Shit Jobs: McDonald’s

27 Jan

mcds

Previous McDonald’s talk here and here.

I was sixteen and my mom made me get a job.  Again.  Learn the value of work.  She was right, it’s a lesson I retain decades later: the value of work is less than fucking zero, a negative eating away at your soul and your life.  So, thanks.  I applied at the McDonald’s in Kingston, Mass.

You had to buy your own McDonald’s shirt and special synthetic pocketless pants so you couldn’t walk out with a ninety nine cent hamburger warmed to ass temperature.  They took the money out of your first couple checks.   The checks came three weeks late; they’d docked sixty eight bucks for the uniforms they’d sold you, and taxes were taken out, something like a third of your check.  At that point you’d been working dozens of hours in the sweltering hissing clamoring kitchen, alarms constantly blaring, six hundred degree grills an inch away from the meat of your hands, swabbing the greasy tiles over and over with a filthy mop every time there was a two second lull in orders, getting yelled at– you got your check and it was fucking nothing.  You had known what taxes were in an abstract sense, the ten per cent federal tax bracket, but what you didn’t know was state tax, city tax, FICA, SDI… weird acronyms… your check came an ungodly amount of time later and there was nothing left.  The value of work.  Cleaning the toilet, a filthy log of shit breaching in piss yellow water with toilet paper snaked over the bowl and onto the floor about one out of every four times you went in there– the value of work.

Girls were up front and boys were in the back.  In theory it was an equal opportunity workplace free of gender discrimination but not a single girl worked the spattering grill or dollied sixty pound cases of frozen beef patties down to the dark freezer or hauled trash bags the size of refrigerators full of imperfect meat out to the dumpster.  Not a single guy ran the cash register or talked to customers.  People want to see a smiling girl with perky tits.  I don’t blame them.  The girls worked up front and didn’t flirt with us or really  talk to us at all.  They were the house slaves.  They had to take the heat when we fucked something up; they were the ones getting scolded that “I told you no onions.”  They must have seen us as fuckups and miscreants.

My job was the Quarter Pounder With Cheese and McLean grill.  It is an excellent station, if you ever work at a McDonald’s.  The volume is significantly lower than hamburger/ cheeseburger/ Big Mac and you’re not dealing with a big deep pit of face-melting frying oil.  Plus, the Quarter Pounder was my preferred sandwich as a civilian.  When people ordered what I made, I mentally congratulated them for making the correct choice.  The hamburger is a trifle, not really food at all; you polish it off in two bites and feel like you’ve eaten greasy air.  The Quarter Pounder is a real sandwich.  A connoisseur’s sandwich.

You take the patties from the freezer to the left of your grill and drop them on the griddle surface frozen.  They hiss and steam.  There’s a clamshell lid with another heated surface that you lower on top of them, and the meat is done in ninety seconds.  The clamshell grill is a proprietary McDonald’s technology that a training video has explained to you preserves maximum freshness and sanitation in the meat.  A light flashes and a distinctive bell sounds and you lift the clamshell lid and spatula the burgers onto the buns you’ve prepared.  You have caramelized the buns in a toasting unit which has its own distinctive lights and a buzzer that you will hear in your dreams.  A training video has explained that you caramelize the buns to prevent them from absorbing the condiments and becoming soggy.  I liked that they didn’t condescend to you– they kept the word “caramelize” instead of some proprietary corporate buzzword that was less hard to say.  Caramelize.  Ketchup, mustard out of big metal cups with handles where you pull a trigger and it dispenses the perfect amount; pickles laid with care not to overlap, onions.  You drape two slices of cheese offset at a forty five degree angle so there is cheese in every bite.  The videos are good at explaining why you do things.  They didn’t need to; they could have just told me put the cheese at a forty five degree angle because I fucking said so, but they took the time and I appreciated it.  Wrap the sandwich in the snug origami-like proprietary McDonald’s fashion.  Quarters up.

You get a rhythm.  Lunch rush comes and you are anticipating the buzzes and beeps and chimes and lights; you are ahead of the game and the heat lamp rack is not wanting for fresh Quarter Pounders for even one second.  No shrill “WHERE ARE MY QUARTERS??!?” from the cashier girl and no quick huddles from the manager on how you have to up your game.  I can’t have guys keeping us behind on this team, OK?  “Grill orders,” which is the bespoke no onions type of stuff– most grill crew hated those.  I loved them.  You knew you were preparing a sandwich for one particular person just the way they liked it.  A machine spat out instructions on receipt tape in purple ink and you had to run over and grab them and hustle to make the sandwich.  When you fucked one up the manager would walk back with the tape and point out to you what it said and ask you: how did this happen?  You forget that it’s McDonald’s; it’s literally the least prestigious job in the world, people laugh at you for having it, and your net income is two dollars and fifty cents an hour.  You are terrified and you feel bad about yourself.  The value of work.

You get a rhythm, and it gets fucked up by having to restock the patties, go to the back and get more buns, empty and sanitize the ketchup dispensers.  If things slow down at all the manager will constantly bark at you for a sweep and mop.  Wrestle with the filthy greasy mop in the sink and maybe cut your hands on some industrial tomato slicing device soaking there.  Not one second is wasted; you are a perfect machine working constantly.  McDonald’s is the best managed company in the world, right down to the slightly subnormal woman with a weird limp who smokes unfiltered Pall Malls who’s in charge of your shift– she has been indoctrinated perfectly in how to make your day tight as a drum.  You aren’t grilling, you take out the trash, you sweep and mop.  Drill sergeants aren’t this good.   Her name was Wendy but she insisted on being called “Romayne.”

We would fuck with her.  She hated being called “Wendy” so when she turned her back we would start singing “Wendy” over and over.  Me and Glenn, a kid from Marshfield who ran McNuggets and french fries.  Glenn was funny and smart.  I was funny and smart too, and it was the first of many shit jobs where I’d find another funny and smart person and we’d kind of marvel at “what the fuck are you doing here.”

I’d be bummed out when I showed up for a shift and Glenn wasn’t there.  We had an imaginary ranking system for all the cooks– you start out as a Grill Knave, moved up to Grill Apprentice, Grill Soldier, Grill Master, Grill Wizard, Grill Lord.  The highest level was Grill God.  Only one man had ever achieved it and he’d ascended into the Golden Arches and become a hamburger himself.   You now know him as Mayor McCheese.  We had long running stories about defending our McDonald’s from the conspiracies of the Burger King, Big Dave Thomas, and Colonel Sanders.

mccheese airport

We’d get a really good riff going and then “Romayne” would come yell at us for a sweep and mop.  Not one second wasted.  They will get as much out of you as possible for as little as possible, and rightly view human interaction between employees as wasteful.  This is good management.  Some companies call this “time theft,” talking to the people you work with.  They own time.  They own your life, and you are stealing it.  The value of work.

