The Pet Peave
by Pete Kolozsy
Nothing irritates me worse than some smart aleck
sneaking a peak at one of my freaks!
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm no stingy skinflint. I
regularly comp the underprivileged and the just plain
broke kids who are dying to see the 100 lb Rat or the
Maneating Snake. Especially when I think that biz could
be better if I only had a shill.
But when I see someone [who can clearly afford the
nominal price of admission] damaging my hand crafted
equipment just so they can sneak a free peek, it really
gets my goat! I get mad.
I had just such an episode last year at a fair in
It was a busy Saturday night and I had been manning the
rat show alone all day with only doniker breaks to
relieve the tedium. People were piling in to see the Rat
at an astounding rate. I was quite pleased. Things were
Then I heard the tell-tale rattle of chainlink from one
side of the show. Somebody was climbing the fence!
Perimeter breach! DEFCON 5 !
I hung up the entrance chain and raced around just in
time to catch the miscreant climbing down off the
fence. I started out by asking him if he had gotten a
good look. He said he had. I then asked him if he
thought " that I had built this display so that
jackasses such as you could climb all over it and wreck
it?" and "do you see these hands of mine?" and
that " these are the very hands that built this
display " etc.etc.etc. I finished this tirade by
inviting him to have his butt kicked free of charge. He
muttered something inaudible and walked away. I
went back to my post feeling victorious and opened back
That should have been the end of it but I couldn't stop
dwelling on it. That lousy S.O.B.! I kept seeing
his face in my mind's eye. There was something about
it... something that kept bothering me. Then I realized
what it was. About ten minutes before I'd
caught him climbing down the fence, that guy had given
me a buck to go up and see the Rat!
There could be no mistake. I recalled it clearly (even
if too late).
I thought it through and realized that the poor guy had
decided (on a whim, no doubt ) to go see the Rat and,
having viewed it, found himself boxed in by the crowd on
the platform. He was trapped. Like a Rat. He wanted out!
He did the only thing he could think of. Out of
desperation he had climbed over the fence and down the
side of the show to get out.
Only to wind up face to face with me and getting
thoroughly chewed out after his ordeal !
Sometimes, such perfect injustice can only be savored.
Like a ripe cheese......
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