Work Ethic

By W R Jones


     I’m a hard working guy.    The kind MOST women like to take care of.   For example here is a charcoal drawing featuring the brother of the drawing I had in my last post.   Their names are Jonathon and Michael Shahandeh (the name on the back of the baseball player).  That makes two drawings, are you with me here, Carol?   Two drawings is twice as much work as one drawing.

     I wasn’t always such a hard worker – wow, it just struck me how taken aback you all must be by that statement.  But it is true; in my younger years, let’s say, oh from age 0 to 64.5, I was somewhat of a slacker.

    I had a friend in high school who had a job cleaning the country club building on Mondays when the clubhouse was closed.   He convinced the club manager, who lived in a house next to the clubhouse, that he needed help cleaning since the building was large.   The manager went for it.

    In winter no one played golf (this was Iowa).  On Monday, his day off, the manager and his wife usually went to Omaha for the day.   This left my friend and I alone at the country club.   Turns out, and you do the math here, that with two of us it took twice as long to clean as when my friend worked alone.

    I remember one long day spent trying to coax the juke box in the playing White Sport Coat without requiring a nickel every damn time.    So part of the day went into different methods of putting something down the slot that would trigger the song but could then be reused.   The rest of the day we worked on getting the gum out of that slot so the machine would work at all.  So I strongly recommend against chewing gum on the edge of a nickel attached to a string.

    The clubhouse had a fully stocked bar.  This was a time and place where the bottles were privately owned.   We knew who the heavy drinkers were.  They would never remember how much was in their bottles.   There were also cigarettes and cigars aplenty.   There was a large commercial kitchen.

    One Monday, starting early (as soon as the manager drove away), we entered the kitchen, picked out some good steaks and turned on the deep fryer to make some french fries with the skin  still on the potatoes (so good).   Had a fine meal then moseyed into the bar where we selected a couple of cigars and poured ourselves a glass of bourbon.

    After a sip or two on the bourbon it came to us we had never seen a fire extinguisher work.   Taking one down from the wall we started a fire in a wastebasket that quickly grew big enough to make us uncomfortable with the situation.   We threw the waste basket out the door into a snow bank then went outside to use the extinguisher.

    At this point the manager returned early and witnessed the small blaze, damn near having a heart attack as he drove down the long road to the clubhouse.   We, being the reluctant heros, explained slowly and carefully, and repeatedly how we had saved the clubhouse from being burned down.

    The following Monday he called us into his office, had us sit down and went over the accounting:  “You boys owe me $3.25 to refill the fire extinguisher and 20 cents for cigars.”

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18 Responses to Work Ethic

  1. gypsy-heart says:

    Did you tutor my son..because I swear he did similar things. :O

    I like your portraits..all of them even. Seems nothing has changed though, because you are still getting into trouble! (as does my grown son!)

  2. wrjones says:

    Just a good ole boy, never meant no harm.

  3. Jala Pfaff says:

    Oy, where to start?! Oh, right, with a compliment because that’s a really nice portrait.

    Cigars cost 10 cents each? When was this, the Dark Ages? :O hahaha…. Are you 64.5 years old?

    These stories make me think I’m right when I decided a) to not have kids, and b) that if I did have kids, let them please not be boys.

    That manager was not such a bright guy.

  4. w1kkp says:

    Oh, you make me laugh MOST of the time. “wikkp” are the ham radio call letters of my late father. He was the original techie in the family, I am but a pale shadow. I am younger than you! 64.1

    And, seriously, you cannot I mean CANNOT put any name other than Williams on a number nine baseball shirt.

    Unlike you, taking care of my needs, is not and has never been, a trip to Oz.

  5. wrjones says:

    Jala – Thanks. Kids are people, some good, some bad. If you don’t have them, you can’t miss them. Good choice. Say, since you don’t have any kids, do you need someone to take care of?

    w1kkp – you little spring chicken, you. Here is the thing – I hate baseball. Second only to lawn bowling for boredom, unless of course, you enjoy watching a grown man spit and scratch his balls.

  6. 100swallows says:

    A nice portrait, Bill.

  7. GUM in the juke box!!?????

    All in all I’d say that manager was lucky he still had a club house when he returned early.

  8. If you didn’t have kids, or weren’t one (ha ha) then you don’t have good stories. This one’s a good one.
    G’morning Bill…
    What mischief is on your plate for today? It doesn’t really stop at 64.5, does it? It just gets more subtle and more clever.

  9. Anna Surface says:

    Wonderful portrait! I so enjoyed the story of the boys’ clubhouse adventure made me laugh. :)

  10. Georgia says:

    Just coming on your blog and to comment about your art alone seems so inadequate. Your stories have become part of my daily readings and I always look forward at the end of the day to sit back and enjoy your art and your comments.

  11. Well, Bill this explains a lot.

    The manager sounds like a really easy-going man. I’m guessing he actually had a pretty good idea of what was going on.

    The drawing is a nice one, BTW.

  12. Jala Pfaff says:

    No, sorry, I’m not going to adopt you. I have my hands full taking care of The Husband and the six “animolecules.”

  13. Lisa B. says:

    What a great job! Do they need any more help?

  14. wrjones says:

    100swallows – Thanks. It is so nice to get a simple kudos instead of all these ladies harping on my lack of ethics.

    Marian – Yep gum. Our engineering skills were not that finely tuned.

    lookingforbeauty – it does not appear to stop. So so many stories I daren’t tell.

    Anna – Thanks. Hope Kansas is warming up so you can get some beautiful spring photos.

    Georgia – Thank you. What a kind comment. You can save reading Lisa’s stuff for those nights you can’t get to sleep. Bet you can’t read one whole post before dozing right off.

    Diana – Thank you. He had a very good idea of what was going on. And he would draw the line when he felt it necessary.

    Jala – I know that was a knee jerk reaction so I’m going to give you time to rethink things. I say we get rid of the animals, put the husband in the garage along with all his shit “the Chinese for this is Feng Shui”. This would give us more room for some great studio space and a free path for you to bring me sandwiches and pepsi max.

    Lisa B. You would have fit so well with us. You could have produced some of that beautiful work that we could have hung in the kitchen.

  15. Bonnie Luria says:

    Hard working AND a very precise memory. For 64.5, you have an astonishing recall of detail, unembellished, I’m sure.
    Yup, cigars were 10 cents and pizza was 15. Cents.
    Not dollars.
    Does anyone even know where the word Juke, as in jukebox comes from?

    And another question I’ve been meaning to ask- what happens to all the paintings you post here?

  16. wrjones says:

    Bonnie – For the rare occasion, this story is unembellished. I have wondered about that juke word myself. I just took this from Wikipedia –

    The term “juke box” came into use in the United States in the 1930s, apparently derived from the African-American slang term “juke” or “jook”, meaning “dance”.

    A few of the drawings/paintings are sold, a few are given away, most are in a box in the closet or hanging around the house or sitting on counters, desktops, etc around the house.

  17. Carol King says:

    How is it that you haven’t been incarcerated by now?

    Nice portrait. But if you do 3 in one painting, you save time!

  18. wrjones says:

    Carol – That is a good question and there have been attempts. Seriously I have escaped ruining my life by a hair on several occasions. And as I age I stand in awe at how stupid I was in my younger years, but then I seem to have developed a habit of stupidty that continues to this day. I will discuss the details in my next post if I can remember.

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