I took a week off because I was in the school play.  When I came back they had completely gutted the store and reorganized all the machines.  A new process had been instated by corporate for each food item, to insure that every McDonald’s meal was even hotter and fresher than before. They had installed something called a “Q’ing oven.”  The “Q” stood for “quality.” If a customer asked what it was, you were to say “it’s just something we do to make your food taste better.”

The Q’ing oven was a microwave.  But you were NEVER to refer to it as a microwave.  In fact, they said, from now on, you are NEVER to use the word “microwave” while inside the store.  Whether you are at the register, at the grill, or in the break room. Whether your shift has begun or not.  If you are heard using the word “microwave,” you will be fired immediately and escorted from the building.

It was the “big” manager who gave this talk, Mark.  The one who went to Hamburger University.  The degree was framed in his office where there was a mop bucket and an ancient Tandy PC he would use to enter our hours to the second.  That’s how you knew it was some serious shit– him talking to us was like a presidential address.  And the word was so doubleplus ungood that Mark seemed scared of saying “microwave” even in the sentence “you must never say the word ‘microwave.'”

Mark wasn’t a bad guy, although I never forgave him for the time I fried my hand on the clamshell grill and got a blister from my pinky to my elbow, and he just scotch taped a bandage on it and made me work the rest of my shift. But he was human. He was just beaten down from fear of losing his job at McDonald’s, fear of bringing nothing home to his family.  He just got so indoctrinated with corporate bullshit that he had to spend his days making  a room full of teenagers terrified of saying “microwave.”  The value of fucking work.

I left, but not before earning a ten cent raise as a “senior grill crew” member and a special pin for how long I’d worked there and how little I’d fucked up.  Every job I’ve ever had since has been exactly the same.  Someone clogged the toilet and some asshole is yelling at you to fix it, and you’ll get fired for saying what shit really is.

 

Epilogue:

I checked them out on Yelp.  See how the alma mater’s doing.  They have one star. “Order had errors. Fries were not warm. Sauce pumps were all empty. My meal came with a drink and I had to remind them. Counter was dirty. My filet only had half a piece of cheese  and no extra tarter sauce like I asked.”

Fuckin Grill Knaves.

29 Responses to “Shit Jobs: McDonald’s”

  1. Anonymous January 27, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

    Geez. Sad and ultra-socialist (meant as a compliment). Mega like. Plus “as a civilian” made me laugh out loud.

  2. Roosh January 27, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    Great writing

  3. pffffffftttsssssssiimmbllllllddddddnnnnnnnnn January 28, 2013 at 12:49 am #

    “They own time. They own your life, and you are stealing it. ”

    That’s fucking funny.

    I couldn’t work at McDonalds, even as a drug-addled failing delinquent high school student (if you could even call me a “student”, I barely ever went to school, I had to go to that “credit completion” shit every summer) with absolutely no marketable skills and no job experience, I had a completely unwarranted sense of pride: I’m not gonna wear no fucking name tag and flip burgers, what are you kidding me?

    No, my first job on the books was loading trucks at the UPS hub, because it payed a whopping eight dollars and fifty whole cents an hour, which now that I think about was pretty good money back then for a high school student – this was in 99-00. Gas was what, a little over a buck a gallon? Cigarettes were around $2.50 a pack, something like that. Oxy 80s were $20 a piece retail, and there were sheets of purple geltabs and sweetbreath bottles of liquid going around for $100 a pop, rolls of E for $500 ( double stacked rolls royces and roughnecks and all the other ridiculous fucking names they used to give them) back when nicks of wet used to come in those green paper envelopes – basic life necessities were a lot cheaper back then is the point I’m trying to make. Some poor unemployable bastard with a six figure psychology degree is probably making $8.50 an hour TODAY serving coffee at fucking Starbucks or something.

    They had a bunch of training videos they showed, the main one being on the proper handling of UPS packages. You were to always use the “hand-to-surface” method, meaning that no package was to ever be dropped, thrown, punched, drop kicked, etc – they all had to go from surface to hand to surface. The video, like all corporate training videos, shows this overly-friendly looking guy standing at a conveyor belt with a big shit-eating grin on his face, you know, and he’s waiting for this neat little single-file line of packages to come down which are spaced out just enough so he has time to scoop each one up and place it in a van behind him using the “hand-to-surface” method before the next one reaches him. And you’re thinking, this doesn’t look too bad at all. Then they take you on a tour of the facility, in between shifts of course when it’s nice and quiet, the place is the size of a fucking airport terminal, for one thing, it’s a trucking terminal. Ahhh, fuck, I’ll finish this story tommorow, I’m fucking tired and I’m falling asleep.

    I can’t believe you haven’t said a word about the fucking payroll tax increase. $45 a week my taxes went up, $180 more I payed this month into social security tax that by the time I go to collect won’t even fucking be there. They’ll have done extensive “research” into lifespans and determined that the average American citizen in the 21st century is capable of working till they’re fucking 82. “We will not balance the budget on the backs of hard-working Americans” Yeah right. Cocksuckers.

  4. Arred Wade January 28, 2013 at 1:50 am #

    DT, I don’t think you know how funny this shit is. Every fucking post, across the country, I lose my shit.

  5. Bronan the Barbarian! January 28, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    Fuck Mayor McCheese. Dude can’t run a city for shit. Obesity rates have been through the roof since we elected him.

  6. nuance news January 28, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    oh yes-Everyone needs to learn the value of hard work through the experience of a fast food job (better if you do it while your a teenager). Mine was Arby’s, my brother, KFC. what I never could understand was how fucking serious these managers take this shit, and how they expected the shit on employees to be serious about things. I was fired for being 5 minutes late for the second time by a guy who just a week prior took the day off to marry the fugly, fat sandy haired assistant manager with coke bottle glasses,-wait this is Arby’s so it would be Pepsi bottle glasses, only to return the very next day and continue his normal shift schedule until the day he dies. I felt like shit since it was the first of many times I would be fired in my life but what a favor he did for me! I often wonder how little these people have progressed in life over the past 2 decades. Don’t think I’ll be facebooking anyone on that subject. ha

  7. pffffffftttsssssssiimmbllllllddddddnnnnnnnnn January 28, 2013 at 11:29 pm #

    So from watching the training video you’re led to believe that you will be loading packages into passenger sized vans at a calm and leisurely pace. This was gonna be a cakewalk. The first thing you notice while touring the facility is the conspicous absence of passenger sized vans being loaded, you don’t even see any of the iconic brown UPS trucks that deliver packages in your neighborhood, the trucks that you naively assumed were the only thing used to transport UPS packages throughout the country, throughout the world. The thought of UPS, probably the largest delivery company in the world, having airplanes and freightliners and cargo ships never even crossed your mind. If you don’t have brains you better have a strong back. You quickly realize that this is a freight terminal, and you will be loading frieghtliners, 18 wheelers. The sheer enormity of the terminal is overwhelming; it’s gotta be over a mile long and it’s filled with an intricate maze of elevated, interlocking conveyor belts, steel chutes, ladders, and catwalks. When it’s fully operating it somewhat resembles a lifesize game of Donkey Kong, only instead of dodging wooden barrels you’re dodging 60lb boxes of printer paper falling on your head, but I’ll get to that later. The next thing you notice is that the guys leering at you from the loading docks don’t resemble the cheery looking goober in the brown UPS bermuda shorts and the therapeutic sneakers loading packages in the training video, you feel more like you’re walking a fucking prison tier.

