Many years ago I worked as the Chief
Electrician on the now defunct West Coast Shows which ended up
it's season at the Arizona State Fair in Phoenix. In those days
the salaried employees of the show got little more than
subsistence wages and had to supplement their income in
imaginative ways. The electricians made an extra buck by
charging for "cut ins" which was merely the act of securing ones
electrical cord into the shows junction box with candy apple
sticks. The usual "tip" for this service was $5.00 which covered
the entire run of the fair and gave the tipper the privilege of
calling on one of us if he had electrical problems during the
date. Most paid with a wink and a smile and were glad to be able
to invoke our services when they needed us but occasionally we'd
get a "stiff" who would promise to "catch us later" but always
had an excuse when it came time to pony up the dough. One such
deadbeat was a miserable old guy who had an "ARABIAN GIANTESS"
show and had stiffed us for two years running at this fair. As
grind shows go this one was particularly crummy with the
"Giantess" herself in sad disrepair. The chicken wire was
visible through the paper mach'e skin of her torso and her nose
had been broken off and glued back on almost as badly and as
many times as the cheap dirty wig on her head. Almost every day
there was a raging beef at the ticket box as customers demanded
their coins back and the show's fixer had refused to even come
down there to patch the arguments anymore. After the show closed
late one night my friend and I tossed back a few as was our
custom (just to ease the tension of the day of course) and
heading home in an inebriated state through the now dark and
silent Midway came past the dirty canvas top that housed the
"Lets teach this tightwad a lesson"
I slurred to my friend.
"Good idea" he replied staggering
against the ticket box "Waddaya want to do?"
With a flash of what I considered
pure genius we slipped under the dirty, mended side wall and
grabbed the form
of the Giantess from her plywood coffin and hurriedly carried
her off. At that time the old fairgrounds sat adjacent to the
local golf course and was only a short way from the 18th hole.
The Giantess was heavier then we'd anticipated and since we were
having trouble walking anyway, decided to drop her there. The
next morning we were roused from our sleep by the
piercing sounds of many police sirens that seemed to be coming
from the end of the midway. We hurriedly dressed and nursing our
hangovers went over to see what all the fuss was about. It seems
a geriatric foursome had played an early round that morning and
upon arriving at the 18th hole had discovered what they believed
was the naked, emaciated corpse of a large woman, obviously the
victim of heinous foul play. One of the old geezers upon
retrieving his ball at the pin and coming upon this aberration
in the dim light of early morn had almost had a heart attack and
his friends had summoned an ambulance and the police. The news
trucks arrived, sensing a great headline in the making and all
hell broke loose. By the time it was over the cops, not happy at
being made fools of in front of the news people swore to
track down the perpetrators of such a vicious prank and the golf
course offered a reward for information leading to the arrest
and conviction of those responsible for such criminal mischief.
We were plenty worried because we knew the cops would trace the
fabricated giantess back to the show and we would fade the heat.
But Luck favors fools and as it turned out they confiscated the
Giantess for evidence, the old show owner, fearing he would
become embroiled in a lawsuit or even arrest in connection with
this mayhem, tore down and blew before the show opened that
morning leaving a big hole in the midway. We kept a very low
profile for the rest of the fair and never breathed a word to
anyone about what we'd done.
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