|Arizona by Shelley McElhiney|
My first job was at a Jack in the Box. I know, that's already enough of a confession, but there's more! The business was across the street from the University of Arizona campus, a bastion of great learning, filled with studious individuals, all far to busy with the business of learning for anything as frivolous as cartoons, hamburgers or parties...
Just kidding, it was a "party school." Late at night or very early in the morning, depending on your point of view, after the bars had all closed & long after any other business in the city had locked up their doors our store was packed, filled to bursting with hungry college students, college student wanna be's & drunks, most of whom could be described in at least two of the three previously mentioned categories & more than a few of whom were very close to the third category. Sometimes, I was on their side of the counter, amidst the yelling throng, dodging the popping of random ketchup packets. More often, though I was on the other side, with the employees, trying to remain calm, mostly succeeding, sometimes not (I once threw an order at a 'frat rat,' a whole different story) at least until the boss decided we needed to stay open until the crowd disappeared, sometimes hours later.
After close, crowd or no, I was left with them. They were 'pros,' I was new. It took me longer to clean up. They would torture me by standing around talking while I struggled to finish cleaning some horrible thing (like the 'cheese pot' that no one had stirred all night long) or another (a grease trap, don't ask), every once in awhile making some snide comment about how long it was taking & how much they wanted to go home & I always wondered, if they really wanted to go home so much, why didn't they help?
|Tiny House Dangle Earrings Smurf's House by MarshiaCy Etsy|
They loved Smurfs. Yes, Smurfs. They gave each other smurf names & discussed Smurf life & much frivolity ensued...for them. I hated Smurfs. I was too old for the cartoons (no, I'm not saying that I wouldn't like the film, from what I've seen, the film is not really like the shows. It's more 'mature' in a number of ways) & I didn't watch the show in some altered state of being that might of made them more interesting, like many, but not my co-workers, they watched the show 'straight,' as adults & they enjoyed it. They dubbed me 'Hate Smurf.' I wasn't Gilgamesh or whatever their nemesis was called, I was 'Hate Smurf.' I didn't wish the Smurfs harm or so they decided. I was a Smurf in denial of its Smurfness, even if I wasn't sure what Smurfness was, so 'Hate Smurf' I was. Don't laugh, it's not funny, I just didn't get it, didn't get the show & didn't get Smurfs. They were never able to answer my questions, Smurf experts that they were. Why were they all male, except one? Why was there a Papa Smurf, but never any Mama Smurf?
|Smurfette Bottle Cap Necklace by meme52 Etsy|
Eventually, they moved on to other newbies & even invited me to an outing or two. They learned that I could do my job & was a pretty fast grill/fry cook. We learned to let go of animosity & even like each other, for the most part, but I never did get the Smurf thing. I guess I'll be 'Hate Smurf' forever ;)
|Smurf Calavera limited edition gocco from MisNopalesArt Etsy|