    On the outer walls, extending from one end of the building to the other, is an endless succesion of loading docks for the inbound and outbound trucks. So here’s how it works, there’s three main grunt jobs in the place: unloaders, sorters, and loaders. The trucks docked on one half of the building get unloaded on to the maze of conveyor belts snaking throughout the place. They make their way down to the other half of the building where they’re picked off by “sorters” stationed at strategic points on the catwalks next to the conveyor belts who send the packages down metal chutes to their respective outbound trucks. I was going to be working in the loading section. The loaders have it the worst out of all of the grunt jobs because not only do you have to lift and stack all of the boxes, but you have to scan every package so they can track it in the computer system, which means you have to glance over every package and make sure it’s supposed to be in the truck your loading before you stack it. This slows you down tremendously. And you must also always use the “hand-to-surface” method. They give you this Nintendo Power Glove looking thing you strap on your arm with a laser scanner on it that’s useful for flash burning your co-workers retinas when you want to fuck with them. The unloaders, all they do is jump in the back of the trucks and start tossing boxes behind them on the conveyor belts as fast as they can.

    Things don’t necessarily run smoothly, to say the least. When the shift starts it’s absolute fucking chaos, but it’s an organized chaos. They put me in “Chema”, which meant I loaded all of the packages that came thorugh our hub in Philly outbound for the Chelmsford, Massachusetts hub. I also loaded Tenessee, and somewhere in Connecticut, but for the most part it was Chelmsford. Chelmsford was a busy hub; I loaded an average of 2,000 packages a night, or two tractor trailers full. They stuck me in there with this older guy, maybe late 20s early 30s, who worked during the day as a scab glazier or something. Probably working for some fucking fly-by-night contractor that goes door-to-door trying to convince senior citizens to buy new windows they don’t need. There were a lot of guys like this, they broke their ass for ten hours a day doing scab construction work or whatever, then they came to UPS at night to load trucks because if you were there for six months you could join the Teamsters union and get one of those fancy fucking “Cadillac” dental and health insurance plans. “Cadillac” meaning if your kid gets leukemia, the insurance company will actually pay for the chemotherapy. Or that you can afford to take them to the dentistn and not have to pull their teeth in your garage with a pair of rusty needle nose pliers when they get a cavity. And then if you stuck around for five years or something like that you could become a driver, which is a pretty nice gig.

    Anyway, it was a fucking nightmare at first. The way the trucks are set up, there’s a roller line that runs straight down the center of the truck from front to back to facilitate the flow of the packages. There’s a false floor: on either side of this roller line are hinged planks you fold up to fit more packages in the trucks, so when you jump in the roller line is at right at chest level and your standing in the wheel wells, if you can picture that. One guy gets on one side of the roller line, the other guy gets on the other, and when you fill that up you fold the planks down and you’re standing in a normal sized tractor trailer with the roller line at your feet, then you fill that up. Now the metal chute is about ten feet long and extends right down to the roller line, so imagine somebody tossing 10-95lb packages down a sliding board at your head as fast as they can, and you having to grab them, scan them and stack them for four hours straight, and you get somewhat of an idea of what it’s like. You would get “shots”, the sorter would yell out, “shot on chema” to warn you, and then proceed to throw about 40-50 boxes of printer paper down the chute at you one after another. And the roller lines were always busted so the boxes would hit a snag and fall on your fucking head. Two hours into my shift on the first day I thought I was gonna die, my arms were like fucking jello. And the guy I was loading with knew thousands of the worst fucking one-liners you could imagine that he recited the whole time we worked together. I swear to god this guy could recite corny one-liners for days on end if he wanted to. And he was pissed at me because I was a skinnyass kid who moved like a tortoise, so in between telling me these horrible jokes he would be screaming at me to “stack faster! Build a fucking wall! You have to stack the middle!” Dude had arms like slabs of concrete. Then the chutes would jam up, and you had to jump out of the truck to break up the jam of boxes, and the friction from all the boxes on the conveyors would build up static charges that would shoot blue Raiden bolts of electricity up and down the fucking conveyor belts – everytime you touched the conveyor you got zapped, but there was no amperage pushing it, right, it was straight voltage, kind of like getting hit by a stun gun. Boxes would hit the roller and bust open everywhere. We used to get these bigass 50lb boxes of generic lollipops, the kind they give out at the bank, that would break open everytime, everyday you’d get showered with lollipops.; Boxes of playstation games would break open and scatter all over the trucks, boxes of pills, all kinds of shit. If you didn’t stack the boxes right, build a proper “wall”, they’d come down like an avalanche and half bury you. I’ll tell you what, that job whipped my ass into shape real quick, though. Didn’t even have to go to the gym, within a month I was ripped.

    That was also when I started “chipping”. I would be dead by the time my shift was over, but I found if I broke off a piece of an oxy, crushed it up and did a bump, it would blow all the soreness and fatigue away and I would be able to hit the bars with my friends after work. You may be wondering how I got served at such a young age, but you have to take into account the fact that these were South Philly “neighborhood bars” that don’t card. You know, the types of places with “character”. Character being a euphomism for wood paneling, dart boards, crooked pool tables, and a colorful cast of neighborhood alcoholics and drug dealers. The type of bars where you’re hit by a wall of USA Gold smoke as soon as you walk through the door. Where the jukebox eats your money and the joker poker machine in the corner (the one that gets emptied out every week by the guy in the black cadillac with pomaded hair) pays out if you know the bartender who can smoke a whole cigarette without once removing it from his lips.

    Damn, gotta learn some brevity.

    • delicioustacos January 28, 2013 at 11:54 pm #

      This is wonderful. My next “Shit Jobs” post is going to be about a factory shipping line.

      • pffffffftttsssssssiimmbllllllddddddnnnnnnnnn January 29, 2013 at 12:27 am #

        I worked a worse job than that for a little while as a laborer for a mason. The guy I worked for was too fucking cheap to buy a cement mixer, so he made us mix everything by hand. You get this big metal trough and throw 32 scoops of sand and a 90lb bag of Portland cement in it. Then you take these big, oversized hoes with holes in the blades and you dry mix it. Then you have to dump water in and wet mix it. Then you have to put it in buckets and carry it around to wherever the block layers are working. All day long, mixing cement, carrying buckets of cement and cinder blocks. It was like working on a fucking chain gang. I was going to the gym after work with my friend, too, and people thought I was on steroids. I fucking blew up like the Incredible Hulk. It wasn’t a bad job really, I like physical labor; it’s just that the guy was a cheap fuck who didn’t pay you anything and worked you like a draft horse. He was one of those self-made petty tyrants that you see so much in scab construction.

