"RAT CRAP AND REVENGE"
by Lee Kolozsy
Typical Florida winter fair and it’s a
Saturday night with the usual crowd of farm boys (F.F.A. hats),
gangstas (bling bling), and snowbird white punks on dope (designer
threads, car alarm remote key chains, and cell-com-web phones).
Business as usual except the crowd in
the rat show isn’t acting right. It looks to be entirely composed
of rich kids (late teens) with too much money, too much free time,
and too little sense. Not one to be judgmental, I merely observe
all this and remain detached and could care less about how these
people live their little lives. However, the fact remains that
these punks were not acting right.
After years of living on the midway,
you get a sense of rhythm, a feeling of what’s going on. Hard to
explain, but if you’re with-it, I know you get it. You can tell
when the punks are making some goofy play. When they’re up to some
mischief. A good Carnie can sense trouble brewing. It’s in the
wind. A great Carnie can change the wind direction. These clowns
were definitely up to no good.
I had two pit shows
set up. The “ Giant Rat” and the “Giant Snake”. I had them
arranged side by side (I usually prefer them at opposite ends of
the lot but I was a one man show this week) with the entrances six
feet apart. There I was in the middle grabbing tickets for both. I
prefer to work for cash but the boss was so
worried that I’d swing with a nickel that he cost us thousands.
The hour was peak and they were
falling in like kids to school. A pattern had caught my attention.
The rat show crowd was all alike. Very unusual, they were all
contemporaries, a gang of well heeled snowbird teens. Plus they
were acting squirrelly. It wasn’t the usual “That ain't a rat” and
“ yes it is” and “ Then where’s his tail” type remarks going
around the pit. Instead, there seemed to be a lot of hooting and
guffawing and general vulgar jocularity underway.
I abandoned my post to have a
look-see. I wasn’t disappointed… As I looked into the cage over
these moron’s shoulders, I noticed a somewhat disturbing
The “ Giant Rat” (a mild mannered
capybara who’s worst characteristic is the ability to produce an
enormous amount of feces) was acting strangely!
The poor inoffensive (aside from the
previously mentioned feces) creature was racing around the walls
of the cage like a motordrome rider putting a
hardtail Indian on the wall! I mean this varmint was getting a
And these louts were digging it big
time. Most peculiar.
That’s when I spotted it ! One of
these goofs had circled around back, and crawled under the truck
the show is attached to, and was poking at my animal with my rake!
Right through the cleanout chutes, scaring the
hell out of my pet ! Interrupting the peaceful flow of events.
Laying on his belly abusing my pal! With my rake! The unmitigated
audacity, what gall….INDEED!
Something had to be done. I was
pissed. My first impulse was to grab this fool by the ankles, pull
him from under the truck, and pound his head into a junction box.
But good sense prevailed. I realized that if I fought this lad, I
would have to fight his posse, and this would take time away from
the swindling of marks and other important matters. Plus I was
certain that at least one of these nematodes was underage and jail
time is unappealing.
What was needed was an elegant
solution. And that’s when the light went on! I had it! I ducked
around back and jerked the handle on the rat cage dump valve. Two
hundred and fifty gallons of reeking rat shit, rat piss and a
small percentage of bleach obeyed the law of gravity and in a
second flooded the area under the truck. By the time the stench
got airborne I was back at my post. No one had noticed my absence.
Well it looked like “ swamp thing”
coming around the corner! This poor S.O.B. had a turd hanging from
his chin. His front was soaked and his back had axle grease stains
(I guess from trying to levitate as the creek was rising), his
face had a rather shell-shocked expression. His buddies were
clueless, they had missed the play and had yet to catch on.
Time for me to patch the beef. “Hey
pal, you weren’t laying back there when I flushed the rat’s
commode were you? I do that every night at this time, man if I had
known you were back there I’d a never pulled the handle, didn’t
you see the keep out sign? Whoa man do you reek, it’s enough to
gag a maggot, how you gonna get home, I’ll bet you ain’t riding
with these guys….”
 “Pit Show”…Carnival or Circus
sideshow attraction originally displayed in a pit dug in the
ground, now in a construction designed to obscure sightlines.
 “Motordrome” Carnival thrill show
where stuntmen ride motorcycles inside a large “wine barrel” and
perform trick riding while glued to the wall by centripetal force.
 “cleanout chute” an opening at the
bottom of a circus animal cage wagon where soiled bedding can be
 “junction box” part of the
carnival electrical system where high voltage electrical power is
connected to individual rides and attractions.
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