New favorite Scottish group! Caught these guys last night at the Music Hall of Williamsburg. It was horrible having to go to Brooklyn (God hates Brooklyn), but these guys made it worth the while. They’re on a 17-date US tour right now (including Lane Way Detroit), and after that they’re going to Sweden I think? Check here for deets. If you get the chance to see these guys–see these guys.
The Hospitality Diaries, Chapter 3: La petite Merde.
Posted By Jason – 31.07.2012
After KFC I toiled at the restaurant helmed by Adolf (see Hospitality Diaries Chapter 1), then I worked at my town’s ‘street-wear’ store, selling Stussy pants and Kuta Lines polar-fleece hoodies. The store also sold women’s swimwear, and one day my ex-girlfriend’s mother exposed herself to me in the change room. This has nothing to do with my life in the hospitality industry–I’m just hoping Helen will read this and get nervous. After that, I turned 18 and moved to the big smoke.
In the city I began claiming Social Security, which, at the time, was about $270 a fortnight. This forced me to subsist on a diet of cigarettes, instant coffee, Snickers bars, and 2-Minute noodles. I became very thin. In fact, I was starving to death. But I was starving to death all by myself, without any help from my parents, and that was the main thing. Picture me, a wide-eyed country boy exploring a new and exciting metropolis; my cheeks hollow, my clothes hanging from me like rags on a scarecrow, my bum wreathed in cobwebs. I was a posterboy for anorexia, but I couldn’t have been happier.
Two months later I met Phil, or ‘Ril’ as he introduced himself. Ril was two years my junior and had the peculiar habit of putting the letter ‘R’ in place of the first letter of all nouns, pronouns, and adjectives. For instance, instead of saying, ‘pack the bong with wicked buds,’ Ril would say, ‘pack the Rong with Ricked Ruds.’ I loved Ril; he remains the single most unusual person I have ever met. I showed Ril my pronounced ribcage and told him I was looking for work. ‘Rase! My Rad owns a Rench restaurant! He’ll give you a rob!’ And so I went and worked as a glass-washer for Ril’s Rad, at a restaurant called Rimply Rench (Simply French).
At Simply French I met homosexual people for the very first time. There was a troop of the buggers. Lindsay was maître d’ and unquestionably the gayest person on planet earth. If they ever make a movie about a Persian cat that miraculously transforms into a faggy butler–Lindsay’s name will be up in lights, which I suspect will make him extremely happy. Rupert the waiter was a flabby queen with blue-blood pretensions and a penchant for eating leftovers. He’d pick from customer’s dirty plates and tell me how he’d played croquet with the Duchess of Snobcock at Oxford and bollocks like that. He revolted me. Not because he was so desperate to have you know he was above the work (and everyone else at the restaurant), but because he ate scraps like a fucking dog. Rupert, you fat, pompous oaf, where are you now? I hate you.
Gary Mooseman was another waiter, and his boyfriend, Mike, worked at the pastry counter. The other gays had nicknamed Gary and Mike ‘Bitter and Twisted,’ but they seemed pretty nice to me, kind of like a pair doting old aunties…that wanted to bum you. Christopher was Ril’s older brother, and he was one of those musical theatre gays. On Friday and Saturday nights, Chris and I worked side-by-side polishing glassware and singing show tunes–my knowledge of which never ceased to amaze or frighten me. Anyway, we’re not here to talk about how cool and broad-minded I was before I became a bigot, we’re here for the horror stories, and this horror story is named Ken.
Ken was the general manager of Simply French, and he looked exactly like the music teacher from The Simpsons (the guy who shoos Lisa and her saxophone out in the opening credits). He was also the most enthusiastic and committed arse-licker I have ever encountered. What an oily, fawning piece of shit he was. He was one of those tricky bastards who can’t wait to push you under the bus so they can look good by comparison. He was a groveling turd of a man, a cowardly, cheap, lowlife snake, and I loathed him with all my heart.
One day Ken asked (told) me to do a double shift. The other glass-boy had come down with something and Simply French was in a bind. ‘Sure’ I said, and I got to work. At around 3:30 when the lunch rush was over, Ken poked his slimy fucking head in the bar and told me I could go on my break. The break on a double shift went for an hour, so I went down stairs to another restaurant (Simply French was in a plaza) and ordered some lunch at the bar. No sooner had I ordered than Ken came barging in. ‘What are you doing?’ he shouted. ‘You’re supposed to be working!’ Get back upstairs now!’ And then he stormed out. I cancelled my lunch and apologized while the entire restaurant looked at me like I was an idiot. It’s one thing to be reprimanded by your superiors, but being loudly admonished in a public place by the biggest dickhead who ever lived is another thing entirely. As I made my way upstairs I played it over in my head. Ken had definitely told me to go on my break; I hadn’t imagined it. His repulsive worm-like head had definitely slithered into view and burped the words you can go on your break, Jason. But now he was making out like I’d gone AWOL…What was going on?
I got back to Simply French and it was bedlam. The place was packed to the gills. The theatre next door had got out and there was a line going up the street for coffee and cake. Evidently, Ken had sent me on my break by accident. He’d forgotten about the show coming out at 3:30 that day, and when I left, things got busy again. I was furious. I considered walking. But I didn’t want to screw my co-workers over, so I jumped in and got back to work. The bar had already run out of glassware, so I had to go as fast as possible to catch up. In my haste to get up to speed, I dropped a champagne flute just as Ken was creeping by. ‘More of that,’ he said with a serious finger, ‘and it’ll be coming out of your pay.’ That was it, the final straw. I took down a bottle of Galliano and went out on to the restaurant floor with it. I tapped Ken on the shoulder. He swiveled around with that obsequious, ready-to-please grin of his, and I smacked his fucking head so hard the top came off and went whizzing across the room. Ken went cross-eyed and began to dribble. ‘Buh?’ He said. Quickly, like an expert surgeon in the Napoleonic Wars, I reached into his open skull with a pair of escargot tongs and yanked his tiny little brain out. Then I dropped it on the floor and stood on it till I heard it pop.
Next week: bussing tables at the George Hotel!
Punch The Camera is a bi-annual photography zine inspired by adventure, exploration, and open spaces. All things I personally am a big fan of. For the latest issue of the zine put together by Justin Parkhurst, I was lucky enough to be one of the photographers featured alongside Foster Huntington, John Kilar, Justin Parkhurst, Jim Mangan, Kevin Trageser, and Bryan Schutmaat. If you want a little taste of the wanderlust evoked by this book of photos you should pick up yourself a copy right here.