        Kind of like this:

      • pffffffftttsssssssiimmbllllllddddddnnnnnnnnn January 29, 2013 at 9:38 pm #

        Now, I don’t blame this guy in the clip above for firing that dude, the dude looked fucked up. No. The reason he strikes me as a petty tyrant is because he recorded it without the kid knowing so he could go on a self-righteous rant and post it on youtube to get a couple virtual pats on the back or whatever. That entire rant was completely contrived, no matter how sincere it might have been. He’s the typical small business owning egomaniac who likes to flex his power.

        The difference between this guy in the video above me here and the carpenter’s business agent I posted a couple threads back is that guy, the business agent, was going off on someone to protect his guy’s work. That other video was on a picket line.

        But, yeah, working for that mason was a trip. He could never get anyone to stick around full-time long enough, and he was always taking on jobs we didn’t have the manpower to handle, so we’d always wind up getting workers from one of those temp agencies like “Labor Ready”. There were some fucking characters that came out of there. Transients and Tyrone-Biggums-type-crackheads. And these guys had no idea what they were getting into, wherever Labor Ready sent them that’s where they went. Half of them would wind up walking off the job after a couple of hours. We’d be all the way out in Bucks County or some shit, and they would walk off with no ride or nothing. Because the foreman would tell them: you don’t finish, you ain’t getting a ride back. And they’d still leave. We would do these basement waterproofing jobs, where we would put in French drains and sump pumps and all. We did the basement of this nightclub one time, it was like, I don’t know, 7,000 square feet or something – it was big. How it works is you go in with a jackhammer first and chip up a 2 foot strip around the entire perimeter of the basement. Now, to get an idea of how fucking grueling this work was the guy with seniority worked the jackhammer because that was the “easy” job. Then a guy comes in behind him with a pickax and shovel, pries up all the broken up concrete and digs a two foot deep trench to put
        the drain in. So all day long your carrying out concrete and buckets of dirt to throw in the dump truck. Then after you put the drain in you have to cover it with stone back up to grade level so all the water leaking through the foundation can seep through into the drain. The brickyard sends a delivery guy out to dump the fucking mountain of stone you need and you have to carry that down the basement in buckets. And that’s just the first couple days. The second half of the job is mixing the cement and carrying that down there for them to lay it. I remember this one day we had this crackhead come out with us – he must’ve been smoking rocks right up until he had to come into work cause the whole ride to the job he’s fidgeting and he can barely talk. At lunch time he breaks out this trash bag full of canned goods – SpaghettiOs and Progresso beef barley soup and shit like that that he probably got from the shelter, and he’s offering it to us. I say, “I’m alright, I got a sandwich.” So he pulls out a fucking can opener, opens a can of
        spaghettiOs and starts dumping them in his mouth cold. Then he reaches in the trash bag again and starts pulling out bottles of Molson Ice. I actually took one of them. Dude’s sitting there dumping cold SpaghettiOs in his mouth and washing it down with Molson Ice for lunch. It was fucking hilarious.

    • pffffffftttsssssssiimmbllllllddddddnnnnnnnnn February 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm #

      I loaded the Connecticut truck with this Puerto Rican kid from North Philly named Jose. Jose loved cars; that’s all he talked about. I didn’t know shit about cars, so I would just nod my head as he passionately extolled the superiority of his 86′ Mazda RX7’s – Puerto Ricans love those cars for some reason – turbocharged rotary engine over the standard car engine. Or excitedly told me about his cherry bomb flow through exhaust, or whatever latest accesory or addition he had bought or was planning to buy for his car, in cryptic motorhead jargon. The cherry bomb exhaust added a couple extra horse power onto your whip, apparently. Sometimes I would fuck with him by asking him questions in technical sounding mechanical gibberish: “Hey, Jose, I was thinking about boring out my lower camshafts and putting in one of those supercharged five stroke throttle valves, whaddya think? How much would something like that run me?” He would just look at me and shake his head. “You a fucking nut, pffssimbbllddnn” Jose was cool to work with. He was always relaxed, always high. I don’t know why you would want to smoke before a job like that, five minutes of loading packages was all it took to kill your high, but he came in every day stoned out of his mind, eyes all squinty and bloodshot. Our supervisor, Joe, a redheaded Italian dude from South Philly was laid-back, too; he didn’t give a shit what you did as long as the packages got loaded. Jose would make me race him down Oregon Avenue every night when our shift was over so he could smoke my piece of shit 91′ Ford Probe and then laugh at me when I caught up to him at the light. That Probe had some balls, though, for a stock six cylinder; I used to be able to chirp second in it. My first car, I bought it for a $100 off my friend. He had gotten the bright idea to get rid of it and collect the inusrance money. Thinking back, I’m not even sure if he had full coverage on it – I don’t see why he would, it was a bucket – he just assumed that if the car dissapeared he would be able collect insurance money. He took it up to North Philly and left it on a corner with the windows rolled down and the key in the ignition hoping it would get stripped down or taken to a chop shop, because you would see cars all over the place up there burnt-out and stripped down to the frame on the side streets. They don’t call it “The Badlands” for nothing. Apparently the car was discovered by what I would assume were some kids – they just joyrode it around, kicked in the air conditioning vents, bent one of the rims somehow, and left it running in a gas station parking lot on
      Lehigh Ave. where the cops found it and returned it to my friend even more fucked up then when he tried to get rid of it. Bad luck. I told him he should’ve torched it. I’m sure if he would’ve just asked around the neighborhood he could’ve found someone who knew where to get it chopped, but he was never one to think things through like that. Jose probably knew where to get it chopped. So he sold it to me and bought a Mustang.

      On friday nights sometimes after our shift me and Jose would swing by the street races on all the four lane trucking roads between the meat and fish packing plants, warehouses, trucking yards, junkyards, and the sports complex along the waterfront. The UPS hub we worked at was in the middle of all this – you only had to go three or four blocks before you found a street that people were racing on. Philly had a huge street racing scene back in the day, still does, but I don’t think it’s as big as it was back then. People would come from all over the city, surrounding suburbs, South Jersey, and even as far away as Deleware to race their cars. Cars would be lined up for a mile down Pattison Ave. waiting to race with hundreds of spectators standing around watching, drinking beers and placing bets. Mustangs, Grand Nationals, Corvettes, Vipers, rice burners, muscle cars, banshees, quads, dirtbikes, streetbikes, all kinds of shit. Truckers who just dropped their loads off would get stuck in the line-up and race their cabs – anybody who was unfortunate enough to be driving down the street was stuck in the line-up, I even saw an ambulance get stuck in it once. Then a couple of kids got killed on their streetbikes and the cops started cracking down hard on it. They would pop the fire hydrants and flood the streets so you couldn’t line up; they’d get the helicopters out and shine the spotlight on you; then they started waiting till everybody congregated on a street, blocking it off and giving everyone drag racing tickets, which they could suspend your license for, so I stopped going. For the most part, though, Jose raced up in North Philly. South/Southwest Philly races were the white races; the blacks and Puerto Ricans generally race up in North Philly, so as to avoid conflict. That’s just the way it is.

