Yep, I got a job delivering fertilizer to farms.
This is awesome, because it combines a few of my favourite things. Farmers, driving, slinging the proverbial shit, and getting a paycheck.
As I was sitting here contemplating what to write about today, I was flipping through G+ and I came across some video footage of Black Sabbath performing one of their new songs in Australia. I couldn’t tell whether it was good or not, because of the bad video, but on the left was a link to a 1973 video from a Deep Purple concert in New York.
I clicked on it, and was immediately transported back to grade 9 or 10 when I worked in the arcade that was attached to The British Hotel, or I suppose it was called Speedy’s by then. There was a jukebox in there, and during a shift of doling out quarters and french fries to my delinquent friends, I would hear the four Deep Purple songs that were on it, maybe twenty times. I worked there 5 days a week at least, so you could safely say that I heard Deep Purple more than the average person.
This may seem like I’m complaining, but I’m not. I don’t remember ever thinking that I was sick of Hush, Highway Star, or even Smoke On The Water. I liked hearing them all whenever they came on, but the biggest treat was when someone, namely me, would put their two bits in and play Kentucky Woman.
I fucking loved that song, and I still do.
It wasn’t until I started really listening to Neil Diamond in the 90’s, that I found out that he wrote and recorded it in 1967. I totally rock out to the original too, but there was just something about the Deep Purple version that did it for me.
Anyhow, the thing I’m trying to put together here is that I loved that job, just as I think I’m going to love this one. It just fits me.
Working in the arcade was definitely more exciting, but that’s what you need when you’re fourteen years old. There was an adrenaline rush every time a fight would break out and I’d have to jump the counter and open the door with someone’s head. I got kissed by a few young ladies in there as well. I guess “ladies” might be an overstatement. Perhaps “chicks” would be the more accurate term for the gals that hung out in that dive. Either way, I got to kiss a few of them, and it was fucking awesome. Do you have any clue how many fourteen year old boys wished they were me? Lots.
Where else could you get four bucks an hour to listen to great tunes, hang out with your buddies, and occasionally get to kiss girls? Fuckin’ nowhere, that’s where.
It was my dream job until summer came.
Come on, who wants to work in some shitty arcade all summer when you’re that close to a beach full of chicks in bikinis? Fuckin’ nobody, that’s who.
Well, at least I didn’t. I figured it would be better to party on the weekends and pick fucking tobacco for $60 a day during the week.
It wasn’t a fun job, but I learned to be a better person that summer, if not a better fighter. That was the good thing about being young and mouthy; you were guaranteed to get practice in the art of wrestling and fisticuffs whenever you wanted. Like the time Charlie knocked me off the wagon when we were on our way back to the kiln for the last time on a humid Saturday afternoon. I called him a dumb farmer, and told him to come down and fight me, and he readily agreed. I wasn’t worried though, because fast and accurate will win against strong and slow every time, right? Well, it turned out he wasn’t as slow as he spoke.
As I spit out the mouthfuls of dirt and crow that I had just dined on, I accepted a hand up from him, and we went out and got right drunk on a bottle of Royal Reserve and a six pack of Blue tallboys.
That was one of those turning points in a boys life, when you tell yourself that there are two ways this can end. You can be a pissy-pants cry baby and show everyone that your pride is way bigger than your fists, or you can accept defeat, a helping hand, and maybe make a good friend and ally for a few years. I don’t know where Charlie is these days. I guess I lost track of him sometime during high school, but I’d be willing to bet that he’s still a fella that would help you up after you made him knock you down. I think it’s just the way he was raised, and you don’t grow out of being classy.
Well, unless you turn into a raging cokehead, then you probably might forget how decent people act.
Asking only workman’s wages I come looking for a job, but I get no offers, just a come-on from the whores on Seventh Avenue,
P.S. It’s the first post of the month, so comment to win a Guardian Bell. You might as well go there now and pick out the one you’re going to win. It’s inevitable, right?