Giant Robot Store and GR2 News

(Art by spoon+fork.)

Work on Monday was going as OK as it could until this guy spazzed out on me when I told him we were out of tomatoes.

“Son of a bitch, let me talk to your manager!”  He had on a pair of insect-eye sunglasses, the kind that only California assholes wear.

“We’re out of tomatoes, sir,” Howard called out.  He was sitting on a milk crate and slumping against the freezer door, just out of view of the customer.

“A burger’s not a burger without tomatoes!” the customer yelled, sticking his face in the opened order window and looking around for Howard.

“McDonald’s doesn’t use tomatoes, and some people think they sell hamburgers,” Howard’s voice called out again.

The guy flipped the sunglasses on top of his head and rubbed his temples.  One eye was bloodshot.

“All events are neutral,” he said quietly.  “It’s our own values that we put on them that make them good or bad.”  Then he looked at me and said, “I’ll have two hot dogs.”

I walked over to the freezer and pried out two hot dogs from the frozen mass of what used to be the lowest shelf.  Because of a power outage, the freezer had melted and frozen again. The inside was one big discolored sheet of ice that looked like polar bear fur stained with piss.

“Can you just deep-fry them instead of grilling them?” asked the man.  That was the classic New Jersey way of cooking dogs.  Most tourists didn’t want them like that because frying them split the skin and the flesh would burst out.

“The dogs are frozen solid, they’re not thawed out.  They’re not going to turn out right,” I told him.

“It’s okay,” he said.  “Frying brings out the natural goodness in foods.”

He was right.  At least they looked pretty good, considering they expired a few months ago and that the oil in the fryer hadn’t been changed all summer.

I even cooked one for myself later on, but couldn’t bring myself to eat it, knowing that it was old meat.  I gave it to Howard instead.  He ate it and I watched for something to happen.

“Let me give you some more career advice,” he said when he was done.


“For the sake of practicality, get a shitty job in the city.  It will pay less than in Philly, but you only have to ride one train system instead of two and as the years go by, there will be more opportunities to advance than in Philly.”

“Going from NJ Transit to Septa for Philly does suck.”

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