      I guess they still do race down there. Looks like people are getting along better, too, there’s a colored fella there in the beginning of the clip.

      Around 2:42 a guy totals a newer model of the same kind of car Jose had. The races used to be about ten times as big as that; it was fucking crazy back in the day, it was like some shit out of the Fast and the Furious, only without all the bullshit contrived plots and corny Hollywood actors. Never a dull moment. I remember one time this guy was down there, and he had these two Rottweilers in the back seat of his car with him for some reason, don’t ask me why. He got into an argument with a couple of guys, they went to pull him out of his car, and the dogs went fucking apeshit. They jumped out of the window and started attacking any person unlucky enough to be standing within the general vicinity of the car. They tore some chick’s arm up before they were beaten back and the owner could get them under control

  8. pffffffftttsssssssiimmbllllllddddddnnnnnnnnn January 28, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    So from watching the training video you’re led to believe that you will be loading packages into passenger sized vans at a calm and leisurely pace. This was gonna be a cakewalk. The first thing you notice while touring the facility is the conspicous absence of passenger sized vans being loaded, you don’t even see any of the iconic brown UPS trucks that deliver packages in your neighborhood, the trucks that you naively assumed were the only thing used to transport UPS packages throughout the country, throughout the world. The thought of UPS, probably the largest delivery company in the world, having airplanes and freightliners and cargo ships never even crossed your mind. If you don’t have brains you better have a strong back. You quickly realize that this is a freight terminal, and you will be loading frieghtliners, 18 wheelers. The sheer enormity of the terminal is overwhelming; it’s gotta be over a mile long and it’s filled with an intricate maze of elevated, interlocking conveyor belts, steel chutes, ladders, and catwalks. When it’s fully operating it somewhat resembles a lifesize game of Donkey Kong, only instead of dodging wooden barrels you’re dodging 60lb boxes of printer paper falling on your head, but I’ll get to that later. The next thing you notice is that the guys leering at you from the loading docks don’t resemble the cheery looking goober in the brown UPS bermuda shorts and the therapeutic sneakers loading packages in the training video, you feel more like you’re walking a fucking prison tier.

    On the outer walls, extending from one end of the building to the other, is an endless succesion of loading docks for the inbound and outbound trucks. So here’s how it works, there’s three main grunt jobs in the place: unloaders, sorters, and loaders. The trucks docked on one half of the building get unloaded on to the maze of conveyor belts snaking throughout the place. They make their way down to the other half of the building where they’re picked off by “sorters” stationed at strategic points on the catwalks next to the conveyor belts who send the packages down metal chutes to their respective outbound trucks. I was going to be working in the loading section. The loaders have it the worst out of all of the grunt jobs because not only do you have to lift and stack all of the boxes, but you have to scan every package so they can track it in the computer system, which means you have to glance over every package and make sure it’s supposed to be in the truck your loading before you stack it. This slows you down tremendously. And you must also always use the “hand-to-surface” method. They give you this Nintendo Power Glove looking thing you strap on your arm with a laser scanner on it that’s useful for flash burning your co-workers retinas when you want to fuck with them. The unloaders, all they do is jump in the back of the trucks and start tossing boxes behind them on the conveyor belts as fast as they can.

    Things don’t necessarily run smoothly, to say the least. When the shift starts it’s absolute fucking chaos, but it’s an organized chaos. They put me in “Chema”, which meant I loaded all of the packages that came thorugh our hub in Philly outbound for the Chelmsford, Massachusetts hub. I also loaded Tenessee, and somewhere in Connecticut, but for the most part it was Chelmsford. Chelmsford was a busy hub; I loaded an average of 2,000 packages a night, or two tractor trailers full. They stuck me in there with this older guy, maybe late 20s early 30s, who worked during the day as a scab glazier or something. Probably working for some fucking fly-by-night contractor that goes door-to-door trying to convince senior citizens to buy new windows they don’t need. There were a lot of guys like this, they broke their ass for ten hours a day doing scab construction work or whatever, then they came to UPS at night to load trucks because if you were there for six months you could join the Teamsters union and get one of those fancy fucking “Cadillac” dental and health insurance plans. “Cadillac” meaning if your kid gets leukemia, the insurance company will actually pay for the chemotherapy. Or that you can afford to take them to the dentistn and not have to pull their teeth in your garage with a pair of rusty needle nose pliers when they get a cavity. And then if you stuck around for five years or something like that you could become a driver, which is a pretty nice gig.

    Anyway, it was a fucking nightmare at first. The way the trucks are set up, there’s a roller line that runs straight down the center of the truck from front to back to facilitate the flow of the packages. There’s a false floor: on either side of this roller line are hinged planks you fold up to fit more packages in the trucks, so when you jump in the roller line is at right at chest level and your standing in the wheel wells, if you can picture that. One guy gets on one side of the roller line, the other guy gets on the other, and when you fill that up you fold the planks down and you’re standing in a normal sized tractor trailer with the roller line at your feet, then you fill that up. Now the metal chute is about ten feet long and extends right down to the roller line, so imagine somebody tossing 10-95lb packages down a sliding board at your head as fast as they can, and you having to grab them, scan them and stack them for four hours straight, and you get somewhat of an idea of what it’s like. You would get “shots”, the sorter would yell out, “shot on chema” to warn you, and then proceed to throw about 40-50 boxes of printer paper down the chute at you one after another. And the roller lines were always busted so the boxes would hit a snag and fall on your fucking head. Two hours into my shift on the first day I thought I was gonna die, my arms were like fucking jello. And the guy I was loading with knew thousands of the worst fucking one-liners you could imagine that he recited the whole time we worked together. I swear to god this guy could recite corny one-liners for days on end if he wanted to. And he was pissed at me because I was a skinnyass kid who moved like a tortoise, so in between telling me these horrible jokes he would be screaming at me to “stack faster! Build a fucking wall! You have to stack the middle!” Dude had arms like slabs of concrete. Then the chutes would jam up, and you had to jump out of the truck to break up the jam of boxes, and the friction from all the boxes on the conveyors would build up static charges that would shoot blue Raiden bolts of electricity up and down the fucking conveyor belts – everytime you touched the conveyor you got zapped, but there was no amperage pushing it, right, it was straight voltage, kind of like getting hit by a stun gun. Boxes would hit the roller and bust open everywhere. We used to get these bigass 50lb boxes of generic lollipops, the kind they give out at the bank, that would break open everytime, everyday you’d get showered with lollipops.; Boxes of playstation games would break open and scatter all over the trucks, boxes of pills, all kinds of shit. If you didn’t stack the boxes right, build a proper “wall”, they’d come down like an avalanche and half bury you. I’ll tell you what, that job whipped my ass into shape real quick, though. Didn’t even have to go to the gym, within a month I was ripped.

