My Uncle joined the circus,

which is okay,

I guess,

if you like that sort of thing.

Truth is,

that sort of thing really




like how lunchables creep me out.

They’re phony advertising,

if you ask me.

You expect a 3-course meal

complete with


and acrobats,

and elephants that stand on

their toes,

maybe with a

fat lady thrown in,

just for something extra.

But all you get are two thick slices

of bottle-cap sized baloney

sandwiched between crumbly crackers

with chocolate pudding on the side,

complete with a gray film

that melts on your tongue like fat.

You’re left with a synthetic taste in your mouth,

which just isn’t fair.

It’s not that I’m embarrassed of my Uncle.

I mean,

he can’t help having two left feet


and a whopper of a head that looks like

a tea kettle.

But whenever I see him,

I feel like I’m looking at an

old piece of baloney that fell

between the seat on the

school bus.

It makes me sick,

feeling this way,

because from what I’ve heard

he used to be normal,

with a lawn,

and a dog,

and taxes and stuff.

But then one day

the police accidentally shot his dog

and my uncle shaved his head,

and oh, man,

he saw how freaky it is,

and he went off the deep end

with the other packed lunches

who liked to think they were special,

but were really all the same.

I invited my friends to see him at the circus,

and I

don’t know why I did, because

seeing him standing on an upside-down

garbage pail made me feel

a little


And before I knew what was happening,

I was chucking popcorn and

newspaper scraps

at him from the top of the bleachers,

and I was screaming.

Well, I don’t even know what I was


or what anyone else was saying,


except that I will never forget the look on his

face when he saw it was me.

I felt like I was staring at a

moldering slice of

long-forgotten baloney that

only wanted to find its crumbly crackers again,

but couldn’t because the police were idiots,

and his barber insensitive,

and me,

just your average

Kid Cuisine.


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