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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bbbbbbbbbbbbblack Slacks, or It’s So Hard to Get Good Help

I got the call.

And what do we do when we get the call?

We get Mary on the phone.

“Mary!” I shout.

She likes when I shout into the phone, especially early on a Tuesday morning.

“Herro,” she says, mildly.

“Herro,” I say. “Hey, you still got those black pants?”

The phone line crackles. I get the impression that Mary answered the phone whilst slouching and has just straightened up.

“Yeeeeees…” she says cautiously.

“They got a crease in ‘em?”

“Yeeeeees…”

“You still got that white button-down shirt?”

“Yeeeees…”

“Are you prepared to button those cuffs? In the bright sunlight? At noon? With no shade in sight, sweat running down your back, and the keen look of a real go–-“

“Pearl! You’re killin’ me!”

“Get the starch out, baby! We got ourselves some servin’ gigs!”

It’s true. The season of working for cash is upon us.



You see the sweating chicks over there in the black pants and white button-down shirt? Yeah. That’s me and Mary, picking up the abandoned dishes at the graduation buffet, running to get your grandparents another cup of coffee, and furtively checking our watches to see how much time is left.

What? Of course I wish the kiddies all the best! Good for you, graduating from high school like that!

Could I get you some more coffee? Another frittata? How about something from the pack-your-own hookah station?

Funny how things change.

What ever happened to the good ol’ fashioned graduation party? The one where your mom put out ham sandwiches and potato salad? The one with the keg in the garage and the cigarettes we stole from your dad?

Oh, wait. I think I may have answered my own question.

When I graduated from high school, the legal drinking age was 18. The very next year the age shifted to 19, and just a couple years later it went to 21.

As Maxwell Smart used to say: Missed me by that much.

I’m sure there are still plenty of rowdy graduation parties around – which is, at least in my mind, a fitting way to finish your formative years. To hear some people speak, though, the idea of an 18-year-old drinking several beers and sitting in a garage with a number of other similarly impaired youngsters is a bad thing.

Which brings us back to the catered graduation banquet.

I don’t mind working summer parties, although I must admit I could do without the black pants. It’s hard to keep a smile on your face when you’re developing swamp-butt, although once your brain reaches a certain temperature and the hallucinations kick in it’s actually easier to keep a smile on your face, so it all works out, when you think about it.

So there you go. Well done, high school graduates. Be well. Drive carefully. Enjoy your fruit smoothies and butlered appetizers.

Mary and I are here to serve.

46 comments:

Simply Suthern said...

Swamp-butt prolly erases the urge to want to sit down somewhat. At least until swamp-sock arises. After that you make the same squishy sound whether you sit or walk.

Pearl said...

Simply, there's nothing like working in the great out-of-doors...

Yandie, Goddess of Pickles. said...

I can't fathom what it'd be like to have a legal drinking age of 21. We're 19 up here, and it's bumped down to 18 a couple times. When my dad turned 19, they lowered the age to 18, so he got gypped a year of drinking legally.

Not sure when it went back to 19. Funny that at 18, you can go to war, you can help decide your country's future through the vote, but beer? awwww hells no. Fergit it.

Pearl said...

Yandie, I agree. We expect a lot out of 18 year-olds but can't trust them with beer? If we're goign to wait until people are "mature" enough to drink, I'm afraid there will be some who never taste the stuff...

Sioux said...

When you get to a certain planet called Menopause, the swamp-butt might help out. Is it incontinence or is it swamp butt? Only your undies know...

Pearl said...

Sioux! :-) No making me laugh out loud at work!

Glen said...

do ladies get swamp butt?

Pearl said...

Glen, what? No.

Oilfield Trash said...

LOL @ the swamp butt.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Swamp-butt!!! I think I have had that more than once!! Cash! Nothing like it!
<><

Doubting Thomas said...

Don't forget the baby powder. Chafing is no bueno. Take it from a guy who lives a few degrees closer to the equator ;)

The Six-Fingered Monkey said...

Ah... I used to work the summer party circuit, complete with black slacks and all. I kinda envy you. Seriously. It was occasionally fun.

Oh... and "Black Slacks" is one of my favorite songs ev-er!

Ron said...

Swamp butt.

Bwhahahahahaahhaha!

Never heard of that expression before, but I have to honestly say that I've HAD swamp butt before! In fact, I get it all through the summer months.

I don't know how you do it, Pearl. I hate being outside during the summer because I can't stand being HOT.

Oh, and guess what? I wear TOTAL black at work too.

Guess, that's reason for my swamp butt - HA!

Miss Scarlet said...

Could you not wear a skirt? Are there rules about skirt wearing and serving that I'm unaware of?
It's never pleasant to have sticky knickers. Not in any circumstance.
Sx

laughingmom said...

Swamp butt! Ha! Better than Sweaty Ass Crack! I was graduating from high school at the same time as you I guess. My graduation party was a case of beer and a bushel of hard shelled crabs!

De Campo said...

You put the help in a whole new light.

injaynesworld said...

I used to work catered affairs and the best part was getting to take home leftover food. As a starving actress/writer at that time, it really came in handy.

As a starving geriatric writer now, I wonder if I could still get one of those gigs?

Bossy Betty said...

My drink is getting low. Oh, and could you go get me my diploma? I left it in my Mercedes. Thanks, doll.

The Jules said...

Swamp-butt is tolerable till the frogs move in. Then the gators.

