Big Top Tony

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PHOTO PROMPT © Ted Strutz

“I know my rights!”

The kid was still yelling even as the cop tucked his head into the squad car. Tony took a long draw of his cigar and shook his head.

There was one of them at every stop, getting the other carnies all riled up. They’d go all union when they looked at their paycheck and saw the surcharges: meals, uniforms, lodging fees.  But they’d signed the contract

He crushed the cigar stub under a boot heel and walked away. In Barstow, he was getting illegals. Most of them couldn’t even read the checks, let alone cash them.

This has been another edition of the fabulous Friday Fictioneers, hosted by the amazing Rochelle Wisoff Fields. This week’s photo courtesy Ted Strutz. To read more or to submit your own, click the froggy button:

 

35 Comments

  1. micklively

    Reminded me of “They Shoot Horses Don’t They?”.
    Good, if sinister, piece.

    Like

  2. Nicely told. No wonder they can’t afford dental work!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like ‘he da man’. It’s just that there are so many of them these days. Good take.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It seems he could benefit from some empathy! Thanks for reading Sandra.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. A good reminder of what can be underneath fairground glitz…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is true. Thanks for reading!

      Like

  5. Love capitalism. It works!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol, it works for him, but probably is not the best example of it working for anyone else. Maybe next town he’ll change his tune…Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Like

  6. Ah, looks like I wasn’t the only one to use the word “carnie”. Lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sounds like he is taking advantage of the “illegals.” Good story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He is indeed. Thanks for visiting!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Alas.. I guess none would pay enough for a fair fairground ..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This guy doesn’t seem to know much about fair. Thanks for visiting!

      Like

  9. Francesca Smith

    Whichever system in place, if the person at the top recognises what power they possess, things go down hill pretty quickly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, or the guy needs some empathy and to think about something besides his own gains. Thanks for visiting Francesca!

      Like

  10. Melanie

    Greed so often goes unchecked. Great story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does indeed. Thanks for reading 🙂

      Like

  11. Ooh, what a disreputable fellow! The dirt behind the glitz.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Nice characterisation with that police officer.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I hope there’ll be a raid and he’ll pay dearly for the illegals. Exploitation has many faces, this Tony is one. Great story.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Dear Karen,

    Tony sounds like a swell guy. I hope he chokes on his cigar. Well told.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too! Thanks Rochelle

      Like

  15. Well done. Great reminder of how badly employees get taken advantage of when employers have no accountability.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very true. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Like

  16. What a creep. Out for the money.”Most of them couldn’t even read the checks, let alone cash them.” Makes my blood boil – in a good way.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Alicia and thanks for reading!

      Like

  17. Definitely need a democrat like Bernie Sanders to deal with this.
    Randy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Feeling the Bern!

      Like

  18. Dale

    Tony is a schmuck. One day he’ll get his (or at least I hope so!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope so too! Thanks for reading, Dale.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. We’re all replaceable, aren’t we? I know there’s a line of illegals out there just waiting to take over my blog and write some really funny stuff in a language you probably can’t read. I don’t know how they can afford to work for less than free—volume I guess.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You write for free??!! I have to pay to write (grumble, grumble). Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

      Like

  20. Good story, Karen. It seems a carnival is a whole differnt world. Well done. — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Carnies …. I guess they get their reputation from somewhere.
    Are you talking about Barstow, Florida?
    Good write …
    Isadora 😎

    Like

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