Friday, August 19, 2011

Bus Baby and the Bucket of Steam

Back in the late seventies, and early 80's, while i was in high school, i worked at a restaurant on the gulf.  Shell point restaurant.  Great place! Unfortunately, time and progress occured and it is no longer there.  Many of us "Beach kids" had our jobs there while going to school.  live band and parties every friday and saturday nights.  so Kewl.  Mr G. our boss, Gernard is his name, was known to have an ill temper.  he opened the restaurant at 4:30 a.m. for the fisherman, and sometimes we closed at 2:00 a.m. the next morning ( on weekends).  Now in between breakfast and lunch, gernanrd would go home for a few hour nap, while we kept the restaurant going, cooking, serving, washing, etc, duing the lunchtime hours.  Now almost all us beach kids, had picked up nick names from various screw-ups, or talents, etc.  Sir John, Bolish (me), creepin chris, honey wagon, etc.  i'm sure you get my drift.  I had a good friend that wanted to work at the Rest., but was not exactly "our" sort of guy that we hung with (we were beach brats), but i put in a word for him, and he picked up a job.  Now all us "cool beach kids" worked in the kitchen.  it was the place to be.  and my friend Bus baby, got a job bussin tables.   we teased him so much about "wearing a skirt to bus tables, with the rest of the women, that after about his 8th day on the job, he broke down in tears.  EUREKA!!!! Bus Baby Was Born.  After a while, he finally got moved to the kitchen, washing dishes.  still didn't quite fit in, but we put up with him, after all we needed someone to pull our pranks on.  after a while you know em all, and don't get caught in them. LOL.  When Gernard would go home for his naps, he would always assign a list of chores to get done, beside the regular prep and serving.  On this particular day, Bus Baby got assigned, cleaning the vents abover the fryers, and grills.  (Nasty Job).  Now Gernard, me, sir John, and Honey Wagon all had this worked out the day before.  Shell point consisted of a cool beach, restaurant, marina, motel, and effeciency apartments.  all owners and workers were like a family.  Bus baby worked real hard, on those vents, and us guys kept saying, "Bus i don't think they are clean enough"......... after 3 hours of sweating and toiling, on the "clean" vents, lol.  he was convinced they were clean.  Well 3:00 arrives, and Gernard comes in.. in a bad mood as always, but remembering what we had set up.  he walks around the kitchen looking at all the things that were on the list.......shaking his head in approval at each one.... while we in the kitchen were all business. doing our usual thing.  Until he gets to the vents...... at literally the top of his lungs, he yells!  who in the hell tried to clean these GD vents???? they look like shit, i'm firing the SOB who did this half ass job.   Bus baby froze with the deer in the headlights look.

Bus baby exclaims, i worked 3 hours on it, i thought they were clean.!!!  Gernard, reaches around, grabs an open top 5 gallon buckets, throws it across the kitchen toward Bus Baby, and says get yer ass down to the marina, and get some steam.  these damn things have to be steam cleaned you idiot!!!  Bus grabs the open top 5 gallon bucket runs out the back door, towards the marina, at a full gallop.  about 5 minutes later Gernards wife Joan, came back to the kitchen to find us all crying with tears of laughter.  says Wright at the Marina wants to know, what the hell that boy wants?? said he keeps asking for steam???  Gernard laughed, said, tell wright, to tell Bus baby, he is out of steam, until 6:00, that when his shipment comes in...  so she did.  the whole kitchen crew, the waitresses, and the reigning Bus Girl, waited around the corner of the back double doors.  when he was close enough, walking ever so slowly, dreading to tell Gernard he couldn't get the steam, carrying that empty 5 gallon bucket... gets close enough.. we swung open the back doors, and EVERYBODY  starts clapping......  Bus Baby's face turned 5 shades of gray and red, (No he wasn't going to get fired, but he had been royally had!).  and just sat down on the ground, not sure to laugh or cry....  oh how i miss the good old days....  and the best damn restaurant, and crew, that ever served fresh gulf seafood, in the state of Florida.

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