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Come on 6:30!

Come on 6:30! Come on 6:30!

When I was 15, I was heir apparent to my older brother's butcher shop job when he went off to college. Much like royalty, when my brother was dethroned, it was just assumed that I would take over. Of course, it was all off the books, so my employers had no idea as to my real age. When I finally turned 16, they were shocked; they thought I was a good two years older.

The job was miserable. I was the clean-up boy, which took a lot of physical work. Butchers' blocks are really just big slabs of wood on legs. To clean the dried, caked blood from the surface, you have to spray it down with a mix of bleach and water. Then you have to use a weird scraping tool. It's basically a wooden block the size of a brick with metal bristles sticking out of one side. The bristles are thick with shard edges. You take the scraping tool and you basically sand down the wooden block until all the blood-covered wood and bleach is nothing more than blood-and-guts-scented saw dust.

Amidst my co-workers was Anthony (never Tony), a 30-something tall, athletic looking guy with jet black hair that was starting to recede. Anthony was an asshole, but he was the kind of asshole you eventually get to like. It's sorta the ole, He's an asshole, but he's OUR asshole. On one occassion, he grunted about the stupid Jew broads coming here in their Mercedes paid for by their husbands. We were in an affluent Jewish (but not religious) neighborhood, so this was a common relent. But one time, he was extremely harsh when the customers left. He had no idea I was Jewish. I guess my bid head convinced him I was Irish. That's when I learned to consider the source before getting insulted.

I hated my job at the butcher shop and almost daily begged my Mom to let me quit. She made me keep the job for over a year before I finally found my loophole, but during that time I learned a lot about human nature and work ethic. I also have certain sayings that will stay with me forever, and when I mention them, they make perfect sense to me, but leave most people thinking I'm crazy.

"Come on 5:30! Come on 5:30!" Anthony used to yell this every day around 4:50 as he stared at the clock. The store closed at 5:30 and all he wanted to do was go home to his wife and do some hard drugs until the next day. But I loved his shout. He was calling for 5:30 as though it were a race horse. "Come on 5:30! Come on 5:30!" as though he could will it to come faster, much in the same way as horsebetting fans call out their horse as though their encouragement from hundreds of yards away would make any difference to the animal.

That's what is going through my head today. "Come on 6:30! Come on 6:30!" Because tomorrow, at about 5:45 am, I have to hit the road to make my way to the airport. Next stop, Vegas, land of dreams and just as many nightmares. I can't fucking wait.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 12:06 PM,


At 1:06 PM, Blogger Schaubs said...

Happy Chanukah!

Come on 5pm tomorrow...!!

At 3:45 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

I <3 posts like these. Always cool to hear a story...even the simple ones...

...see you Friday morning...ish.

At 2:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reading that, I felt totally immersed in your story; nice writing.


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