Tuesday, November 20, 2007


I don’t believe in karma. If it did exist we’d see certain people paying dearly for their offenses, instead they just seem to live on and die a normal death without ever receiving their just deserts.

I can’t complain too loudly about the morons and numskulls that I had working for me at our hot dog stand because when I was a sixteen year old kid, I was one of those morons and numskulls.

A neighbor from across the street, Ray Burns, hired me when I was fifteen for one dollar an hour to work in his pizza parlor in Oak Forest, Illinois. This was my first experience working at a real job. Working with older men at the pizza parlor (they were seventeen and eighteen) was new for me. They told dirty jokes, talked of girls they had conquered and picked on me mercilessly. This helped me learn to have a thick skin and let certain things just roll off of my back. By the time I had worked there for a year, I learned to give as good as the older guys gave to me.

One day as I was being harassed by the pizza boy and the delivery boy, I came up with a good insult that apparently hit a nerve. I don’t remember what it was, but after I returned to my business at the sandwich counter, a wad of pizza dough came flying from across the kitchen and smacked me in the back of the head.

!Attention!, this is where I become an asshole and moron!
I went into the back room where the dough was kept in large refrigerated vats. Digging into the first vat I came up with a large handful of raw dough and from my defensive position in the back room I let it fly, hitting the delivery guy directly in the back. He of course retaliated. This went on back and forth for quite a while. When I’d run out of doughy ammunition, I’d pull another vat out of the refrigerator and continue the battle.

When it was all over, I looked around the store and realized what we had done. There was dough everywhere, hanging from the clock, dripping off of the equipment, it was a mess and it needed to be cleaned up before the boss came back. For my part, I simply slipped off my apron, walked out of the door and went home, never returning.

Now if my name was Earl, Ray Burns would be high on my list of people I have to make things right with, but it’s not, and he’s probably dead by now. So in my wizened old age I just try to be as nice as I can be to people, especially people who live near me and I have to see every day.


  1. I first met Alan at Belmont rocks in the summer of 1992 after he threw a wad of seaweed at me. It hit me in the back of the head. Now I know where he learned that from.

  2. Was it that long ago. My how time flies. 25 years ago!...let see I think I was 18. hehe

  3. I wouldn't call getting even being an asshole and moron. I think it is great you stood up to those guys as best you knew how.

    I probably would have just sucked it up, cried when I got home and told my mother that I didn't understand why they always picked on me. She then would tell me that they were just jealous of me, which wouldn't make any sense and I would never grow a spine. Then dad would see me crying and just call me a big sissy. Thanks dad.

    You learned early to stand up for yourself and that is a good thing.

  4. russell, that was one of the benefits of growing up in a large family! I considered Alan my slave until one summer he "grew a backbone" and wouldn't do what I told him to do. I remember complaining to my mother who told me he had "turned over a new leaf" and I'd have to deal with it! I think we were aroun 10 and 11 so he was well prepared to work in tha pizza place!

  5. Peggy, what the hell are you talking about? I don't know what you mean, I helped clean your room and ran away from home with you only because I thought we were fraternal twins. Sure you were three years older, I just liked hanging around the womb longer.

  6. Russell said;
    I wouldn't call getting even being an asshole and moron. I think it is great you stood up to those guys as best you knew how.

    Alan says;
    You don't get it. I was an asshole for leaving the guy who gave me the job, with a pizza place covered in dough. I guarantee you, those two assholes I worked with didn't clean it up. They just blamed it all on me.

  7. JUST FOR ACCURACY SAKE, it is Alan's fantasy that I am 3 years older than him! I was born 4/19/48 and he was born 12/27/49, so we are 1 1/2 years apart!
    He did run away from home with me, we got as far as the covered wooden sandbox in the backyard. It was fall and it got chilly so we gave up and went back inside. Mom hadn't even left the kitchen to "look" for us...how humiliating!