Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Ken's First Job

Chapter 31

          Yesterday, I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and drank a cup of instant coffee. Then I read the news on my smartphone while taking a nasty shit. Three Chinese school boys were caught on camera torturing and killing a dog. They kicked the beast half to death before setting the poor pooch on fire. The creature’s final moments were filled with agony.

          The story is quite sad to say the least. But it’s not surprising. In fact, there are no laws in China which prohibit the mistreatment of animals. Furthermore, anything that isn’t fast enough to get away is considered food here on the mainland. The Chinese eat snakes, dogs, rats, cats, bats, and monkey brains. So setting a puppy on fire is mere child’s play.

          I walked downstairs. The Dragon Lady had made chicken and eggs for breakfast. The meal also came with toast and tater tots. It was resting on the kitchen table. I was starving, so I shoved the vittles in my mouth as fast as possible. After that, I washed the food down with a bottle of water.

          My wife shot me the stink eye. Then she turned to Rice-Boy Larry. “You fadda da real peeg. He disgusting. Rook at him eat! Yuck!”

          I didn’t say anything. I’m simply too old to fight.

          I walked to school with my son. The weather has been a tad cooler these days. I’m just not a summer guy. The heat makes me itchy. Therefore, I prefer long cold winters.

          We had a morning meeting on the second floor. The topic was about the idea of perfection. My boss said that we should avoid being perfectionists and workaholics. I couldn’t agree more. In my opinion, workaholics are just as bad as alcoholics. Toiling like a slave leads to burnout.

          I called my mom using WeChat.

          She said, “Ken’s starting work on Thursday.”

          I said, “No shit? I thought he started on June fourth.”

          “Well, the manager is a Jamaican. And he needs Ken to be there as soon as possible.”

          “He’s Jamaican? What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?”

          “Jamaicans are hard workers. At least that’s the stereotype. He’s not going to let that son of yours get away with any lazy bullshit.”

          I smiled. “I’m real happy for some reason. I don’t understand why I’m so emotional over a fast-food job. I mean, he’s only making chicken sandwiches.”

          “It’s because you’re white.”

          “What the fuck does that mean?”

          “It’s part of our heritage. White people who are worth a fuck want their kids to get part-time jobs—even the rich folk. It’s simply in our blood.”

          “Don’t say that, Mom. You sound like a racist.”

          “If telling the truth is racism, then call me what you will.”

          I took the students to morning exercise at 8:15 a.m. One of my fellow coworkers is a wealthy Chinese-American who grew up in Portland, Maine. She teaches math. Her name is Veronica, and she’s very pretty.

          I said, “My oldest son is starting his first high school job this week.”

          She smiled. “That’s great. What will he be teaching?”

          “No, he’s not a teacher. He’s actually still in high school. He’ll be working at Chick-Fil-A. It pays twelve bucks an hour.”

          Veronica frowned. “Well, you got to do what you got to do.”

          “Didn’t you work when you were in school?”

          “No, my folks wanted me to study hard. Plus my family has money, so I didn’t need the extra cash.”

          I nodded. Maybe my mom isn’t as stupid as she looks.

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