Cassidy was another member of the circus’s clown troop, and the most notorious womanizer known to anyone under the big top. The circus would sometimes pair up with other traveling carnivals, midways and larger shows in order to hold bigger events. Following one such event, Cassidy had seduced an entire line of chorus girls from another traveling show and made love to all of them in his trailer at the same time, a legend which was still being accurately retold among the staff of the circus ten years later.
It was no surprise to Patty that the Scottish rogue had a way with women. In his mid-40s, Cassidy was still firm, fit and trim with the good looks of the Marlboro Man and the bad boy attitude of Harley Davidson. With the leather jackets and snakeskin boots he wore outside of work, he had much more in common with the latter of his two role models, and although he drank and smoked heavily, he could still pass for someone ten years his junior. Women were often attracted to Cassidy on sight.
Patty herself had once been infatuated with the gruff Scotsman, all through her teens really, but her dad had always been around to make sure that she never pursued her interest in him. Her father had liked Cassidy well enough as a person, but didn’t want her getting any ideas of romance with his employee.
“A man like that ain’t the kind you want to get close to,” her father would say, which did nothing but confuse her at that young age.
It wasn’t until about a week before her 19th birthday that Patty decided that Cassidy Magoon would not be a considerable future mate. Patty’s family had always shared a unique camaraderie with everyone who worked under the big top, but there was always a special bond among those who called themselves clowns. After each show, the clown troop had a tradition of gathering around a fire and drinking and telling stories of their lives and bygone glory days. It was at such a gathering that Patty was present when Cassidy shared with the other men around the fire the tale of an intimate encounter with “the dog-faced girl” from a freak show they had been performing with the week before. Apparently he needed to go see a doctor. Ever since his dalliance with the possible canine hybrid, there had been a discharge that looked like pea soup mixed with ketchup coming from under his foreskin. As Patty stared at him, fighting her own gag reflex at the mental image, any desire she had for Cassidy as a lover was doused.
In recent years, she’d been more his nursemaid than anything, often carrying him back to his infamous trailer when he’d drunk too much and passed out. She also made sure he got medical attention whenever he had caught some venereal bug from the women he got around with.
Patty’s mind slipped back to the present and the conversation that had just been interrupted by the lecherous Scotsman.
“You wish you old perv!” Patty said jokingly with a wide grin.
A glutton for abuse, Cassidy grinned.
“Ah! Well no sense wastin’ me time with ye stuck up wenches then!” he responded jokingly, before turning and walking across the fairgrounds to his infamous trailer.
As Cassidy walked away, Patty noticed that Alison’s eyes were still following him. The 15-year-old’s face held an excited, girlish grin. Her cheeks were rosy from blushing at the comments from the handsome older man.
“I know what you’re thinking girl and don’t. A man like that ain’t the kind you wanna get close to,” Patty scolded Alison, channeling her father.
Alison, quite offended at being torn so rudely from her girlish daydreaming, scrunched up her face.
“What is that supposed to mean?” the young girl asked.
“It means I know you’ve got yourself a little crush on Cassidy there and don’t even think about doing anything with him,” replied Patty. “God, Alison, you’d get a disease or something.”
“I know Patty! I’m not stupid,” Alison said with a disgusted look on her face.
Before Patty could discuss the matter any further, the shambling figure of Pops came scuttling from around a nearby circus tent. His short, round frame waddled as fast as he could, waiving his cane in the air as he spoke.
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