This article is part of the Memos from Bear Cave series.

To: All Employees of Bear Cave
Date: August 11, 1981
Subject: The Man in the Vents

This place is full of surprises! I couldn't help but notice there is a one-eyed man living in the vents. I tried to talk to him, but he scurried off faster than a '55 Chevy. I don't know how long he's been in there, but he clearly needs help. What do you say we take five and get this poor guy some help?

Your pal,


To: All Employees of Bear Cave
Date: August 11, 1981
Subject: NO BREAKS

Anyone who "takes five" will "lose everything." Vent Man is there for a reason. It's called punishment. By letting him out, we teach him mercy, which is weakness. The strong prey upon the merciful, and I will not have us looking weak. He's been living in the vents all these years because he belongs there. A lesser boss would have fired him.

I will not tolerate any further disobedience. The degenerate rockabilly lifestyle exists only to promote rebellion, and we here at Bear Cave reject it.


To: All Employees of Bear Cave
Date: August 11, 1981
Subject: The Lowdown

Gang, the rockabilly ethos embraces a certain spirit of rebelliousness, but rebellions aren't all bad. I like to think we're all rebelling against bad soups here. Really, though, it's more about coming together in a common spirit to enjoy some catchy tunes and have a wild time. If any of you would like to join me and my grandsons, I've got a few spare bongos in my truck. Might even let you have a spin behind the wheel of my upright bass.

Don't worry about Vent Man. I was able to coax him out. Turns out his name is Beau Brokeman, and he's been in there for few years. I helped him shave his beard and get cleaned up. Seems like a heck of a guy, but the time alone has done a number on his head. Let's be extra kind to him, gang!

Your pal,


To: All Employees of Bear Cave
Date: August 12, 1981
Subject: I Have Your Sewage

I run the pipes around here. Your increased bathroom usage has been noted. I stopped paying the city for sewage ages ago and came up with my own solution. Manuel Rodriguez installed a custom vat in the boiler room to collect it all for processing by me. It's now overflowing and ankle deep down there. And guess what, idiots: I know each of your leavings by sight and smell. You'll be taking a big bucket home with you. And you damn well better bring my buckets back tomorrow.

Beau Brokeman needs to get back in the vent if he knows what's good for him. The alternative is he dies. I made a bet back in '79 that we would outperform Royal Mariner, and we didn't. The bet was for the life of an employee. Beau was useless with the one eye, so I made him disappear. Unless one of you would like to be murdered instead, get that clown back in the vents before word gets back to Burt Tallahassee.


To: All Employees of Bear Cave
Date: August 12, 1981
Subject: Promissory Soup Bonds

I noticed in some of Tall Charlie's books that many of you are holding onto an awful lot of promissory soup bonds awarded as annual bonuses. I've never heard of those, but it's high time you cash in. I found a huge pile of money hidden in the floorboards that should make for some extra-heavy paychecks this month.

Your pal,


To: All Employees of Bear Cave
Date: August 12, 1981
Subject: CORRECTION

"Duke" found some of my money, which is not for you. I have moved it to a secure spot, where it cannot be redistributed to any of you. If this upsets you, you're free to take it up with rotten hero "Duke."

And for the record: if I went to the trouble of boarding up half the office, that's for good reason. It's not like I got my big pile of money by renting that half off the office out to a dangerous motorcycle gang that's manufacturing drugs. It's not like that at all. Stop trying to get into the boarded-up areas.


To: Tall Charlie
Date: August 12, 1981
Subject: Increase Security

Tell Short Charlie to get a few thugs from the Los Diablos motorcycle club to provide extra security around the office. They still owe me big league.

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Memos sent from Bear Cave Soup's eccentric president to his poor, beleaguered employees.

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