09 December, 2016

Notes on the Grand Experiment: nothing but a twisted ankle will get me down...

 In forgiving an injury be somewhat ceremonious, lest your magnanimity be construed as indifference. - Ambrose Bierce

Buster Keaton, Steamboat Bill, Jr., (1928)

Somewhere between trying to forget that I hate washing dishes and trying to remember that I do, in fact, like cheese*, I've been remiss in my writing and podcasting duties. Catering, maybe more so than any other job I've had (other than teaching) is more than a job. It is a universe entirely unto itself. It operates on its own time and at it's own speed regardless of and in spite of what speed the Earth is spinning on its axis. It reminds me a lot of life in theater, too, except for the absence of wrap parties. It's driven by a chaotic energy** that doesn't quit and it requires a certain steel backbone and a particular emotional acquiescence in order to enter it.

As it happens, I am a dishwasher. Being a dishwasher requires a respect for the absurd futility of life.

It also helps to be fast.

One of the things that helps, other than I get to listen to loud music and being nice is considered more of a liability than an asset in a working kitchen, is that I keep the image of Sisyphus firmly in my mind. No matter how many hotel pans I wash, there will always be more. No matter how many times in any given work day I wash the 3 foot tall mixing bowl that the bakery uses to mix batter and the hot side uses to make mashed potatoes, it will always come back and will always need to be washed. No matter how many times I wash cutting boards...

you get the idea.

It never stops. Not really. The goal isn't so much to finish as it is to get things looking like everything isn't one dirty sauce pan away from collapsing under the weight of the gravitational chaos the entire catering cosmos is built upon.

Of course, it would happen during what  is probably the busiest week of the last half of the year that I fall and twist my ankle. I didn't even fall at work, though I'm sure a few of the people I work with have been surprised that hasn't happened. No. I fell in my driveway Because life is basically absurd and futile and it never stops.

Well, Dear Readers, there's always tomorrow. And I'm scheduled for a double. Thank God for over the counter painkillers.


If you like what you're reading here, I have work for sale on my amazon author page:
www.amazon.com/author/mickparsons

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*I wash so much cheese sauce in any given week. On the other side of nearly being broken of my love for cheese, they make maybe the best Kentucky Hotbrown I've ever eaten.
**Working in a busy catering kitchen is pretty much like signing yourself into an insane asylum. Just take your medicine and enjoy the ride.
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