Friday, January 1, 2010

Soup Kitchen Diaries

      I got about 4 hours of sleep before the alarm rang at 5:40 this morning.  I had a case of the racing brain and could not fall off into the never-land slumber. Mags, her BFF and I showed up at the newly built Catholic Charities building at 7 am and quickly made about 50 lbs of green salad mixed in large bins.  The guy supervising us was about 100 years old and couldn't hear so communication was well, limited.  After that the girls went to cut cakes and pies and I stayed to work with this busy-body gray-hair from Houston.  I mentioned the girls were only 13 and she quickly ran out as if she was gonna announce a fire, to tell the pastry supervisor not to let them use knives, as they needed to be over 16 to use a knife.  Had I not said anything would would of cared?  They let these community service morons use a knife I think that' s a bigger liability.  Anyway the old dude had me cutting up fruit with the gabby gray hair.  The fruit was beyond ripe and had mold on the berries.  I swear if I wasn't there they would have mixed it all in.  They had no sense of smell so they could not smell the bad watermelon.  I  pitched all mine but others mixed it all in.  Next I helped drain  about 200 cans of tuna for tuna salad.  Mrs Houston kept saying that the tuna salad must have mustard and apples mixed in with the mayo and pickle relish.  Everyone she said it to said, "well never heard of that"' but that didn't keep her from adding it anyhow.  This one lady on community service kept coming up to me and asking questions like I ran the place.  I started making like I did.  "Oh go ahead and take your break", "put that right over there"  ect......Tell you what if I did run it it would be a better place and their would be composting and a bin for the old fruits and and rotten shit would not make it in the salads.
       When it came time to serving, the girls handed out pastries and buttered bread.  I shared the plate scrub station with a very nice high ranking ex-military guy.  I haven't worked that physically hard in a long time. Most patrons were really helpful, appreciative and cordial.  Some were major fuck-ups handing you a plate stacked with garbage and uneaten food, not bothering to dump the garbage.  This one guy pointed out a hair in his cinnamon roll, although his hands looked like he was a car mechanic/cave man.  I can't say this any other way but it was all very fucking gross.  When we emptied the liquids, coffee, juice, soup, into the bucket I called the spurge bucket, it splattered on my Keens, and looked like vomit.  When I scraped the food with this brush it came back up to my face and I realized I quite possibly had the worse job there.
  Anyhow, yes, I feel like we did a good thing.  I came home took a half hour shower and took a three hour nap.  My knees hurt so I popped a percacet and I am mellowing out in bed with my cat, and I am thanking my lucky stars or higher power or whoever is listening not that I don't have to eat there but that the kitchen is there for those who need it.

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