…The same was repeated at the other two booths. I now had six kettles full of delectably delicious, oily and greasy yummy burgers. Mmmm mmmm good. Off I went, careful not to give anything away as to what had just occurred. Down the ramp pulling that wagon as stealthily as one could pull a wagon stealthily that had five cloth covered kettles on it. One had to be very careful here as the exit ramps were situated in such a way that two 90 degree turns were required to navigate one’s way from the concourse level of the stadium where the fryers were located to the ground below. The very first time I did this I courted disaster. As I turned from the bottom of the first ramp into the first 90 degree turn and its transition to the second ramp the wagon tipped over. I was going too fast. The kettles rolled and clanged and rolled and clanged, scraping metal against concrete, a sound akin to a cat’s claws scraping down a blackboard, and rolling along the concrete walkway. The burgers fell out onto the cement ramp. Some of them were so firmly cooked as to roll down the ramps on their sides, turning wildly from left to right, out of control, then twirling rhythmically like a top before collapsing and plopping face down on the concrete surface of the ramp. I was a sight to behold running after these wayward, vagabond burgers: cursing hard and picking them up, collecting them then throwing them back into the kettles while at the same time wiping my greasy, oily hands on my pants, licking my fingers in a juicy disgusting fashion. After a while it became difficult to grasp these slippery burgers. Lucky for me I was wearing dark coloured pants.
Finally, after a conscious, concerted and panicky effort, I managed to collect all of the burgers and redistribute them into the respective kettles. Covering them up I continued my pace back to the concession stand but in more of a determined and deliberate manner. Returning, stealthfuly, I immediately placed the kettles into the walk in freezer, or fridge awaiting the first call of the day for more burgers. With the call from the cook they would be placed inside the concession on the floor but beside the grill but in such a manner that when they went on to the grill the paying public had no clue as to the life cycle of our delicious charcoal broiled burgers. I’m sure I saw some customers spitting or picking something out of their mouths after taking a bite or two of those burgs.
Yes, the charcoal broiled burgers at the concession stand were the best in the whole wide world!
But that wasn’t a reason for my dismissal. No, no! By this time, my third summer at this stand, at this fair, I was considered to be the head “bus boy.” With that came a certain amount of responsibility but without the requisite pay raise. After two glorious summer fairs I was till only making about a buck an hour. I decided to take action. Lecturing the other three bus boys as to our financial situation and badmouthing, cussing the owners, we decided to walk off the job at shift change when all four of us would be on duty at the same time. We would walk across the roadway in front of the stand and sit on our greasy butts on a grassy knoll refusing to do any work until we had received a pay raise. At first no one took notice of us lowly bus boys. But as the garbage bins began to overflow and the condiment stations ran out of condiments, the supervisor started screaming for us. We just looked and laughed. Taking notice of us she walked over to where we were sitting and ordered us back to work.
“Not very likely” I retorted. “Not until we get a pay raise.”
After about an hour or so one of the owners showed up. He discussed the situation with the supervisor, occasionally looking in our direction. As the conversation progressed one could ascertain his impatience with us and his anger in the manner in which the business end of his stogey remained red hot. He just stood there, his hands on his hips, his feet apart, his fat belly hanging out and over his belt and his puffy cheeks aglow with each and every draw on that stogey. Agitated, yes, and the more agitated he became the more perfectly concentric smoke rings he drew. Finally, he stomped out his stogey and stomped over toward us:
“Morrison” he yelled
“Yes.” I countered
“You’re fired. Collect your things and get the hell out of here. I don’t want to see you ever again on this site. Understood? The rest of you get back to work. “
And with that my illustrious career as a bus boy came to a glorious end. I collected my things, my pay and told anyone who would listen about those charcoal broiled burgers. But it didn’t matter…