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 Alabama.
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 going OK.
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 up.
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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