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

TO: All Employees of Bear Cave Soup Co.
DATE: February 26, 1980
SUBJECT: Increased Responsibility

I just learned that my secret instrument of justice has been detained by authorities. Ðâng Lành is currently facing deportation, since he cannot produce any record he is a citizen, let alone that he exists. I tried to explain to the government stooges that this is all perfectly normal and that I brought him over from Vietnam to help me keep my business running smoothly. They aren't buying it. To make up for his absence, some of you are going to have to start doing some pretty horrible things. If you are loyal to me and this business, you will not hesitate to act no matter how morally abhorrent those actions might seem. You must make a friend of moral terror if you want to succeed in the soup business.

TO: All Employees of Bear Cave Soup Co.
DATE: February 26, 1980
SUBJECT: Leland Brownwig will be dead soon

Leland Brownwig took one of our trucks and drove off, vowing never to return. He's right about that last part. To deter theft, I had all the brake lines removed from my trucks. Get back to work. I want three new soup ideas from each of you by nightfall.

TO: Tall Charlie, Last Remaining Bear Cave Employee
DATE: February 26, 1980

Tall Charlie, you are my last remaining employee following the terrible mutiny of five minutes ago, when all of your coworkers left to go work for that rat-livered bastard Bob Hutch. I want you to know I value your loyalty, and am using some of the savings from the reduced headcount to give you a 3% raise. I will also need you to take over the duties for all defectors. Lastly, I am increasing your hours to cover weekends. Since you're already salaried these extra hours do not come with any additional pay.

I may not be able to look you in the eye and I may not respect you, but you're one of the least useless people I know. I don't hate your guts.

TO: Bob Hutch & All Employees of Man's Reach
DATE: February 27, 1980
SUBJECT: A Challenge

Bob Hutch, I am a man of action. It is readily apparent that you want everything I have: my soup company, my employees, their leavings, and my two idiot rockabilly sons. There are three things you cannot and will never have: the loyalty of my dog, my fierce, beastlike cunning and my ability to seduce any woman. I think it's time we stop pussyfooting around and settle our disagreements like men. Like soupmen.

You had to know this was coming, Bob Hutch. You and I are going to duel in the soupyards at noon. In case you aren't familiar with the gentlemanly laws of a duel, they go like this: we try to murder the hell out of each other. Even though you're a coward prone to fainting spells, you know this business enough to know that no true soupman would ever refuse a fight.

Let's settle this in the yard.

TO: All Employees of Bear Cave Soup Co.
DATE: February 27, 1980
SUBJECT: Update on the Future of Bear Cave Soup Co.

As many of you know from watching the scene that just unfolded mere moments ago, Bob Hutch drowned like a useless baby in the #4 soup vat after I tackled him into it and held him submerged for several minutes. Bob Hutch is not a natural soupman. That's why he came unarmed to a duel he tacitly agreed to participate in.

Bob Hutch entered this business because he was an effeminate man who liked cooking soup for his wife. I entered this business because I have soup in my veins. I swim in those vats every night, sometimes for hours. I can breathe soup. Bob Hutch showed the world he is not a true soupman by not possessing the ability to breathe soup.

In accordance with the laws and traditions of all natural soupmen, I am taking ownership of Man's Reach and absorbing it back into Bear Cave. I am taking back my building, my soupyards and my parking lot. There will be amnesty for all his employees, including Bear Cave defectors. If you consider yourself soupmen, you will do the honorable thing and stonewall any police or investigators who come asking questions. I have won you back fair and square, and you will honor my victory by working harder than ever.

This amnesty does not include my two idiot rockabilly sons. They are both fired and I encourage you all to form a gauntlet and spit and hiss at them as they leave the premises in shame.

To make up for lost time, everybody will need to work this weekend.

– 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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