Wednesday, May 11, 2016


Henry Mullins "The Corn King"

I was fifteen and working as a sweeper and bag boy in a big grocery store.
The manager was a strict German who charged 5 cents for every piece of paper that I missed when I did my sweeping.
I don't think I ever had to pay a nickel.
In the winter I was given the honor of starting his car.
But it wasn't on his watch the night that robbers paid the store a visit.
It was another younger manager on duty.

I was looking down at the floor as I pushed the big broom.
Then the broom bumped into two pairs of shiny black shoes.
I stopped and looked up.
Black pants, black suit coats, black ties, black sunglasses and black hats.
And two shiny guns.

The holdup men made all employees go to the back of the store.
Then they made us lie face down on the cold, concrete floor.
I lifted my head and one of the thieves pointed the shiny pistol at me and said not to raise my head again.
I didn't.
The two men left us and went with the manager to the cash registers.

And then an unbelievable thing occurred.
One of the employees got up and ran to the upstairs office to call the police.
But just as he reached the top of the stairs the men in black were coming back.
Our would-be hero was back in a flash and back down on the floor with us.

We were then escorted to the large room where the incinerator was located.
The two robbers told us to put a tall ladder against the heavy metal door.
They warned us not to come out.
We stayed inside for about ten minutes.
Then the manager went out and took a look.
He returned and told us that they had left.

My other experience may not seem as exciting.
It was the same day that I accidentally bumped the cart where eight cases of dill pickles were sitting.
Not too many jars broke, but the smell was still quite strong.

It was this same day the Corn King visited.
I can't remember now whether it was bacon or vegetables that he was promoting.
All that I remember is that he was A VERY TALL PERSON WITH HUGE FEET!
I think the Corn King shocked me more than those two robbers.


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