I remember being in the States when I was 19 and being denied a beer. Unfortunately, I showed my passport to prove my age to the barkeep, and it had the opposite effect to that intended.

D'oh.

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

So here in Blow-hio, you would've graduated in ...'86? I graduated in '87. Thank God my best friend's boyfriend graduated in 86 and could buy us beer. Or I would've had to go thru High School sober. Horrors!
What are u doing in black pants, serving with swamp butt, when you should be a millionaire author? Come to think of it, what am I doing with swamp butt when I should be a millionaire author?

Gary Baker said...

Americans can't drink until they're 21?! Explains everything.

jenny_o said...

Yay! The comment box has reappeared after a day's hiatus :) More Blogger issues?

Great post! The people in the black pants and white shirts in the scorching sun always look so professional and not-sweaty, and I never understood how that could be. Now I know it's an illusion.

The Empress said...

Parallel lives.

Worked the graduation gig last night, too. All sweaty shiny faced from the humidity, with the black pants that feel like diaper rash at the end of my shift.

High five to awesome us: this week? a baby shower and a 70th birthday party.

wooohooo.

powdergirl said...

Herro Pearl and Mary,
Jeez Pearly, you foxes make me want to start bar-tending again, or maybe a tea-house would be safer the likes O' me...
I very seldom served at banquet's, but the few times I did I had a gas afterwards. There's lots to talk about after you've met a very wide range of diners,init so? Good little drinkers, you banqueteers.
Wait up, lemme see if I can scare up a pair of black pants : )

Pearl said...

The black pants, I'm afraid, are non-negotiable. It's best that the working class suffer a bit, not to mention that a skirt might offer places to hide the silverware...

I have no idea where that came from.

Glad you got the "Black Slacks" reference. :-)

And yes, these kinds of gigs are fun in a sweaty she-works-hard-for-the-money kind of way, not to mention the potential going-out afterward. My favorite is when you get large numbers of servers, all black-pantsed and white-shirted, at the bar afterwards. It's like being part of an exhausted, smelly gang...

powdergirl said...

I just know you could start a classic Pearl post with that first paragraph.

Pearl said...

Just for you, powdergirl? Consider it done. The serving gig itself is Sunday, so looks like I'll be subjecting you to at least two more posts on my unbearably cumbersome workload.

*sigh*

:-)

Suitcase said...

I have a feeling that those graduation moms wouldn't have to actually hire "entertainment" with you and Mary around.

Eva Gallant said...

The legal drinking age in Maine is 21. I guess the reasoning behind it is that 18 year-olds are more likely to be hanging out with 15 and 16-year-olds thena 21 year-olds are.

Susan in the Boonies said...

Swamp butt!!!!!! Oh, have I been there and had that!!!!!!!!! Good one, Pearlie Girl! Do you mind if I nick name you like that? I'm so very, very fond of you. Keep it cool, you and Mary, ya hear?

lisleman said...

"pack-your-own hookah station? " - wow smoking - that could be a real mellow crowd.

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

hi Pearl, what a delightful read!

i just knew i'd love your writing style after reading your wonderful comment.

definitely witty and brilliant!!

hope you're having a lovely day!

betty

plus:
i love your blog. :))

Gigi said...

I figure if the legal drinking age is 21 then they should probably up everything else too - like driving licenses, enlisting, etc. But that might be because I'm a mom of a teenager (who seems to have had more accidents in the past 6 months than I have EVER had!).

And yeah, graduation parties just ain't what they used to be. Damn entitled kids.

Berowne said...

The simple fact is, you really can write, Pearl!

Cake Betch said...

My parents did not throw me a graduation party. They threw my younger sister one. I went out to eat I think. They didn't even throw me a party when I graduated from college. They watched me walk and then promptly went to the lake to boat.
You know what my mom said when I brought it up?
"We didn't think you had any friends to invite."
Thanks, Mom.

savannah said...

we had big parties in our backyard when the coconut krewe graduated. the last 2 had the best party because we had a big yard and a pool! everything was done buffet style with no servers. unless, you count the teenagers who had to fetch drinks for the old timers... as in one for you, and one for me. xoxoxox

Flea said...

Dang. I didn't have a graduation party. Now I'm jealous.

aBroad said...

I did everything ass backwards .. I didn´t want to drink when it was illegal and now it lacks that certain .... frisson ... when I walk into a bar and order a vodka martini .. just goes to show, being legal isn´t all that it is cracked up to be.
I am coming to you from my brand spanking new computer with the funny keyboard cuz I live at the bottom of the world.. so pardon the odd little things that pop up .. like ç or ¿ .. besitos..

R. Jacob said...

Swamp butt? That is something I would have to see to believe...wait a minute... sniff...never mind...

HermanTurnip said...

Holy shoot. I used to do the same thing, except I was a bartender. There's nothing like serving drinks at night noon in the middle of summer while wearing tux get-up. The secret, my friend, is comfortable shoes.

pat tillett said...

I don't think it would matter if the drinking age was twenty five. These kids are gonna find themselves a keg somewhere!

River said...

You can't get light weight looser fitting pants? Not saggy baggy, but just a little looser for airflow? Might help to cut the swamp butt a bit.

Pat said...

Are the black slacks breathable? Could you give them lots of tiny little perforations?
I can't wait to use my new phrase - swamp butt:)

Joshua said...

Grilled cheese and vodka gimlet, please? Thanks!

ThreeOldKeys said...

i'm pretty new here ... but ... how many jobs do you have?

bettyl said...

*gigging out loud*

Great post.