At his end of his retirement party, Shorty stood onstage at the microphone and tried to be funny.
No, he said, I’m not giving away my stock portfolio.
The crowd roared its appreciation.
Samantha and Jason, his children, clapped the loudest.
Soon they would run their father’s pea soup empire.
Soon they would know the secret.
CNN and all three networks had scheduled interviews for the weekend. Shorty promised producers to “spill the beans” even though no beans appeared in the legendary concoction he sold in stores nation-wide that drew tourists to his original restaurant location in Scranton, PA, “PeaYaay, as Shorty pronounced his home state’s name in the crazy television commercials he made famous during his 30-year career.
A multi-millionaire ten times over, Shorty looked forward to retirement.
He had wanted to get even for years.
His kids needs a good kick in the ass and Shorty looked forward to the long-overdue comeuppance. Maybe he should pull the rug from under them on national TV in one last over-the-top commercial as he exposed the secret recipe to the world.
But why wait?
“C’mon up here you two,” Shorty announced from the stage.
Pea soup aficionados in the crowded theater erupted in cheers, applause, hoots and whistles.
“Pea soup, pea soup, pea soup,” they chanted.
Oh my God, Samantha said.
I am not ready for this, Jason said.
But up they went into the spotlights that bathed their stylish finery in hues of blue and soft amber. Hipster Jason wore a custom-made green tuxedo with stripes down the leg that looked like flames. Sultry Samantha wore a see-through gown that made her breasts look like jumbo water balloons. Both siblings stunk of alcohol. Jason rubbed specks of cocaine off his right nostril as he climbed and tripped o the steps to the stage. Samantha scratched inappropriately.
Let’s hear it for my two little sweet peas, Shorty said.
He cleared his throat.
When I started this company I didn’t have a pot to piss in, he said.
All I did was work. My wife Midge died when an early batch exploded because the kids were both stoned and left the gas on in the kitchen before they lit another joint. Of course they escaped unharmed.
Nobody wanted to buy our soup. I was pissed. Then one night I stood on a chair and peed into the kettle. Don’t ask me why. The release just felt good. For some reason that batch took off. So I peed into the next batch. That shipment did even better. For the next three decades I peed into each shipment. Nobody knew which one got my salty surprise seasoning. But the soup got me on the cover of last month’s Grub Magazine as the most famous “souper” chef in America. The rest is history. Or shall I say “pisstory?” People don’t realize how accurate my motto “Real P (with a capital P) Soup” really is. The moral of the story? It’s always better to be pissed off than pissed on.
Take it away, kids, it’s all yours.