Bulletin from the sausage shack:
By sausage shack I mean the Galloping Goose Sausage Kiosk at the ferry terminal. It’s a summer job and by low paid, part time job standards it’s a good gig. When I’m not busy selling sausages or eating sausages, there’s people watching to do. I just saw a guy rather pornographically grope his lady friend in front of the ice cream stand. Very entertaining.
There have been other times in my life though when I’ve had jobs like this that I needed, for food and for rent. And some of those jobs were even lower on the pay scale than this one. Just as an aside, the Galloping Goose Company is quite kind to it’s employees actually, so, eat more sausage! But the pay is only a part of the equation; I had a co-worker once who thought it was ok to jam his hand between my legs from behind. I guess he thought it was a sign of affection. When I spoke to our manager about it (another man), he just looked me up and down sneeringly, as if to imply that I was too ugly even to be sexually harassed.
That was the worst job situation I’ve been in, but the reality is that even the best low paid work is generally boring, icky, repetitive, stultifying (I could go on) and the bosses and the customers often treat the workers like shit. Throw in the unfortunate fact that many people are dependent on this work, especially women people, and it starts to smell just a little like slavery, or maybe serfdom.
Anyway, this morning I rode my bike to the sausage shack. I ride a bike most places I need to go. I take a bus for really long commutes, but the sausage shack is only a 30 minute ride from my house, so I ride. Unfortunately or something, I happen to live in what is probably one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Canada. This is not because we are wealthy; this is because we happened to meet a dear old lady with a cottage to rent and a genuine contempt for the concept of inflation. She just died two weeks ago. She was 94 and she didn’t believe in paying or charging high prices for everyday necessaries, like food and shelter.
Our neighbors are a little different. There’s the self made oil man, there are the two grocery store chains, the families who own them, I mean, one to the right of us and one across the street. Down the road is the guy who owns Sunkist. That family puts up a really lovely light display every Christmas, not at all ostentatious. At town council meetings the people out here talk a lot about the ALR and being green and local food, but the reality has nothing to do with global climate awareness; it’s all about horses. Some of them even work, at the track. Oh and there’s a lot of big, expensive, fast cars. And me on my bike.
This morning on my way to my part time job, a car, a large car, probably an SUV, white in colour, but traveling so fast that I was unable to determine the make or model, passed me, me in my bike helmet as I pedaled my way sausage-wards, so fast and so close, that I was within 5 inches of losing my life.
By what luck or fate I was saved from such a violent end, I know not. But being alive, now, is in no part due to the respect or consideration of the person driving that vehicle. It reminds me of stories I’ve read about France before the guillotine revolution. In those times, the wealthy didn’t drive SUV’s, they drove horses and carriages, and they were so glutted with their sense of entitlement, that poor people were nothing more than stones in the road; an inconvenience, a bit bumpy, but hardly worth slowing down for.
Now, I must go. I’ve got to get a bunch of hot italians ready for BC Ferries’ new security force. Yeah, poor guys, they’re hungry after a hard morning of dog sniffin’ all the people and cars waiting in the line up for Tsawassan.
Graphic Radicals is showing at the Legacy Cafe and Gallery until October 31