DUKE CANNON RECALLS THE SUMMER JOBS OF HIS YOUTH – Duke Cannon

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There was a time when young Duke Cannon thought all his summers would be an endless Huckleberry Finn-esque adventure, filled with nothing but things like DIY bike ramp construction and the pursuit of the Spy Hunter high score at the local arcade. Then somewhere in our adolescence came the desire for more disposable income, which meant summer jobs. And while we have obviously never been ones to shirk from earning our keep, and see virtue in all forms of employment, job opportunities for youngsters are not exactly known for being glory-filled. So without further ado, here are some of the summer jobs we held that may have taught us some lessons, but certainly didn’t make us much money. 

PAPERBOY
At some point in recent history, youngsters, outfitted with nothing more than satchels and BMX bikes, ripped through towns chucking the news of the day onto folks’ front lawns (or, if said paperboy was an impressive shot, directly onto the welcome mat before the front door). What’s the problem, you might ask? Well, the problem was that the paper was to be delivered before the rooster crowed. Which meant little Duke Cannon, tired from a long night of Kick the Can, had to rise at 4AM. Also, our route encapsulated three counties, and the “tips” consisted almost exclusively of folksy sayings delivered with a wink by old codgers. Here’s our editorial opinion: forget about the paper route as a decent money-making venture. 

DUKE CANNON RECALLS THE SUMMER JOBS OF HIS YOUTH [lawn care]

LAWN CARE ASSOCIATE
This was a one-man concern, utilizing a push mower to service three nearby lawns belonging to elderly neighbors our mother knew from church (and yes, the title of Lawn Care Associate was self-bestowed). It was a small operation, but we had big dreams. The thing about dreams, however, is that they can die as fast as un-watered grass—especially when they don’t have enough capital to sustain them. By the end of summer, the grim financial tally was thus: we’d earned only twenty-five dollars and a freezer full of zucchini bread. 

DUKE CANNON RECALLS THE SUMMER JOBS OF HIS YOUTH [shopping cart]

CART ATTENDANT
It’s a simple job, in theory: you wrangle all the wayward shopping carts left in the massive parking lots of groceries and big-box stores, then deposit them back into the store for shoppers to begin the cycle anew. How difficult could this be? Well, for one, customers seem to believe the carts are wild animals that deserve to be set free, and that putting them into the cart corrals would be inhumane. Second, exactly none of the carts have four functioning wheels, making transporting one of them, let alone a row of 23 of them, rather difficult. Third, remember that there is no such thing as shade for the young cart attendant, and there is no taskmaster more merciless than the sun.

DUKE CANNON RECALLS THE SUMMER JOBS OF HIS YOUTH [dish washer]

DISHWASHER
At the popular local eatery known as The Village Inn (the Tuesday meatloaf special brought them in from miles around), they handed us a threadbare smock and escorted us to a muggy, dimly lit cavern that contained an imposingly large industrial sink. It was there we would spend the summer in sudsy toil, blasting half-eaten food off gigantic stacks of plates. It was exhausting, it was endless, and it made it difficult for us to ever enjoy a plate of scrambled eggs again. The only saving grace? The small transistor radio tuned to the local classic rock station. So while this job taught us that food remnants are disgusting, it also introduced us to the musical delicacy that is Boston. Thank you, Village Inn.

DUKE CANNON RECALLS THE SUMMER JOBS OF HIS YOUTH [painter]

HOUSE PAINTER
Painting is monotonous work, to be sure. But monotony isn’t so bad—one can just let the mind wander; the hours whizzing by as you fantasize about dunking a basketball, think about the best way to rebuild a snowmobile engine, or brainstorm new foods to pickle. But spending an entire summer doing that—three scorching months of scraping, brushing, and painting a 2.5 story Victorian with highly ornate trim, in our case—is enough to exhaust even the most fertile imagination. On the plus side: after all those repetitive paint strokes you have probably developed the reflexes necessary to successfully compete in a karate tournament despite having no prior training, so there’s that.

Source link: https://dukecannon.com/blogs/journal/duke-cannon-recalls-the-summer-jobs-of-his-youth by Zeb Pirkey at dukecannon.com