    That was also when I started “chipping”. I would be dead by the time my shift was over, but I found if I broke off a piece of an oxy, crushed it up and did a bump, it would blow all the soreness and fatigue away and I would be able to hit the bars with my friends after work. You may be wondering how I got served at such a young age, but you have to take into account the fact that these were South Philly “neighborhood bars” that don’t card. You know, the types of places with “character”. Character being a euphomism for wood paneling, dart boards, crooked pool tables, and a colorful cast of neighborhood alcoholics and drug dealers. The type of bars where you’re hit by a wall of USA Gold smoke as soon as you walk through the door. Where the jukebox eats your money and the joker poker machine in the corner (the one that gets emptied out every week by the guy in the black cadillac with pomaded hair) pays out if you know the bartender who can smoke a whole cigarette without once removing it from his lips.

    Damn, gotta learn some brevity. I think my post might be getting thrown into moderation, so if it posts a duplicate, feel free to delete one.

    • delicioustacos January 29, 2013 at 12:01 am #

      I’m only not deleting this repost for fear that WordPress will spamblock you again. Also, people should fucking read it twice.

      • pffffffftttsssssssiimmbllllllddddddnnnnnnnnn January 29, 2013 at 12:33 am #

        Thank you. I thought it fell flat cause it’s a lot of shit to explain, like it got a little too overwrought or pedantic.

      • pffffffftttsssssssiimmbllllllddddddnnnnnnnnn January 29, 2013 at 8:11 pm #

        I was thinking about the last paragraph of this post and I remembered your Yelp review of the liquor store, so I decided to search some of the bars I used to drink at on there. I wasn’t dissapointed:

        “i have never been in this bar, but i live right across the street. it is so loud. people hang outside way after closing. drunk and annoying. yelling until after 4 am sometimes. i am new the the hood. but it seems as if it doesnt bother anyone but me. i will never go in. i dont want to befriend the people i cant stand.
        on weekends it seems very young and trashy. the only good thing is during the summer, everyone around here goes down the shore. so the noise level is less.”

        They’re new to the neighborhood, which isn’t a surprise, so I clicked on their profile to see the rest of the shit they reviewed, and sure enough it’s all in Los Angeles and it’s all fucking yoga studios and Spa centers:

        In Thai Spa 524 1/2 N La Brea Ave

        Kukhahn Yoga Santa Monica, CA

        Blu Jam Café 7371 Melrose Ave

        The Waffle 6255 W Sunset Blvd

        ANd this one here really tugged at my heart strings:

        Santa Monica Bike Path

        “I lived down here for a short time. Although my LA existence was pretty unbearable (mostly for the company I kept), The bike path was my commute to work and the best part of my day. I had a dope, chrome, low rider bike with white wall tires and electric blue velvet seat. The sweetest ride that ever was. Sometimes I would set out to my stupid job before the sun came up. As the sun rose, I would see at least a dozen surfers bobbing in the water waiting to catch a wave. It was probably one of the most beautiful things I ever saw. And I got to see it often. I would cruise past drum circles, graffiti art, skateboarders, the health conscious, some crazy homeless, local flare, and the Venice boardwalk. Sand and the Pacific Ocean beats driving a car and sitting in traffic any day. I loved my treks back n forth from the gig and hated when it was over. I think about the bike path often and my bike I left behind. If I could take everything I loved from the West Side and put it in Philly, life would be perfect.
        I miss very few things from LA, I consider myself lucky to have experienced the path the way I did. It was the safe place I so desperately needed while living in chaos and turmoil. The Pacific Ocean really does make you forget. But it’s a temporary memory loss. Reality floods right back the second you leave the path. It’s definitely a “Happy Place”.

        It’s people like this that made me go on that tirade about PC yuppie hipsters ruining Fishtown a couple months back. They want the fast-paced grittiness of an East Coast inner-city neighborhood without any kind of inconvenience that might go along with it, no matter how minor it might be. Without all of the “white trash” locals who have been living in the fucking neighborhood they just moved into last week for three or four generations. These are the same kind of fucking people that probably go around slapping wheatpaste Obama posters on the side of abandoned buildings. Boring arrogant condescending assholes. These people just don’t fucking get it. There are people and traits abut this city only a native can love and understand. That’s the thing – for all the shit, all the criticisms I hear about Philly from outsiders, I have a hard time defending the city simply because an outsider won’t get it. I was slightly joking about the corner bars having “character”, but goddamnit, if there’s one thing this filthy fucking city has got it’s character. Personality. And I’m not talking about the die-hard, city-wide, sports fanatic attitde that they played up in “Silver Linings Playbook” either – by the way, they fucked the accents up in that movie like I knew they would, just like they did in “Rocky” – although that’s part of it. You can tell a guy’s from kensington as soon as he speaks. You don’t even have to hear him speak, you can spot a Kenzo from a mile away even when he’s covering the shamrock tattoo on his neck. You can tell how out of place a South Philly Guinea looks in Port Richmond. The other day I’m standing outside of one these hipster coffee shops on Passyunk Ave. “Black n Brew”(they have good sandwiches, but fuck I hate the people in there) enjoying the one vice I have left to enjoy, a marlboro, and a couple comes up the street pushing a baby carriage. Of course, the kid in the carriage wasn’t a baby, he was probably like four years old, but they somehow managed to stuff his ass in there anyway. Kids probably gonna get Scoliosis from being jammed in that thing. The girl – wearing a thin pair of spongebob pajama pants and a fur lined hooded parka – was walking ahead of her boyfriend with an armful of grocery bags from the Acme, which isn’t exactly close by, it’s like ten blocks away. He’s fucking storming up behind her, gold cornicello chain around his neck bouncing, his face slightly obscured by the brim of his oversized New Era Phillies hat. They were both angry as hell. Before I could even wonder why, he yells, “I’m just wondering why the fuck your ex-boyfriend is driving my car!!” Ah, South Philly problems. Then I see two hipster dudes coming up the street the opposite way, and they give the couple like a fucking ten foot berth walking past I was surprised they didn’t cross the street. Wait, no… they were hipster women. No, they were dudes. I don’t fucking know, how can you tell?! I honestly couldn’t tell. They were either lesbian hipsters or gay dudes is what I’m saying.

        So I’m walking down a couple block towards my buddie’s apartment, and I notice what is obviously a neghborhood guy standing on the corner swaying back and forth. His eyes were locked on me. His face was frozen in a drunken grin from the moment I saw him. As I approach I hear, “you got a smoke, dude?” I gave him one and watched him struggle to light it for a few seconds before I pulled my zippo out and lit it for him. “Fucking shots at the Station.” he chuckles. He meant the Station Bar and Grill on 15th and McKean. “You from around here?” “Yeah” I said. “I grew up on 12th and R…..”(never know who might read this fucking blog) “AHhhh, fuck you, cuz, you ain’t from South Philly.” he laughed and clapped me on the shoulder. “Alright, cuz, I’m heading to Dunkin Donuts to get me a fucking Boston cream, baby.”

