you liked that one, you should read everything by R. A. Lafferty that you can get your hands on.
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1 Answer 1


Could this be "The Skinny People of Leptophlebo Street" by R. A. Lafferty, originally collected in Orbit 16, an anthology of short science fiction stories.

A gentleman named Canute goes to visit a very odd community of moneylenders.

"How is the street kept so clean and swept?" Canute asked. "Brooms with both astatic and static bristles are the secret," Effie told him. "Organic dust clings to the static bristles, and the non-organic dust is swept clean into gathering vessels by the astatic bristles. Then we pass the brushes over degaussing jets that release the organic particles, and we make soup from them. And the non-organic dust is separated into flammable and inflammable piles."

"They mean the same thing," Canute said.

"Not on Leptophlebo Street they don't," Effie insisted. "So we make briquettes to burn as fuel out of the one sort. And we make bricks and flagstones and face-stones for buildings out of the other sort. So we have our soup and our fuel and our bricks, and we keep the street clean all the time."


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