Gary leaned over and whispered to Mandy, "Did they give him a copy of the Paul Brown IT
ONE CLOWN SHORT, page-50
translation dictionary? Do they know about pig latin in India? He’ll be lost without it. We all
were in the beginning."
"Mr. Butane Bob has left the company to fulfill his obligation to the Burger Boy. He won
something called a cinnamon shake contest."
Mandy and Violet could barely contain their surprise. "They gave him big money to do
commercials. After that he intends to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a hairdresser.
Hopefully he will be his own first customer." He shook his head and appeared bewildered.
"How did he get his hair like that?"
They laughed, breaking at least some of the tension. "Long story."
"Here is your relocation package to India, should you choose to accept it. Otherwise, here is
a severance package. Mr. Biglar Topler is being very generous in paying you with full benefits
for five years." He began to digress. "You really should consider moving to India. Live cheap.
Curry. Mmmm. The best there is. Visit the Taj Mahal. Very beautiful place. Everything is very
good there. You will like India." None of them could believe what they were hearing.
"Mr. Biglar regrets not being here with you today. However, the past year has been very
stressful for him. He has returned to his circus in Africa to do his life’s work. Plus, he keeps
mentioning someone by name of Bebe he couldn’t wait to see again. Anyway, he is also
planning a circus in India, so he doesn’t lose touch with the operation of the company.
"I will need your decision by end of day today. Do you have any questions to ask me to
help you decide?"
"Easy choice for me." Gary was the first to speak up. "I’m taking the severance package. My
wife and kids would never move to India. I ought to be able to find a job here within five years,
don’t you think?" He thought for a minute. "I’ve developed a fine-looking resume during my
tenure here at Big Top. Let’s see—a plumber, TV commercial star, warehouse clerk, hatchet
man, and lion tamer. Nope, staying here—finding a job will be a cinch."
"Excellent choice, Mr. Gary. Excellent choice."
"Are there any cute guys in India?" Violet piped up next.
"Aah, many, many men. All good-looking and in need of a good woman. Come, come to
India. You will find a good husband."
"Can I take that cruise I’ve been wanting first and then let you know? Maybe I can find a
guy here without moving all the way to India. That can be my backup plan."
"No, Miss Violet, I must have an answer today. No time to waste. I have a company to run."
"What are you going to do, Mandy?"
"Me? I’m going to India. I don’t even need to think twice about it. I’ve always wanted to
travel and see new places. At least there my mother won’t be able to call me every ten minutes to
tell me what a failure I am. Do they even have phones in India?"
"Phones? Yes, we have phones. Look, latest technology." He picked up a very small and
sleek cell phone to display to the ignorant Americans
"Hopefully I’ll be permanently written out of the Christmas newsletter by moving away."
"Good, good, good. We have one in, one out, and one on the fence." He handed a package
of papers to Gary and a different one to Mandy.
Gary signed quickly and handed the papers back to the out- sourced CEO. He rushed out of
the room, waving to the women as he left.
"We’ll be in touch."
Mandy began to review her package very carefully, examining every line.
"Hey, it says here my yearly salary is fifteen thousand US dollars. I can’t live on that. I could
go back to Burger Boy and make that, without all the headaches."
"You have been outsourced. That is what your salary is on out- sourced pay scale. It is very
cheap to live in India. I am the outsourced CEO and you can’t make more than me. So in or out?
What’s it going to be?"
"This place really is one clown short. You can have this back. I’d like the same thing you
gave to Gary, please."
"Me too." Violet got on the bandwagon.
They flipped immediately to the last page and signed without reading a thing. The
outsourced CEO smiled as they handed him the papers.
"What do you mean by one clown short?" He was curious about the American expression.
"You’ll figure it out soon enough. Let it be a surprise. Come on, Violet. Let’s go book that
With a huge sense of relief, they both walked out of the room, ready for whatever the future
might hold. The outsourced CEO flopped into the chair behind the desk.
The two stopped dead in their tracks and burst out laughing.
Mandy giggled, "Well, I guess this is all over now that it’s done.