Thursday, August 31, 2006

Childhood Memories #11 (Tasty Treat)

I've mentioned before that my father owned a fast-food restaurant all throughout my childhood years. Here are a few of the memories I could conjure from the bowels of my psyche...

--Age 10. During the summers when my Mom wasn't teaching school, she'd come in to help out. It would truly be a family affair: my Dad on the grill, my brother on the deep-fry, and my Mom out taking orders from customers. Little Dave would be in the back stuffing napkins in napkin holders or putting tiny little paper ketchup containers on rectangular trays.

--Age 16. I worked the night shift, which ended at about 10:30pm. My Dad would go home about 8-ish after the dinner rush and all of the employees (myself included) would sigh with relief when he left. In a matter of minutes, smokers would light up, we'd all sit down (expressly forbidden while Dad was there) and change the radio from country to rock. When it was really slow, we played Gin Rummy.

--Age 10. We had just added a drive-through window and my Dad had smoothed over the concrete floor with a trowel. I was told to "keep out" while it dried. About a half-hour later while Mom and Dad were outside changing the large street sign listing next week's "specials," I accidentally walked right across the wet concrete. I tried to use the trowel to smooth it over as best I could, but it wasn't perfect. Unfortunately for my perfectionist father, it dried in its imperfect state and I was never truly forgiven for my poor concrete skills.

--Age 17. We employed, at times, some pretty rough trade. I'll never forget "Lori," who I caught late one night smoking cigarette butts she had picked up from the parking lot. Until that moment, I really had no idea what it meant to be poor and addicted.

--Age 15. In the summers, I "opened" with my Dad. We'd come in about 8am and get the morning tasks out of the way. We'd chop lettuce, onions and tomatoes, fill ketchup trays (my Dad hated ketchup packets), grate cheese, weigh out frozen trays of fries, tater tots, onion rings and chicken strips, and fill up all the empty mayo/mustard/ketchup containers. And that wasn't even a 10th of it. We did this EVERY morning. My Dad did it for 30+ years.

--Age 16. One of our employees, "Betty," with whom I was always very flirtatious, trapped me in the "walk-in" (the large room-sized refrigerator) and grabbed my crotch and tried to kiss me. I can't tell you how unbelievably repulsed I was at that. But I went along with it because I didn't know what else to do. It never happened again, though.

--Age 14. We had to wear "uniforms" of jeans, a white, short-sleeve button down shirt, a red "Tasty Treat" hat, and a red apron. The only time I really minded the outfit was when hot high school guys would drive their cool cars through the drive-thru. I countered my embarrassment by taking the opportunity to stare at their crotches as I handed them their food.


At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You weren't worried about smoking outside of your parents' restaurant when you were 16 years old and you are worried about your parents finding out that you own a motorcycle now?!?!?!? Such travesty!

At 10:46 AM, Blogger Dave said...

Actually, I probably worded that wrong... I didn't smoke in high school--I was a swimmer! A smoking swimmer is an even WORSE travesty!

I'll correct it for historical accuracy. hehe

At 10:55 AM, Blogger KipEsquire said...

Cheeseburger, cheeseburger cheeseburger, cheeseburger!

At 5:39 AM, Blogger The Persian said...

thanks for sharing that, sounds like you
had to grow up pretty fast. Your dad seemed pretty strict!

I checked out your You Tube videos, amazing!! I just got the hang of it all last night (reducing the size with windows movie maker and then uploading them to You Tube). You kinda inspired me to make more.


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