As my Sophomore year at Jesuit ended in May of 1974, it was time to do some relaxing over the summer months. Well, needless to say, my mom had other ideas. She said, and I quote, “the Gravy Train Engineer has Died” No more free rides for you mister – WTH. It’s time for you to start paying for your own Car Insurance and Gas. Mom, you mean I can’t have the summer off and be with my friends and play baseball at Girard Playground. I got the look. This conversation was over before it even started in my Mom’s eyes.
In the last blog, you heard me talk about my friend. He had a job stocking shelves at the local Canal Villere just 4 blocks from my house. He arranged an interview for me with the Store Manager. I applied for a job and the only opening was in the Bakery Department. The job was quite laboring. My duties if hired were to clean the floors, wash the mixing bowls, pots and pans, unload all frozen food and dry trucks, and keep the shipping and receiving dock clean and well organized. Wow, this was up my alley. I had great organization skills after spending 3 years in Military School. The store manager introduced me to the Bakery Manager at Canal Villere Store #93. He had just been moved from Produce to Bakery 2 weeks earlier. The job interview went well and I got the job. My hours were from 3:00 PM to 9:00 PM on Monday thru Saturday, with Sunday evening off. Wow, I had my first real job with a real paycheck. I started working in the Bakery making a cool $1.85 per hour. Back at that time, it was decent money for a high school kid. After my first few months, the bakery manager was pleased with my work. The bakery had become very clean and I kept our warehouse the neatest of all departments. He was so pleased, he asked if I would like to move to a new position, but this would be early morning hours, with a substantial raise to $3.50 per hour. I was extremely excited about the new opportunity in the Bakery. I was going to learn to fry donuts. Yes, you heard me right. I was going to be the new donut fryer. My hours were from 4:00 AM until 11:00 AM 6 days a week with Wednesdays off. This was the slowest day in the Grocery Store. As happy as I was about this new opportunity, my mom had other ideas. She said, son, “You will never amount to damn thing flipping donuts”. Well, I didn’t care. I had a job and now it was going to pay me more. I was a quick study. I was having a blast. On my third day on the job, I was solo frying donuts. Within the first 3 hours, it turned into a huge disaster. As I started with my first few screens of donuts, I asked the Bakery manager, “do you have any problems with me sampling a donut or two.” He said absolutely not. We want you to learn and understand about the quality of our donuts we fry for our customers. Oh my God, was I in 7th Heaven. I could work hard and eat some of my favorite foods, HOT GLAZED DONUTS, at the same time. This was the best job on Earth. You kidding me!! I remember as if it were yesterday. During my first break, I decided to purchase a quart of the coldest Chocolate Milk I could find in the case. I went to the back, grabbed a few Hot Glazed Donuts. I started eating the donuts and drinking the Chocolate Milk like never before. If you ever had a Hot Donut before, they melt in your mouth and than you lick each and every finger to not miss out on the Honey Glaze. I was in pure Heaven, for about 30 minutes. In no time, I had consumed close to a dozen donuts. My compulsive overeating had gone into overdrive. Not only was I on a sugar high, my stomach started to hurt. I was cramped over in pain. The very cold Chocolate Milk and the Hot Glaze Donuts decided to have a war – in my stomach. Unfortunately, this combination did not mix well?? Needless to say, my first day on the job flying solo ended with me having to go home. I was spending way too much time in the bathroom on the almighty thrown at work. At one time, I didn’t know whether to sit or stand. The Gluttony had gotten the best of me on this day. After returning to work, this sickness continued. The one place I did not need to be working at was a Bakery. That summer, I continued to gain a tremendous amount of weight, probably another 40 lbs. in 3 months from sampling all the great bakery items. During the start of my junior year at Jesuit, I was topping the scales at 285 lbs. I was only 15 years old, not turning 16 until that December.
Will To Live – Gluttony – Part 9