LYRIC O’ THE DAY:
She’s long gone with her red shoes on
Gonna need another loving babe
--Nobody But the Baby, Allison Krauss, Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris
This Insecure Writer’s Support Group post isn’t exactly about writerly insecurities, but about the decisions we make in order to be secure. Because lately, most of my insecurities have to do with my Day Job, which isn’t writing. Writing is my salvation, my dream--the highlight of my reality. The Day Job is becoming less and less emotionally fulfilling for me. The reasons I went in to medicine are incongruent with what medicine is becoming.
So I should quit, right? Find a better fit? Well here’s where that insecure part of me comes in. Down deep, I am a practical gypsy. A gypsy with a mortgage, and school loans, and health insurance costs for two little boys. A gypsy that knows I am fortunate to have the security of any job in this economic climate.
I dedicate today’s post for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group to being too insecure to give up security. To embracing the jobs that put money in your pocket while you chase other dreams. The jobs that you’d change in a heartbeat if the opportunity presented itself.
I have had a variety of craptastic jobs in my life. I have been employed as the Wal-mart snack bar queen, forced to wear a smock and distribute liquid cheese. I was a construction strumpet (see Vibrator girl for further info). I offered my body to medical science as a guinea pig for an experiment on acid reflux. When someone comes at you with a tube they want to stick down your throat, don’t believe them when they tell you that anesthesia is not necessary. Unless you’re in to that sort of thing.
I was thumbing through an advertisement the other day when I was triggered to recall one of my favorite sucktacular jobs. The good folks at Bed, Bath and Beyond have now made it possible to own--for the low price of $14.99--your very own funnel cake maker set. Because families out there are so desperate for food implements that this will become a crucial part of daily food prep. And heck, with the obesity crisis looming, why not support a chicken in every pot, a car in every garage, and a funnel cake maker in every pantry?
Begin flashback to a sultry Nebraska summer in 1988, complete with acid washed cutoffs and explosion bangs as far as the eye can see.
Setting: The Dawson County Speedway concession stand.
Occupation: Funnel cake maker.
For those of you who have no idea what a funnel cake is, think bastardized fritter. It involves batter. Not the tight pants and Skoal batter of baseball fame, but pancake batter. Overly sweetened batter that still has the gritty texture of its powdered mix origins. Put said batter into a device reminiscent of the Tin Man’s oil can. Heat a skillet of fluorescent yellow industrial grade vegetable oil until sweat drips off your brow from the radiant heat. Place a piece of circular metal into the pan--this is your funnel cake “mold”. Now pour the batter in a frenetic pattern resembling something a schizophrenic spider might make. This is out of necessity, not design, because quick movements are required to avoid splattering scalding grease on lily white skin. The scars of the summer of ’88 will be with me forever, literally.
The batter should puff up and turn golden brown. If it resembles the last time your cat Mr. Snuggles had the runs, there is a problem with the mix to liquid ratio. Flip the cake and cook the other side.
Once both sides are complete, transfer the creation onto a layer of paper towels to soak up extraneous grease. Or if you work at the Speedway, add a pound of powdered sugar to serve the purpose instead. Because nothing says delicious like a powdered sugar/oil slurry. Whipped cream is also your friend and can camouflage breakage and overzealous cooking. Throw the thing on a styrofoam plate, making sure it’s still hot enough to melt holes in the pseudo-plastic and increase your carbon foot print two-fold. Serve with a sprig of mint and a smile.
The funnel cake was a popular item at the Dawson County Speedway. Something about the sound of roaring engines and the smell of burning rubber makes a person crave oil saturated dough and things that are white and powdery. Eau de Fryer was the perfume of the concession stand jezebel that attracted rotund Nebraskans from miles around.
|Perhaps not the worst fair food, but I'm biased. My kingdom for a deep fat fried twinkie.|
Our motto was: “Ignore the numbness in your arm. That’s just saturated fat giving you a hug.”
Every morning when I get up without the stench of fried dough clinging to my hair, I feel thankful for my current job, even if it’s not exactly where I want to be.
What’s the worst job you’ve ever had to pay the bills?