A Very Mad Clown

Kankakee slumlord and Vaudeville clown Madeline Topolla-Teirant struts into a busy Buckstars hoping to score some free java. “Welcome to Buckstars, what can I get started?” the friendly coffee clerk in the green apron asks a towering 5’10”, 300 pound Madeline. “I don’t have time to wait. You guys are horrible people, childish little girls and boys. Get my drink right and make it fast or I am going to go to the cafe down the street.” 

“Okay, what would you like?” the barista replies with a smile.

“Get me a pink drink and make it fast. Not the orange drink like you screwed up last time.”

The barista cashes out Madeline; the bulbous clown and slum manager walks off to the side, away from the long line of thirsty customers.

Regular customer Kitty Bortolotti, the tall, curly haired, mixed-race beauty with the star earrings is next in line. 

“Can I speak to the manager?” a confident Kitty asks with her hands on her hips.

“Sure.”

Kitty winks at the team leader. “I don’t need anything, I just want to help you. Don’t let your staff be afraid of certain customers who try and intimidate your staff, if you know what I mean. I have experience; she’s all talk.”

“Customers like you are the best,” the supervisor says to Kitty.

“Glad to help.”

The two exchange smiles and a nod, then Kitty orders a drink alongside her best friend.

Kitty waits patiently for her drinks, meanwhile an obviously agitated Madeline storms over to the counter and screams at the barista, who has better things to do than listen to a screaming Madeline.

Kitty’s drinks come back. “We made you an extra one because we love great customers like you.”

“Awww thanks! You guys are the best.” Kitty takes a bill from her lime-green wallet and places it in the tip jar.

Kitty lifts the cup carrier, walks off to the side and chats with her best friend forever, Lana “LTL” Tolstoy Levitsky.

A bunch of names are called out: “LaWanda! Marigold! Damien!” but not Madeline’s. The happy customers grab their cups of joy and walk out the door.

“Abby!” 

Madeline turns to Abby and asks “What drink is that?”

A confused Abby looks over to Madeline.

“A pink one.”

“Oh I thought you had mine, we got the same thing.”

“Yeah sure.” Abby gives Madeline a dirty look and walks out the door.

“Madeline!”

“I hope they’re not clownin’ around with my drink!” Madeline thinks aloud.

“We made it just how you wanted it,” The barista says with a smile.

Madeline takes a sip and then reads the cup: “MADWOMAN”.

The entire cafe full of customers starts giggling and the room roars with laughter.

Madwoman storms out the cafe and walks behind the strip mall, where she is again greeted by the site of her best friends, the cafe dumpsters.

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I Wanna Speak To The Manager

“We need to increase our bottom line,” CRASS CEO Mack E. Avelli tells his entire staff in the board room.

“Size matters.”

Laughter fills the entire room.

“Our budget is only so big and we need to increase our revenue to exceed expenses. We could only give so much to the Optimal Club last year and we had to shortchange the Kankakee Medicine Pronouncing Competition, even though we had already committed. We need good ideas, only the best.

Dale raises his hand.

“I know. I have a really good idea. How about we do things the Dale way this year…”

Mr. Avelli sighs.

“No just listen up. I’m worth your time. How about we spend less money on charity? That way we will have more money for the things we need. It all makes sense. We can do things the way we have been doing them, or we can do things the Dale way.”

“That’s enough Dale. We need to look good for the community. Image is everything. Who will go next?”

“Maybe we can hire more people to cut back on overtime? I am swamped with purchase requests!” Linda Stay says.

“Nice idea, but work faster,” Mr. Avelli snarks.

Sybil raises her hand.

“Sybil Kibble! What is YOUR grand idea?”

“I know. How about we call up and say we are “Kristy” from Management. Ask the debtor to call us back. We have no Kristy working here. Block caller ID so the suckers will not know it is us!”

“Great idea Sybil! Change all scripts immediately and don’t forget to double down on every call, everybody!”

The collectors get to work.

Calls come in.

“I would like to talk to Crispy?”

“Crisco called. Hahahaha.”

“Is the Cisco kid? My router is stuck. Can you fix it?

“Yeah I hear I won a free trip to Frisco. When do I go?”

More calls roll in.

“Yeah I heard a manager called me. I wanna speak to the manager. This is Karen.”

Team Leader Sybil Kibble cannot keep up with the call volume. The Collections Representatives keep transferring all their calls to her because they keep asking for a manager. After all, the messages stated a manager called for them! 

The phone system shuts down due to Denial of Service, in other words a system overload.

“What are we going to do?” CRASS CEO Mack E. Avelli asks Sybil Kibble in her office.

“Act more ethically next time?”

They share a laugh.”

“Carrier pigeons,” Mr. Avelli smirks.

It is CRASS business as usual.