Another concession bus story…
It’s 1987 and my wife Kathy and I are scratching out a living by operating a concession bus. You know, one of those rolling french fry / hamburger joints created out of old school buses.
Anyway, this job we scored because of our impressive pancake breakfast for the gun show in Kamloops.
Today we’re at the real McCoy. We’re at the gun club shooting range where all those guns from the gun show get to make loud noises and kick up a bit of dust.
And, it’s time to partay…
- This food feedin’ bus is ready to Rock and Roll! (insert rock tune here)
- We’ll be serving about 75 hungry gunpowder smellin’ like customers for lunch so the last three hours we have been preparing for the onslaught.
- Zee Two Zany Zorros are decked out in their finest white smocks, white bibs and black hairnets. We shore do look professional-like. My wife and I smile at each other confidently.
- BRANG IT ON MOFO’S! Brang it ON!
Zero Plus One
- Initial eye contact, as planned, sends my wife Kathy into action with her immediately grabbing the french fry basket to submerse our first batch of fresh cut potatoes.
- People sure do love them Fresh Cut Fries…
- Training pretty much takes over at this point, we all know what to do and have learned how to dance around each other to do it.
- Yeah, we could do this shit with our eyes closed. We’re that good.
Fifty Yards Out
- First full-on view of customers at twelve o’clock high, coming in low and slow off the horizon and (group of four, two big shooters at your three o’clock) vectoring our location.
- At this point wife Kathy screams out in pain and flings the french fry basket to the thankfully disinfected, spotless floor.
- I wonder if those dudes heard her holler? It was pretty friggin loud and very girlish. Maybe the generator noise overshadowed it.
- Don’t want to spook ’em. It’s a long shot from here…
Forty Yards Out
- Woman Down! The palm of my wife’s hand is already starting to blister. She’s crying. What idiot set the french fry basket over the deep fryer exhaust port so it could be the same temperature as the oil?! We are working with morons here!
- Welp, no time to cry over burn flesh now, we got targets at THIRTY-FIVE YARDS!
- Ignoring how my co-worker just got her hand fried, I pick up the same basket, also cooking the palmprint off my hand.
Thirty Yards Out
- DAHH! Fuck! Just wrecked my gloves and one grappler! Customers at 25 yards out! Sweet Jesus! MEDIC! Honey are you okay?! WHY NOW? WE WERE SO PREPARED!!
- Why life gotta be so tough?! Why can’t shit just go straight for once?! Why…
Twenty Yards Out
- Panicky flailing with new gloves, a load of fresh cut potatoes into the oil and torchered grabbing of a pen. Oh my gawd, the pen, the pen, it hurts like hell!
- It’s Smile, then Howdy guys, then what’ll you have…
- Smile, then Jesus, my fucking hand!
Ten Yards Out
- Praise the lawd my wounded partner returns with fresh gloves and mascara free eyes.
- Oh, she is a trooper this one!
- Sure I coulda done it myself but there’s no medals of honor in the concession bus business and did I mention my scorched paw?
- So that would be a stupid waste in my eyes.
- We work wounded through lunch. I don’t remember much of it.
- Between lunch and afternoon coffee we tend to our wounds. Even injured, we handled the rush efficiently.
- Now just want to finish and go home. Hurting and tired with being our own relief.
Oh No, Where You Goin’? Uh-Uh, Not So Fast!
- The guys with guns won’t let us go home without me firing a gun. I’m not into guns I say. That don’t matter. Guns are fun, you’ll see, they say. Dudes were very insistent.
- I don’t want to fire a fucking gun on a good day but especially not today with one hook torched. I hide my blisters and try not to wince too loud when alpha dude squeezes my hand hard on the gun barrel to show me how to hold on tight. I don’t want to fucking hold on tight but this is a fucking machine gun! YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON HOLDING ON TIGHT! Goddammit I hold on tight!
- I bet I looked like Rambo from the front as i fired that weapon because my teeth were clenched as I grimaced in pain. Pitta pow, pow! Pitta pow, pow! Pitta, pitta, pitta pow, pow, pow! Pow, pow, pow, pow, pow,pow!
- See? A military type asks me spittle close. See? I knew you’d like it! Dude almost smashes safety glasses with me as he takes possession of the firearm.
- I didn’t like it. I hated it and everything that that gun stood for. I just wanted to leave these nice shooters to their shooting and go home to lick my wounds.
WTF Was I Thinking?
Yeah, go home and contemplate getting into another line of work was more like it.
Hopefully something with fewer hot things and nowhere near guns.
Maybe a say-ohs job would be nice.
Or maybe a Say-ohs Manager…
Thank you, friend.