Fried chicken and muscle cars...it's September!
This terrible month is almost over. Tributes have been paid, and remembrance has been served. We have “celebrated” a half-decade without another devastating terrorist attack. The worst is yet to come, as the Islamofascists run full-tilt boogie toward development of nuclear weapons. America will live in some haze of denial, until the moment that a major city dissolves into a cloud of thermonuclear gas. Partisan politicians will argue the intellectual particulars of “torture” until Cleveland, Akron, or some similar place blows off the map.
Attitudes may change after that, but I am not a great optimist. The appeasers and The Usual Suspects will seek a political advantage from a holocaust. America will bare its throat to the knives of the jihad. Political advantage will rule over common sense, and people will die.
Meanwhile, let’s party! Let’s whistle past the graveyard! We’re talking fried chicken and muscle cars here! September is a somber month. It’s time to lighten up! It’s football season, for cryin’ out loud!
I had to spend a few days in hospital a while back. The staff knows and loves me, but they won’t let me near a computer, so the blog went unattended. I get home, and the first thing I do is take a header down the basement stairs and break my big ol’ nose. Life ain’t easy.
Among the dozens of e-mails waiting for me , there was a simple test question. Titled “Four Things About Me”, it was a simple question about former jobs.
Being bored, I played along at home. I don’t often do this, so don’t submit questionnaires.
One of the things I confess to is being a chicken plant worker. It has to be one of the worst jobs on the planet. I did this in the 1970s, so I could buy a 1963 Chevy convertible. I can easily understand why this is called “one of the jobs Americans won’t do.” Although it has to be one of the nastiest jobs ever created, I did it for two summers. I got my ’63 Chevy convertible, complete with red leather upholstery and creamy white carpeting. It had the traditional four-in-the-floor, and a small block 327 V-8 that wouldn’t quit.
I later traded this gem for a ’79 Corvette. The 350 engine didn’t have the stamina of the 327, but it could be tweaked to 400 horsepower. The state police have me on record as running very fast at times. Women come and go, but there are few things finer than a hot-running car. (Okay, girls, I’m kidding! It’s a joke! There’s nothing better than a hot babe…ooops, I’m stepping in it again!)
Ah, fast cars are things of the past. They’re all Japo-junk today.
Let’s talk about chicken!
I don’t have a lot to offer on this subject. Reflecting on the position as a chicken plant worker, I thought about the fact that illegal immigrants will kill to assume this job. I took a lot of laughter and ridicule for my summer job. I could’ve been hanging out at the lake, drinking beer, getting laid, and waiting for life to owe me a living. Instead, I chose to work for a living, and when it paid off in the form of that Chevy convertible, I was the coolest guy in high school. To this day, I cannot handle raw chicken. After nearly 30 years, I can tolerate a bucket of Colonel Sanders’ finest, but someone else has to cook it.
I’ve been playing with this train of thought for a few days. Just something to lighten us all up, after a month of terrible memories. Then, yesterday, comes news of a new study by Northwestern University, which states illegal immigrants are in fact stealing jobs from Americans. Those being put out of work are high-school dropouts, for the most part. This translates to African-Americans, and others who cheat themselves of their greatest earning potential. I’m a dropout; I know a little bit about this. If anyone had told me in 1971 that I would eventually get a college education, I would have laughed them out of the room, and probably started a brawl, to boot. I was proud of my ignorance.
A few years ago, when I lived in Canton, Georgia, they proudly proclaimed they are “the chicken capital of the world.” One day, the Immigration & Naturalization Service [INS] moved in on Seaboard Farms, the successor company to those chicken plants I paid my dues in so many years ago. The INS brought a full contingent of school buses with them, in anticipation of the “catch” of illegal aliens. The buses ended up parked alongside Univeter Rd., as it was simpler to march the wetbacks down to the jail, just a mile beyond the chicken plant.
I am forced to presume that most of these illegals were ultimately released, and found better jobs in the local construction industry, or further north at the carpet mills in Dalton—the “carpet capital of the world.”
When I worked the chicken plants three decades ago, the majority of the positions were held by middle-aged American housewives. They were a tough bunch, and carried very sharp scissors. One of the first jobs they gave a new employee at Central Soya was steam-cleaning the “blood tunnel”, a stainless steel pipe approximately six feet in diameter. “If you can do this, you can do any job in the plant.”
I do not accept the specious argument that “there are some jobs Americans won’t do.” Americans can do anything they set their minds to. If we have become so weak as a people that there is truly no further employment call for landscapers, chicken plant workers, or other jobs that require more intestinal fortitude than raw skills, then we are truly doomed. There are all sorts of arguments bouncing around today about why no American kids are willing to work for a living. Some are saying it is the enticement of college that is making kids turn their backs on the hard, sweaty jobs.
I have a proposition. I mowed lawns when I was a kid, barely able to stand up to the mower. I later worked the chicken plants. I’ll make you the same deal my dad made me: if you want one of those groovy ‘60s muscle cars—which are worth a lot more in the 21st century—then get out and get a job! I’ll match you dollar-for-dollar, and we’ll see what we have at the end of the summer. Don’t tell me some Mexican lawbreaker stole your job. Get out there and take it back; you can do whatever you set your mind to! Sing The Who’s “Summertime Blues” if you have to. If I can clean a “blood tunnel”, there is no job in America that can’t be mastered.