At the sound of the tone, the time will be 8:15 and ten seconds, exactly. Quack!"" Thus reliable Mary Alice, operator number 9, performs her duties--until one day she takes sick, and frets at home lest her replacement prove too competent. She needn't worry of course, for boss Nancy Chicken finds that even she can't do the job as well as the indispensable duck; meanwhile the parade of unsuccessful candidates for her job and the sample of dissatisfied customers at the other end of the line give Marshall a chance to dream up flakey anthropomorphic animals to his waggish heart's content. Our favorite, too, remains ponderous Mary Alice, gargling at the sink in bunny slippers, but rainbow-striped Eric Snake--whose ""At the sound of the tone, it will be 10:20, exactly. Hissssssss"" proves too sinister--runs a close second. All told, a nifty connection.