Anyway, I took the job, which was just on weekends, and it paid, I think, $50 a day. Back then, this was an amazing wage for a 15 year old kid. It turned out, though, that I worked 12-14 hour days and it ended up being about 3 bucks an hour, quite a bit less than minimum. I ate so much food from that damed chip cart that I'm sure they lost money on me, even at that wage.
|protecting the innocent.|
We travelled around in a converted school bus (yes) that had a big bed in it. Ma (my friend's mom) would drive. Sher would drive the Chip wagon. I slept on top of the the big freezer in the back if we stayed overnight. But when we drove at night, the other workers and I (my friend, and her boyfriend) would sleep in the big fold out bed in the bus. They made out a lot. I felt awkward and pretended to sleep.
I saw a lot of small towns that summer. A lot of teenage girls with hickeys. Like, every girl. To the point where it was kind of weird. I mean, I'd never imagined there could be so many hickeys given in one small town. There wasn't enough time. How was it possible?
I made myself countless snacks of toasted hamburger buns with fried onions and processed cheese. And french fries. I was working in my gluttonous dream land.
One time, I woke up from a deep sleep on an overnight drive and I felt really awful. I went outside and threw up and was very dizzy. Turns out we'd all got carbon monoxide poisoning. We were all a mess.
We were told to sleep it off (while Sher fixed the leak). But a few hours later we were shuffled back to work. It was crazy. We could have died! I don't know how I managed to function, lugging those canisters of soda and hooking them up and then flipping burgers. I just knew I wanted my mommy.
So I quit after that weekend, citing a family emergency. A lie. My mom backed me up in that lie. Sorry, to you my friend and her mom. It wasn't your fault I got carbon monoxide poisoning. You were working very hard and trying to make a go of a business and that can't have been at all easy. But I had to lie. It's how I handle awkward situations. It's for the best.
While I think of that summer job as the worst summer job I ever had, it did, I suppose, prepare me for living on a bus, as I would 10 years later. And while the travelling was a little easier on a tour bus than in a converted school bus, it was still a bit of a grind after awhile.
But at least I didn't have to listen to people getting it on right next to me.
Or at least not that often.
It is not sexy.