ONE CLOWN SHORT, page-21

"I wondered what that was. It really puts a damper on the sex." Louis looked at him with an
evil eye.
"Here's your mail, Mr. Everly." Ronnie entered the boardroom and dropped the mail in the
basket by the door.
"Thank you, Ronnie."
"My pleasure, Mr. Everly," he said as he disappeared down the hallway. Louis walked over
to close the door and thumb through the mail
"Nothing from Biglar, so we're safe for another day. It's only another few days before the
Three Ring announcement comes out. Keep your fingers crossed and say your prayers, and get
everyone you know to say a few prayers, including your wife. I know my sister well. She'll pray
hard to have plenty of money in the bank and finally be rid of the likes of you. Has the press
release been completed yet?"
"Gertrude finished it yesterday." "Did anybody proofread it?"
"I did. My Gertie is a natural-born writer. I really don't under- stand why I had to fire her."
"Get your head out of your pants, for Christ's sake! I want to see it before it goes out."
Larry hated to take orders from anyone, even Louis. Louis was getting testier every day. As
long as he was keeping him out of hot water with his wife, Larry had no choice but to follow.
But it drove him crazy. He knew there was nothing to worry about. The scheme was perfect. The
company would be sold, his bank account would be fat, and he and Gertie would be living the
life of kings. Biglar must be dead. It just didn't make sense that he would leave Louis in charge
and then never return his calls if he didn't expect him to make some decisions. So what if he
never officially signed the company over to Louis? No one would ever be able to tell. The
signature was too good. That Gertie was a real artistic talent—in more ways than one!
Louis handed Larry an envelope.
"Aah, the mortgage payment." He ripped off the check and tossed the stub into the
wastebasket.
"Now that was a good hire—Bozo."
56"
"Without him we'd be sunk. He keeps draining the funds just like we planned. Three Ring
will have signed on the dotted line, and we'll both be in Monte Carlo before they find out that
they paid good money for nothing. No stores, well-paid employees playing golf, an overflowing
warehouse, and a guy with a fire siren as a doorbell. Won't they be surprised? We, on the other
hand, will be nowhere to be found. Brilliant."
"And that smelly guy. What's his name again?"
"Davy Jones. Big Top fired him, he was so obnoxious. And brilliant me hired him back. He
may smell up a storm, but people don't pay once they've heard from him. I hid him where no
one will ever find him, and I made sure he had enough air freshener nearby to keep him sweetsmelling for years."
"I wonder why he can't take a bath."
Larry began to laugh. "Hear that ambulance? Another sucker bites the dust. Instead of the
paramedics showing up here once a week, it'll be three times a day because of all the stress.
They'll be dropping like flies. That's a tough crowd over at Three Ring. Even if these suckers
survive, they'll find themselves on the unemployment line. Life is sweet! Biglar sure better be
dead, or he'll have prison time to deal with when he gets back."
"Biglar is getting what he deserves. He had it easy inheriting a family company. I had to beg,
borrow, and steal for everything. In college, he was smarter, better looking, and always had the
girls. I got his discards. Even my wife, Dolly, claims she dumped him for the wonderful and
charming me." He pumped up his chest. "Thirty years later, I still don't believe her. He dumped
her and I was next in line. That was his plan. He pointed her in my direction to get rid of her. He
thought he was doing me a favor by bringing me into this business after graduation. Ha! Like I
wasn't capable of getting a job on my own. He thought he was better than me. Now it's my turn
to live the good life. Let Biglar do the suffering for a change."
"Aren't you living the good life now, Louis? What's a five million dollar home on the water
and two Mercedes in the garage, if it's not the good life?"
"All that is thanks to Bozo, not Biglar."
"Why didn't you try to get a job on your own out of college and tell him to shove it, if you
hated him that much?"
"His mother offered me a job—no muss, no fuss, no resume to write, no job interview. I
didn't have to work for it and it was money in the bank. Life is all about money in the bank.
That's how my parents raised me."
Just then there was a knock on the door. It was Ronnie.
"Excuse me, Mr. Everly. I need to pick up the trash." Ronnie reached for the wastebasket
and handed it out the door. He closed the door behind him
"And what about that one, Louis? Do you really think he has no idea what happened to
Biglar?"
57"
"Trust me, Larry. The elevator doesn't go all the way to the top. Biglar gave him a job here
to get him out of his hair at home. The two of them never really got along, as far as I could tell.
And I spent a lot of time in that house over the years."
"If you say so."
"I know so. Now, go get me that announcement. I'm having dinner tonight with the
principals from Three Ring. I have to assure them that everything is in order."
When he returned to his office, Gertie was waiting for Larry, wearing only a few
strategically placed leaves.
"Happy Arbor Day, honey."
CHAPTER TWELVE
WELCOME TO LULU'S OFFICE
The mood was somber the day after Bozo's funeral. The funeral had been a fine affair. The
Big Top offices were closed so that all who wanted could attend. The huge crowd overflowed
into the parking lot of the funeral home. Tiffany left her pompoms at home and wore a stunning
black chiffon dress which showed off her perfect figure. A huge spray of lilies graced the coffin.
Lulu gave a touching eulogy. Bozo's parents remained stoic through it all.
The holiday cube had been draped in black. Bozo's picture hung in the center of a huge
funeral wreath. A ribbon had the words "Ringmaster Extraordinaire" written in gold glitter.
The words "Ringmaster Extraordinaire," however, had been permanently erased f rom
everyone's vocabulary. No longer were the deadly pins proudly displayed on jackets and scarves.
In fact, they had quietly made their way into the trash cans. The area landfill was never going to
be the same.
Mandy was going about her usual morning routine. She was enjoying the peace and quiet
without the usual nonstop chatter across the cube farm. As she plowed through her e-mails she
came across a meeting request f rom Lulu.
"Lulu? What could that be all about?"
TO: Mandy
FROM: Lulu
58"
Today at 3:15 p.m. Lulu's Office
Mandy, I would like to discuss an opportunity with you. Please come to my office after the three o'clock
break.
She raced down to Gary's office.
"Gary, what in the heck does Lulu want to see me about?" "Lulu wants to see you?" he asked
quizzically.
"Yes! Today, after the three o'clock break."