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

To: All Employees of Bear Cave
Date: June 9, 1980
Subject: Catastrophic News for the Company

There's no easy way to put this, so I'll tell it like it is. Bouillon is died.

He went missing before the weekend and yesterday I found his skeletonized remains at the bottom of the #3 soup vat during one of my swims. I thought the cream of mushroom soup had an especially nourishing taste, and a lot more clumps of fur and skin than usual.

I never imagined Bouillon was capable of dying. From the looks of it, his skeletal system gave up, and he simply fell apart and dissolved. There was a cat skeleton in his rib cage, and a mouse skeleton inside the cat. My guess is he was involved in some kind of classic chase scenario that ended in the vat.

This is a time to be sad. I know many of you like to go outside behind the dumpster and cry during work hours, and I know on most days I go out there and fling a chain around to deter that. Today I won't be flinging any chain.

Losing Bouillon is more painful than anything. Even if all my idiot rockabilly sons got together and died, I would feel only relief.

To: All Employees of Bear Cave
Date: June 9, 1980
Subject: Bouillon's Death

In some ways, this has been coming for years now. He's been shedding clumps of fur, skin and muscle. The tough old bastard even threw up an eyeball. It recessed back into his skull, where it bounced around until it found its way through a bullet hole and into his throat.

Then there was the incident last week when he ate some of the lit fireworks I was throwing at you guys. He just walked it off, unlike you sniveling good-for-nothings. And the day before that when he started coughing up all those hundreds of spider babies probably didn't help either.

I'm getting choked up just thinking about him. They don't make dogs like that anymore. He's tougher than all of you sons of bitches combined, and did more for this company than any of you will ever do. The love I had for that dog was greater than the hate I have for all of you and my two awful sons.

To: All Employees of Bear Cave
Date: June 9, 1980
Subject: Mourning on Company Time

Apparently there's been a whirlwind of tragedy recently. Let me be clear: I don't care about your miscarriages or that many of you lost children to a tragic school bus accident this morning that was caused by a drunk driver WHO WILL NEVER BE BROUGHT TO JUSTICE.

Bouillon died, and if any mourning is to be done on my dime, it will be for him. You can cry about your dead children at home, where private matters belong.

I've lost two sons of my own to something far worse than death, and you don't hear me crying about it.

To: Jake Huskins
Date: June 9, 1980
Subject: New Labels

I want Bouillon on all our soup labels. You better make it a damn fitting likeness that honors him, or I'll make sure your other son's bus gets run off the road, too.

You have until noon to show me some sketches.

To: Jake Huskins
Date: June 9, 1980
Subject: Get It Right

I said a fitting likeness. Render him as he was, gun-shot mangled snout and all. We don't make soups for bleeding-heart hippies and cow-eyed moms. We make soup for angry men and women who are beyond repair.

And that last memo was not an admission that I caused the bus accident while driving drunk to work today. If you try and say it was, your other son will also find his bus run off the road into Brine Creek.

I'm going out for an hour. Tall Charlie better have some new designs on his desk by the time I get back.

To: Jake Huskins
Date: June 9, 1980
Subject: Looks good

Add a few maggots to the open sores. You're not as talentless as you look.

To: All Employees of Bear Cave
Date: June 9, 1980
Subject: My New Best Friend

While you idiots have been weeping incessantly, I did something positive. I finished off another pint of whiskey, then drove to the pound. Because the only creatures that truly understand me are deranged dogs, I have adopted Bouillon's successor. His name is Brotholomew and the pound tried to put him down twice. It didn't take. He's a mean son of a bitch who likes to bite, bark, howl and hump. He's like me in every way.

To: All Employees of Bear Cave
Date: June 9, 1980
Subject: Brotholomew's Health Problems

I need all of you to be aware that Brotholomew is in failing health. The pound told me that he has about 2-3 hours of life left in him at best, but my veterinarian and chiropractor said the same damn thing about Bouillon more times than I care to count.

If any of you idiots do anything to agitate Brotholomew's ailments, I will make sure you die in your sleep. According to the pound, Brotholomew's ailments are as follows:

  • Canine syphilis
  • Canine gonorrhea
  • Canine dementia
  • Shepherd's rot
  • Hip dysphoria
  • Kibble coughs
  • Butt rust
  • Canine depravity
  • Inescapable puke eating cycle
  • Canine alcoholism
  • The rolls
  • Back-end breath
  • Peukemia
  • Canine diarrhea
  • Snout palsy
  • Canine hepatitis (caused by eating an old man's tooth)
  • Wagsperger's syndrome
  • Barkal tunnel syndrome
  • Paw necrosis
  • The crut heaves
  • Canine sleep apnea
  • Racism
  • Priapism

He is the new Bouillon, so you will treat him like the goddamn saint he is. If I find any of you are avoiding him or making him uncomfortable, I will come out there and whip you with my boot.

To: All Employees of Bear Cave
Date: June 9, 1980
Subject: A Goddamn Miracle

Brotholomew is dead, and not a moment too soon. He may have been mean and nasty, but he was too damn soft on the inside.

Bouillon wasn't dead after all. He was just pinned under a car for the past few days, and managed to chew his way free just in time to kill that no-good usurper Brotholomew.

Whatever dog that was that ended up in our mushroom soup vat did us a real favor. That soup has never tasted better, so we're going to start force feeding mice to cats to dogs, then drowning them in there. That's the kind of innovative flavoring our customers expect.

Since we wasted so much work time today mourning, you're all going to need to work this weekend so we can get our new cream of mushroom formula ready in time for the next big shipment.

– Josh "Livestock" Boruff (@Livestock)

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About this series

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

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