        And that’s what gives this place character. Personality. It’s not the neighborhood dive bars – and it sure as fuck ain’t the hipster bars pretending to be dive bars – it’s the people. And if you can’t appreciate the people, then maybe you should go back the fuck where you came from.

  9. Cakes and Shakes... January 29, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

    Great post… my Dad was also of the ‘a crappy job will instill the value of money in you’ mentality. I worked every weekend from the age of ten (no joke) to when I finally quit at sixteen because I was so sick of how bad it was. I decided I’d rather be poor. I actually beat you for shitty jobs, too – my Dad was a university professor which you imagine would lead me to teen years replete with ponies and pink frilly bedding. But my Dad’s sideline because he was a workaholic were the electronics shops he owned, for which he ‘reconditioned’ appliances, etc. for resale. So he’d get some horrible second hand gigantic satellite dish from a customer for nothing and it would be up to me to clean it up, which involved chiseling ten years worth of encrusted bird shit and moss off of it to make it look as new. I still don’t know what it was supposed to teach me other than “cheap chemical cleansers can give you second degree burns” and “don’t let the chisel slip or ouch”.

  10. pffffffftttsssssssiimmbllllllddddddnnnnnnnnn January 30, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    Okay, DT, I feel kind of bad today after that vitriolic rant against hipsters, since I remember you writing a post in defense of them, and that you hang out with them, and get accused of being one etc. etc. So I would like to extend an olive branch, because although I may be a little rough around the edges, I am an inherently good person… I think.

    Keeping in line with my theme of South Philly dive bars, I would like to give your possible hipster readers some tips on “neighborhood bar” etiquette they might otherwise not be privy to if they’re ever in South Philly and the The Pub On Passyunk East is closed or they run out of Chimay or whatever, and they’re forced to get a drink at O’Jungs or somewhere similar. What hipsters sometimes fail to understand is that there are some seemingly trivial transgressions that can get you your fucking teeth knocked real quick down there. I actually saw a couple of hipsters one time who unfortunately didn’t understand the ramifications of getting into a fight with some neighborhood guys – at a bar I won’t name for legal reasons – and it wasn’t pretty. An argument arose because of something an outsider would consider meaningless – tossing an extra dollar into the jukebox, “Play Now!”, and cutting in front of a neighborhood dude’s Frank Sinatra playlist in order to rock out to some fucking indie band. One thing led to another, a retarded argument ensued, during which the hipsters didn’t understand the nuances of corner bar etiquette. They were quickly beaten down outside the bar, and were probably pretty stunned by the fact that, yes, there are indeed full grown men in this world who will fight over Frank’s fucking 1975 live at Madison Square Garden version of “My Way”.

    The whole thing could’ve been avoided, and since, like I said, I’m a nice person, here are some tips to avoid that kind of shit:

    Don’t worry about anyone who runs their mouth. The “I’m about to” guys. “Yo, I’m about to fuck you up if you don’t apologize for stepping on my shoes, cuz, real rap.” The reason I wrote the dialogue like that is because these guys also tend to be the goofy, tilted, oversized New Era hat wearing wiggers I described in a post above. The guys who are most likely to beat you into a coma aren’t “about” to do anything; they’ll just do it, and by the time you know whats going on it will be too late.

    DON’T FUCK WITH THE POOL TABLES: I posted on Nikol’s blog about putting your quarters on the table when you want to play a game of pool a while ago, because she posted about some dyke who just walked up to the table demanding to play. That girl would’ve got a beer thrown in her face for doing some shit like that in South Philly. A game of pool might seem like a trivial event to most, but you have to remember that sometimes people play for money, and they can become pretty heated. The same goes for darts. Even if there’s no money involved, you don’t want to piss of a neighborhood guy holding a wooden stick or a projectile with an extremely sharp point. I know this shit might seem ridicuous to most, but that doesn’t matter because, “you gotta back up, dude, I’m trying to take this shot.”

    Here’s one for you, DT, after reading about your disdain for guys who are really into televised sports: For the fucking love of Christ clap when Ryan Howard hits a home run. You should know this shit being from Boston, because I know they take their Red Sox seriously, but other people might not. If a hipster walks into a joint for $1 pint night during a Phillies game, I understand he might not be there to watch the game. But all those drunken fucking natives, they will be gravely offended by your apathy during the bottom of the 9th with the bases loaded.

    We’re actually really friendly people. Like I said, some of us may be rough around the edges, and will occssionally beat the shit out of eachother over trivial matters, but most people will be as friendly towards you as you are to them. As long as you remember one thing: We don’t like bullshit. I like some Indy music. I think Tame Impala’s new album is great. But I don’t like you if you think you’re the shit because your post-shoe-gaze-lofi-fusion band played a couple of fucking shows at Johnny brenda’s. Accomplishments don’t mean jack shit to most of us. We don’t care if you’re Ray Ray the toothless crackhead or a trust fund blueblood from the mainline. If you treat us with respect, we will treat you with respect. If you’re straight-up, personable, and don’t have your head up your ass you’ll be alright. You wouldn’t have a hard time, DT, cause you seem to be all of those things, but so many of these hipsters aren’t.

    But always remember: don’t fuck with a man’s Frank Sinatra playlist.

  11. crunkpopeye February 2, 2013 at 8:53 pm #

    sounds like my gig as a teller at wells fargo literally.

  12. voluptuouslyscrumptious February 3, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    Hard work is good for you! You gotta work your way up, that’s how you make it to the top like Steve Jobs and other famous people.

  13. pffffffftttsssssssiimmbllllllddddddnnnnnnnnn February 4, 2013 at 6:39 pm #

    These Yelp reviews are funny. Here are some of the best neighborhood bars, and their reviews:

    O’Jung’s
    1625 2nd St

    I have yet to find a finer dive bar in south philly. With all you can eat crabs AND bingo each monday night, the friendly and cheerful barkeeps are not only a refreshing change of pace from the average (badly) tattooed hipsters who run so many of philly’s other watering holes, but are as attentive as hospice nurses, in that they seem to have some sort of “spidey sense” directing them to you whenever your drink is a sip from being finished. The atmosphere is one ripped straight from a Bukowski novel (minus the arbitrary violence,) with a majority of patrons being easily over fifty, with easily a millemium’s worth of.night drinking having passed through their collective livers. And should you be lucky enough to catch it, the comedy styling of Willy (last name unknown) you will be entertained for hours, or at least until the time when you’ve had enough and decide to head home.

    Listen close, for

    you’ll know you’re in the right place.

    Station Bar & Grill
    1550 McKean St

    I know they’re out there, but the Station is the only wild bar I still frequent. The weird, perennially plastered regulars get tossed out on a nightly basis, and the rowdy youngin’s roll around on the floor wrestling and knock shit over.

    Be prepared to drink anything, because they run out of everything. My first two or three choices are usually not in stock. Sometimes I just say “what DO you guys have?” And I’m not just talking about nice stuff like wanting a Chimay and after several other picks of incrementally lesser quality ending up with a PBR. That happens too, but sometimes, you just want to pound shitty beer with friends and end up having to order pitchers of Stella Artois.

