by Dan Johnson
Now an opinion that may be unpopular: Labor Day is a crock.
It was invented in the machine age so that us god-given ‘Mericans could pay lip service to the working man without having to address any of the accusations of exploitation and usurpation that come with May Day.
For twenty-four hours at the close of every Summer, the country’s wage earning masses have a chance to reflect on the dimensions of the economic system that has quantified, monetized and sodomized every facet of their identity in the name of profits they will never see.
It’s your day, working people, unless you were hoping to buy a decent meal for eight dollars and seventy two god forsaken cents. Why? Because people of all stripes feel they should have the day off.
Unfortunately, the world doesn’t permit everyone a goddam day off. Someone is going to have to take one for the team and do their job. We’re going to need power, water, national defense, shitty entertainment to glue shut our third eye and food.
“Sorry, Dan, you don’t even begin to understand how much people in the food service industry suffer.”
Fair. Any job where you have to please drunken, self-entitled assholes on a daily basis (something I wouldn’t know shit about as a freelance writer, right?) should include sacred wiggle room in which you, the order taking masses, are given carte blanche to peel off your clothing and streak naked through an alpine meadow full of butterflies and edelweiss.
On the flip side of the logical assumption that certain people deserve a day off is the built in consequence that the work-a-day set are then responsible for cooking. In a fair world, the super-rich would be rounded up at gunpoint and forced to man massive day-long catering operations for their underlings. Instead, you the worker are expected to add extra meal planning and preparation duties to your already jam-packed work schedule.
I like to think that Samuel Gompers and Cesar Chavez would enjoy a little inexpensive, but quality thai food cooked by someone else’s hand on their holiday, but no. It’s not to be.
Most of what you see open on Labor Day are top flight restaurants, Jack in the Box and liquor stores. So you can gaze upon that which you can’t afford while packing down a shit combo of food that will exacerbate your onset diabetes before numbing yourself into a near catatonic state with a hundred or more ounces of a domestic light beer canned by chodes who donate heavily to the Tea Party.
For the record, this is the hanger talking. I am undernourished and irate. Tomorrow I’ll be back in your businesses nice as can be, eager to smile and tip and say “thank you.”
For today though, FUCK YOU ALL. Stowaway Café, E.T. Thai, Coronados, Pru-fucking-Frock Pizza: who do you think you are? I hope someone breaks into your establishments tonight and glues the kitchen utensils to the ceiling with rubber adhesive and elephant spunk. I hate you from the core of my being right now.
An hour into the search for something cheap and non-toxic I abandoned my automobile and stumbled deaf and dumb down Spring St.
Special kudos to Guisados for staying open. I couldn’t patronize you because you had a line full of tourons staring stilted and moronic at the menu wondering what the fuck a “cochinita” was. There was no way I was standing hungry behind that. Someone would have died by tongue-lashing.
I ended up at Joe’s Pizza, which is the perfect place for fellow hypoglycemics such as myself to vent their spleen. The staff at Joe’s feel about life the same way I feel about Labor Day: everyone can pivot on a dick.
I paid more than $8.72 for two slices because Downtown is the new Manhattan and they bleed you dry in Manhattan so why not try it here in Spiceville?
A little food in me and I felt better—barely. More, I was treated to an endearing sight. Across the street from Joe’s, the Meals on Wheels van was making the rounds accompanied by a dude who looked like he could not be more hungover. He hunched over the curb by SB Tower and smoked a cigarette while every fiber of his being was begging to know what the fuck he was doing there and why.
Yet, he was there. The people who feed the less fortunate managed to make it out today if only to guilt you all for your admittedly well-deserved sloth.
I award every place closed on Labor Day a permanent “0” on the binary and a 75% greater karmic chance of slipping on Todd Winic’s baby-oil slick on Spring St.