Lulu's wig flew through the air. She popped open the buttons of her blouse. She tore off the
suspenders and stepped out of the fat suit. She was struggling to get out of the heavy cooling
vest, all the while screaming at the top of her lungs.
"You can't fire me. I'm Biglar Toplar. I own this company!"
A man sprung out of his chair behind the podium. "I bought this company fair and square!
Who are you to tell my employees they're fired?"
"If you bought this company from Louis, then you didn't buy it fair and square! Why, you
ask? Because he doesn't own it! I do! I'm Biglar Topler. If my signature isn't on the paperwork,
then you own nothing."
The crowd gasped again, only this time much louder.
"I didn't buy this company from anyone named Louis. Here's his signature right here." He
was holding up a fat binder, pointing at a page. "Biglar Topler. Why do you keep calling him
Louis? This is Biglar."
"No, this is Biglar," he said, pointing his thumbs toward his chest. "That is Louis Everly and
he can't sell this company! I own it, not him. You're all fired
"And so are you," he yelled, pointing at Dimple.
"And for you two lovebirds, you're fired as well. What about the English language don't you
The gasping was louder still.
"I thought I could trust you. You were my most trusted friend in the world. Now I know
differently. Get out of here, all of you!"
"You'll be hearing f rom my lawyer," said the man with the binder.
"No, you'll be hearing from mine. Now get out of here, NOW!" Louis motioned to the
angry businessman that it really was time to leave. The entire board of directors scampered off
the stage with their tails between their legs, leaving Biglar alone, and what was once Lulu was
now a pile of clothes on the sidewalk.
Deafening applause and cheers rang through the crowded parking lot. The applause went on
for at least ten minutes, allowing Biglar's face to return to a more normal shade of pink.
He gathered his composure and began to speak. "Good morning. I am Biglar Topler. It's my
pleasure to meet all of you this morning. Quite an entrance I made, wasn't it?"
Cheers once again rose from the crowd.
"I want to extend to you my heartfelt apologies for putting you through this tough period of
time. I thought I had left the company in competent hands. I thought wrong. My family has
given its blood, sweat, and tears to grow this company into something fantastic."
The crowd stood mesmerized by his speech.
"I deeply regret that I have let my family down and that I have let you down. Big Top can
not exist without the fine people it employs. You do not suck. You are winners, each and every
one of you!"
Applause and cheers filled the parking lot again.
"Big Top is back in business, and boy, do we have work to do!"
More cheers
"So let's go remove those creepy Three Ring screen savers! Big Top is back!"
A thousand clowns were jumping up and down with excitement. Tiffany started leading a
cheer at the front of the stage.
"Swing to the left! Swing to the right!
"Stand up! Sit down!
"Fight! Fight! Fight! "Gooooooo Big Top!"
Gary, Violet, and Mandy were unable to move. The rest of the clowns were following
Tiffany's stand up-sit down routine. They stood rigid in the midst of the moving crowd. They
were in shock and couldn't speak but only stood with their mouths hanging open.
The crowd brushed past them in their hurry to get back to work. Biglar had gotten them
going—that was certain.
Butane Bob came up behind them with a huge smile on his face. "Aah, Biglar's back. We're
As the crowd dispersed, they were the only ones left standing in the parking lot. Biglar
managed to escape from the well-wishers wanting to shake his hand. He made his way toward
the group.
"First, I want to give a personal thank-you to the four of you. I know that whatever was
thrown at you, you took the ball and ran with it. I thank you for your hard work and dedication
during this extremely difficult time. I was the one who made it difficult, so I take the blame for
all that has happened."
They continued to stand motionless.
Mandy noticed that the voice was different. It was not the high-pitched squeal that they
heard at the beginning of the shouting match with Louis. With every word he spoke it seemed to
get deeper.
"I know you're all stunned. I'll give you some time to gather your thoughts. I promise you I
will explain everything. But then we are getting to work!"
He slapped Butane Bob on the back.
"Meet me in my office at eleven o'clock. I believe Mandy knows the way. We'll have a
working lunch. You can ask all your questions and then we'll make a game plan for the future!"
Biglar turned and left. The foursome still could not move.
"Aah, Biglar's back."
As the sun got higher in the sky, the motionless foursome began to sweat in their clown
costumes. Their bewilderment was slow to wear off.
"We wouldn't want a stinky clown, now would we?" said Mandy, surprising even herself.
"Let's go inside and shed this fine attire."
Slowly they moved toward the front door, with Violet clomping all the way in her big
brown shoes. Gary suddenly stopped and cracked his whip.
The happy clowns lingered by the front door, not wanting the moment to end.
As Mandy made her way across the floor to her office, she found a buzz of activity within
her team. Everyone seemed to be busy at their own desks, making their way through the piles of
paperwork that had been accumulating.
"Is there anything else that could surprise me today?"
With her clown costume safely at the dry cleaner, Mandy went to Gary's office to gather
him and Violet and then lead the way to Biglar's office. She was surprised to see Butane Bob
chatting with Gary.
"Good, Mandy's here. Let's go—don't want to be late. Lead the way!"
"Butane Bob, you don't know where Biglar's office is?"
With a wink, he said, "Nope, not a clue. Didn't want to know. Didn't want to be fired."
They followed Mandy as she weaved her way through the mass of cubicles to the far corner
of the floor.
"Welcome! Welcome!" said the man as they entered the secret hiding place. It was odd to
hear a deep voice coming from a man who they all once thought was a woman. "Have a seat.
Lunch will be here shortly. We're going to relax and clear the air. Sound good?"
"Sounds fine, Biglar." Butane Bob shook Biglar's hand and took seat.
Even though they felt they knew Lulu well, this seemed like a whole new ball game. All the
apprehensions of breaking in a new boss were welling up in them.
Can he be trusted?
How honest can I be with him?
Do I really want to be here?
Aah, Biglar's back.