By; Speaker Gerald A. Polley

I've got no use for practical jokers. I've run into a few of them over the years. And I have made it very clear that if they want to play pranks on other people, fine, leave me alone. Unfortunately there's some that just can't get that idea through their head. Everybody in the kitchen is their personal plaything, and they simply can't control themselves. Tony was a good example of this. The place I was working was going through cooks like you wouldn't believe. We'd had most of the crew for over a year. One guy left, and we just couldn't find a suitable replacement. Some guys only lasted a couple of hours, some lasted a couple of weeks. Tony was one of these. He was a real clown, always doing stupid stuff to everybody. It had been a real busy day. I was working a double and finally I'd gotten a chance to eat. There was just one serving left of one of my favorite meals. I got it, sat down, and began to eat when I was asked to do something. I got up, did it, and went back to my food. The first bite I took just about burned my mouth out! I spat it out, grabbed some bread, and in a few minutes was reasonably comfortable.
Tony was standing by the counter laughing his head off. "What's the matter, Gerald," he managed between laughs, "hot sauce a little too much for you?"
I went into the storeroom, got a fresh quart bottle of the hot sauce and came back into the kitchen. When Tony saw me coming he knew it was trouble.
"Hey," he remarked, "what's tjhe matter with you? Why are you looking at me like that? What are you going to do?"
In a few moments I had him pinned on the floor. "You like hot sauce, little man?" I growled, "Have some!"
I proceeded to make him drink the entire bottle. The waitress came in, ran for the boss, but the boss wasn't about to try to stop me when I was irate. He knew me too well.
"Not that much, Gerald!" he kept screaming, "You'll kill him!"
"It won't kill him," I answered, as I kept pouring, "but he may wish it had!"
When I finally let Tony up he was gasping for air. "What in the hell's the matter with you?" he managed, "Can't you take a little joke? For God's sake, haven't they got any men around here?"
"That's enough!" the boss snapped. "From now on leave people alone!"
"I'm calling the police," Tony moaned.
"You do," the boss answered, "you'll never work in THIS town again, I'll make sure of it!"
The next day Tony went into the toilet frequently. Each time he did half the kitchen could hear him screaming. He'd walk by me and go "You f------ bastard!"
"Don't ever forget it!" I told him.
Tony only lasted a few more days. He got his paycheck and moved on. He couldn't work in a place where the employees didn't have a sense of humor.
We had QUITE a sense of humor! For months the story of what had happened was told over and over again and EVERYBODY got a good laugh out of it. But we got no more practical jokers, which didn't bother me at all!


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