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Elephant boy

August 27th, 2018 Leave a comment Go to comments

Surveying the ruins now, it doesn’t seem like the worse part of all this is that my wife warned me something would happen, but I know it will be when I view today in the totality of retrospection. Because of course she was right and she isn’t going to let me forget that. Standing amidst the wasteland, scrambling to contact a lawyer with the nut vendor and many others yelling at me and the police and chaos and all your news cameras, it’s just amazing to me how quickly it all unraveled.

I hired Kyle partly out of sympathy, it’s true, but he has always been an outstanding employee. Well, until today, though in fairness, he did apologize to me before he galloped away. I remember he came in for his first interview and I could hear his peers calling him elephant man this and elephant boy that from the curb, and I never really looked back. I wanted to help him. He was a good kid, who I assumed suffered from Proteus syndrome like the guy the infamous movie was based on. He had some lumps and strange outgrowths, particularly his nose, which was distractingly long and floppy, but damn, that kid could work.

My smoothie stand doubled in sales within his first two months. I’d never seen someone assemble and puree a smoothie so seamlessly, or clean and cube pineapples and mangoes and anything else that fast. People were unsurprisingly taken aback by his appearance at first, but anyone who observed his work instead of his face for more than a few seconds would invariably make a purchase, sometimes just for the opportunity to tip Kyle. We worked more fairs in the last six months than I have in the three years before I met him. He had been a godsend until all this.

I don’t think any of us were prepared for today, obviously especially Kyle, and I mean this event specifically. We’ve been working mostly county fairs and that sort of thing, but nothing like this, where it’s exclusively food stands and has judges secretly roaming around taking notes for a television show. God, plus all of your cameras. It’s a lot of pressure! Kyle was visibly agitated by all of it, and I feel guilty for that, but I couldn’t have known how having a boiled peanuts booth next to ours would have unfolded. It was a huge trigger I never saw coming.

He abandoned his melon duties and made a trumpeting type of sound upon the first whiff of the peanuts. Not Proteus at all, true elephant stuff. He charged the adjacent booth, and began shoveling as many of their salted shells into his mouth as possible. Kyle blasted the high C-sharp through his engorged nose again and began wrecking everything around us with those huge molars of his that jut out from his face. He bucked and acted like an unhinged looney, and must have overrun every booth in this place this afternoon. Just surreal.

But damn, this is going to cost me. All the legal and media and PR fallout shit. Especially the part about my wife though. I’ll be hearing about this for the next twenty years. “Are you as sure about this as you were about hiring the elephant boy?”

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