    Awful. Awful. Awful. The Absolute is actually bottom shelf Vlady, the Ciroc is Pinnicle, and all the whisky is bottom shelf well. The owner openly is a racist, and God forbid you’re attractive and female, because he will hit on you all night. Don’t touch the bar, he’s paid women to have sex there. Don’t touch the bathroom, the underpaid and unqualified janitor sometimes cleans it for beer while being called a n-word and a slave (which the owner is very proud to say). All of the employees work for free, and unless you know someone the service is awful. A prime example of what gives South Philly a bad name.

    Cookie’s Tavern
    2654 S Alder St

    A local neighborhood dive, opens early in the morning and is surprisingly populated at most times of the day. Diverse crowd – locals, college kids, construction workers, inebriates, old men, the occasional hipster. Bartenders smash bottles and bust balls!

    Once a year the bar closes off Oregon Avenue and spends the day commemorating the Marines and the bar’s founder. Expect masses of former and current Marines, warcraft, drunken biker-types, a spread of Italian food like meatball subs, and block party music. All throughout the day. Come back around closing and soak up the man-love.

    Supposedly, Rizzo stopped at Cookie’s when he was campaigning for mayor. Not sure if the story is fib or fact, but, be that as is may, “for the man of discriminating tastes…”

    Quattro Bar
    2535 S 13th St

    Went there for the first time last night. They don’t have ANY draft beer, it’s all bottles and the bottle selection is horrible. What’s the point of carrying eight different light beers? I don’t get it. The crowd seemed like a 20-25 year old crowd of South Philly residents, some of them donning Phillies apparel, and a bunch of guys wearing diamond earrings and buttondowns . Mostly just kids with blowouts and women prancing around in skimpy clothing. I put $5 in the jukebox and they skipped all of my songs because some blonde wanted to listen to some stupid dance song that just went “SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS SHOTS”, as if stupid people actually really needed a prompting to do Washington Apples, or whatever shot is cool to order this week. When I confronted a bartender about getting my money back, some huge guy with tattoos that looked like he wanted to fight somebody…anybody… asked why I was getting “all crazy” and gave me $5 out of his wallet. That solves that problem.

    They did have a nice pool table, but everything else was enough to make sure I’ll probably never be back to this spot.

    This place is an absolute shithole, I’ve only been there once… I don’t even know if they’re open anymore, but I had to read the reviews. This one looks like it could’ve been written by you, DT. Fucking hilarious

    Dolphin Tavern
    1539 S Broad St

    One of the best examples of its type which I have ever found in any country anywhere. A bar which more cultures around the world should strive to encourage. Strip-bars in a neighborhood are an indication of health and sanity. They’re steam-valves. You come here when the bright, orderly, organized, dull, regimented world of business and energy-saver fluorescent lighting and loudspeaker announcements and tv commercials–the sanitized, clean, PC world–all gets just too much. You come here when you want things to be ‘real’ for just 90 f*cking minutes.

    As one other reviewer pointed out, not every ‘strip bar’ is the same. Its places out in the suburbs (or tourist-traps like ‘Delilah’s Den’) where you get amateur audiences. But wide-eyed Japanese businessmen and groups of boisterous frat-boys don’t come to the Dolphin. This place is too authentic for them; it doesn’t match what they see on TV. Its limp; half-hearted; half-dead; given up. This is a place which would depress Tom Waits.

    The girls here–though half-nude and gyrating inches from your upturned face–are not the type of girls to make anyone’s eyes bug out. They’re not fantasy girls. These are the lowest tier of South Philly’s local neighborhood strippers; not just tattoos/piercings and gunshot wounds/stab wounds; but needle tracks too. Single moms trying to make some pocket money to buy formula for their latest toddler. But its honest.

    There’s no good ‘pole-work’–the girls shuffle their feet around on some card-tables inside a horseshoe-shaped counter. Greasy chumps huddle low over their beers; staring; debating the destination of every dollar they feel they can spare. Worrying about how much they’ve got left for smokes. Its is a bar for low-lifes; not poseurs. Plenty of Mexicans and blacks frequent this place.

    And you know that even this ridiculously poor, bump-&-grind is just blowing their minds. Naked white girls! Their eyes glaze over. Mesmerized. Every traitorous backstabbing bitch they’ve ever had in their life; saunters through their numbed brain cells; humiliated and downtrodden like the girls they’re gazing at.

    Fights do not break out. Everyone’s too aching, drugged or dispirited. The drinks suck. Two kinds of beer: Coors and Coors. Best drink to order is a vodka and grapefruit juice. $3. And you just …sit there. Let whatever pain you’re holding in, seep out your pores. You come back to yourself hours later, in a kind of otherworldly daze; but finding yourself a little bit more human. You’ve gotten some facial expression back. This is a place to come to when your woman has ground your heart up in a Cuisinart. Its a place to heal.

    Over the years–the scene is so garish and abysmal–that it has gotten a quiet rep as a place for center-city types to swing by, for laughs. Har dee har har. ‘Brad’ and ‘Josh’ and ‘Zach’ types wearing v-neck cashmere. Its okay; they never stay long and they don’t really get it. And after they’ve departed, the Dolphin embraces you with its cold, grey, dead arms all over again. Order another vodka.

    Now let me say that I am dismayed to hear that Dolph is now going in for live music(?) and renovations? Cripes. Can’t they leave good things alone? Look, I don’t give a damn about sucky little-boy garage-bands, godamnit. Keep Dolphin exactly like its always been. I’m begging ya…

    Damn, you know you’re not working your program hard enough when you spend your spare time reading bar reviews on Yelp. Anyway, these are the spots to check out.

  14. max February 6, 2013 at 8:40 pm #

    True shit about putting fucking bitches in the front

  15. Anonymous February 27, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    I worked at McDs when I was fifteen. I’m a man and a male coworker used to sexually harass me. At first he would grab my ass. Which was innocent enough. I don’t think it was a gay thing since he did it with the male and female staff. But then he would come up behind me and fake buttfuck me. I could feel his cock against my ass. Sometimes he’d get a boner. Having a cock rammed near your butthole is one of the most freighting experiences imaginable. My pants were the only thing stopping actual penetration. Since I was 15 I didn’t realize I could sue. Plus i was embarresed as shit. i certainly didnt want to talk about it. So I quit and got a job making sandwiches at Panera where no penises even so much as grazed my ass. Since that experience I have never sexually harassed anyone. I can only imagine what would have happened to me sexually had i stayed.It wouldn’t suprise me if this pedo ass really did fuck kids. That kind of shit can fuck kids up for life and turn them into abusers. That’s the closest thing to sexual abuse I’ve been my life. It really made me cognizant later in life of how much power a forced sexual act can have on someone.

  16. anon February 28, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    ^ shit just got extremely fucking real…

    LMAO!!

  17. Anonymous August 4, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

    “Double Plus Ungood” Sick reference man.

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