Thursday, August 25, 2005

Tales from Minimum Wage or The 305th Way to Kill a Duck

During my vagabond years after graduate school, I worked as a delivery driver for PaPa John’s Pizza. It’s a crazy, backstabbing, and soul sucking job but you get some stories out of it. A few hours into my shift, I was just beginning my run of deliveries. Weaving through the suburban streets, I slowed down as I came to a blind curve in the road. Reaching the turn, I saw two ducks standing in the middle of the road. I swerved right. One duck wisely flew to the left. The second duck unwisely flew right-right into my grill.

I hit my brakes and looked in my rearview mirror at the lifeless corpse laying the middle of road. At this point I probably could have moved the duck to the side of the road, but I had pizzas to deliver. They weren’t getting any warmer. The pizzas that is. So, I drove off and figured I’d call animal control when I got back to the store.

I finished my run, and went back to the store. The assistant manager came up to me while I was putting my name into the computer. “Did you hit a duck?” he asked.

After confirming his suspicions, he told me that a lady had called to complain. My initial thought was that I had killed some lady’s pet ducks. Could you have pet ducks? Was she a duck lady? When my mind focused, I told the assistant manager that the duck had made the wrong decision, and I was planning on calling animal control when I got back. He told me not to worry about it. It was just a duck. Yes, it was just a duck.

A few runs later I was at the cutting table. Like clockwork I was cutting and boxing pizzas. I glanced up as a slight breeze indicated the door was open. Standing in the doorway was an Orca fat lady in a muumuu. She stood at the doorway and pointed to the parking lot.

“Who drives that white car?” she shouted in that annoyingly loud fat lady voice.

At that point I immediately knew that this was the “Duck Lady.” I did indeed drive a drive a white Ford Escort wagon, and admitted my ownership to the lady. She then tore into me about driving too fast through the neighborhood. IAt that point I immediately knew that this was the “Duck Lady.” I did indeed would like to point out again I was driving a 1988 Ford Escort wagon. There is no “driving too fast” in that car. You can’t even drive fast in that car. She then laid into me for murdering the duck. The duck had somehow survived, and she took it to the animal hospital. Being the moron she is, she forked over $200 to fix the duck. 200! The duck then promptly died. She then went on about how I was a menace to society, a threat to the children, and blamed me for about four war crimes. The real reason she was berating me was so I would pay her $200.

Now I am a quiet peaceful man. I rarely raise my voice, and prefer to avoid confrontation. I do though have a breaking point. Very few on this planet have ever seen it. I would hope that none of you ever do. That night the whole Papa John’s store saw me snap.

As the pizzas backed up in the oven, the lady and I went at it, barb for barb, jab for jab. The manager finally told me to go in back, so he could settle this. As the assistant manager took my place at the table, she said she’d sue me if she had to. She was going to do whatever it took to get her $200. To which I replied, ”If I had known the duck was still alive, I would have backed up and put it out of it’s misery!” Stupid, fat, duck loving bitch! I mumbled the bitch part to myself.

The manager ended up taking a written complaint. She left, and I stewed for the rest of the night. I later found out that PaPa John’s paid her back the $200. This once again made me furious. I couldn’t believe she won. I’m pretty sure she scammed PaPa John.
She probably scooped the duck up and threw it into her freezer. Probably, thawed it out for a late night snack. I hope she choked on the bones.


bobby said...

Great story, but *so* much better live.

Bradford said...

I too realized after typing this out, that I can only do it justice telling it in person.