My job at the restaurant has taken a new turn. Yup, the “tomato lady” tendered her resignation…which is to say that she walked out. “It’s too (expletive) hot up in HERE!” we re her last words uttered as an employee, and she uttered them while snatching off her apron with a wrist-motion that would easily have snapped a cat’s neck, were she holding such a cat. I know because I saw her do it, which is due to the fact that I was running my head under cold water in a kitchen sink in an attempt to get the sweat out of my eyes and the sink was about six and a half feet from Tomato Lady when the dam burst. Anyway, because of my aforementioned immediate proximity, I believe, I was handed her ex-job on the spot. Mr. Carlson had tossed me an apron before Tomato Lady’s apron hit the floor, saying “Get to it, Jason,” which isn’t even my name. But I knew who he meant all right. So now I’m tomato dude.
My charge as Tomato Dude – and I’ve had this job before…at this same restaurant, in fact, and about ten years ago when I was saving up for a road trip to Oregon which turned into a year and a half road anti-Odyssey, which is a whole ‘nother story – is now stand in front of a large vat of hot oil with a ridiculous-looking steel spatula and to fry tomatoes for five or six hours straight. They call them “fried green tomatoes” and, yes, there was a movie called that. And, yes, people actually eat them in semi-obscene quantities. And, yes, they taste just about like anything else that’s fried: Muy Sabrosita.
That was last Saturday night. And in my brief reign as tomato dude, so far I too have come to many a realization, including the fact that sharing a workspace with a hot vat of grease does, indeed, tend to effectively increase one’s overall body temperature. In other words, it’s hot as (expletive). And the question is: Can I take the heat?
I’d like to open this blog up for responses. So go ahead and tell me what your vote is. Can I, in fact, take the heat? Feel free.