Monday, November 1, 2010

The Great Summer Job Debate

[Please note: The LG Report cannot be responsible for lost or stolen articles.  Also, no shoes, no shirt, no blog.]

Periodically, LG pulls stories about his friends into The LG Report.  Today it's Jimmie's turn.  Lucky him.

Jimmie (he strongly prefers "Jim," and detests "Jimmy," and probably "Jimmie" with an "ie," but LG spells it that way to annoy him.  Just as LG refers to himself in the third person to annoy readers) is someone about whom a very entertaining book could be written.

Said book would chronicle, for example, the time, long ago, when Jimmie was walking home at 2 o'clock on a Sunday morning in Manhattan and encountered a homeless man begging for money in front of a corner grocery.  Being the compassionate person that he is, Jimmie decided to buy the fellow an apple rather than give him cash that could be used to purchase crack cocaine,  Olde English 400 or, possibly, a subscription to the Wall Street Journal and an interview suit. 

Jimmie presented this indigent fellow with the apple, secure in the knowledge that he was making the world a better place, and continued walking towards his apartment, steaming coffee in hand.  Not 10 paces down the sidewalk, Jimmie reconnected with the apple, now traveling at about 70 miles an hour (probably a curve, but possibly a slider) as it hit him smack dab in the center of his back.  The homeless man, apparently, did not want an apple.  

This is the Jimmie that we're talking about.

Jimmie is from Minonk, Illinois, which, in case you're one of the few who don't know, is in Woodford County.  Here's where it's located:

Jimmie and LG have had a running argument since college.  It's based upon who had the tougher summer job in their youth.

Wanting to play fair, LG discounts his summers of washing dishes in his dad's diners.  Hot, sweaty kitchens in July are hard to beat.  Rather, LG points to his college summer job of delivering 70-pound canisters of 7Up syrup to restaurants, bars and other establishments.

Here's an image of one of those syrup-laden behemoths:
Much heavier than it looks.

Once, LG had to deliver, by himself, 144 of these 70-pounders across 100 yards of sand to a tent on the beach in mid-July heat.  LG breaks into a sweat just thinking about it.  You should too. 

Jimmie, on the other hand, detasseled corn during summers in Central Illinois.  This involves pulling the "tassel" off the top of the corn stalk as it grew in the field.  Why would anyone bother doing this?  Wikipedia explains it if you click HERE. 

If you did click there, it's a good bet that you also watch TV Land's "Hee Haw" reruns on Saturdays at 9pm.

Jimmie claimed that it was very hot in the corn fields of Central Illinois in the summer.  But the worst part, he says, was getting his face and arms cut by sharp-edged leaves as he walked among the towering corn plants.  Here's a picture of what that may have looked like if Jimmie had been an attractive (by Illinois farm standards) girl:

On the other hand, here's what carrying those 70-pound soda cannisters felt like:

Don't worry, this man now has a job answering the phone when you call Bank of America.

So Jimmie and LG have periodically debated the "Who had the harder summer job?" point over the last 25 years or so.  About ten years ago, LG and Jimmie were out with their friend Anne one night at a bar when one of her law firm colleagues showed up.  During the customary small talk, this gentleman revealed that he had been raised in Iowa. 

"What did you do for a summer job?" Jimmie asked.

"I detassled corn," he said.

"What was the worst part of the job?" LG quickly asked.

"Oh, no doubt, getting hit in the face with the corn leaves.  Those suckers would cut your face and it hurtWorst summer job ever." 

Ouch, that stung.  His observation hurt LG's position significantly.  It was like taking an apple square in the back.

If you think you had a tougher summer job, chime in with a comment, we'd love to hear from you. 

Hope to see you here again soon.  And feel free to bring some friends! 


  1. The BOA comment was priceless!

  2. LG, I could weaken your argument even further by swearing that someone who looked a lot like you did back when you worked at 7UP used to arrive at my house every afternoon for an hourlong nap while you were on the clock. But I would never undermine you like that in public. Instead, I'll just mention it here in the relative privacy of your blog.

  3. I spent one summer working in a paper mill on a paper machine where the temperature was around 120 degrees! You can read about that experience here:

  4. My worst summer job involved was one I couldn't quit. Literally, I was not allowed to quit. I tried, many, many times, but you can't quit when you're 10 years old and the boss is your mom.

    I grew up in central Wyoming. We lived on an acre of land and my folks decided that growing a garden would teach me "life lessons" and help me "build character". And, apparently, my folks figured I needed a lot of character because the garden was about 1/4 of an acre. And, guess who would be mainly responsible for weeding, watering, planting, tilling, and just generally maintaining the stupid garden? My folks already had plenty of character so it sure wasn't them.

    Growing a small garden is a pleasant experience - growing a 1/4 acre garden and forcing your 10 year old son to take care of it is something that guy from the Saw movies would say is cruel and unusual.

    Every single day of my glorious summer breaks from age 10 until 16 was spent building character until the sun got too hot to teach me any more life lessons. Every single day. Without exception. My friends were going to the lake? Sorry - building some character here. Wanna go to the movies? Nope - life lessons to be learned.

    Now that I'm a father, I don't have to learn any more stupid life lessons.

    But I have 3 kids now and we bought a house with enough land for a 1/5 acre garden. After all, my children need to build a LOT of character.


The LG Report appreciates all comments, thanks for taking the time; Karma will probably award you a winning lotter ticket or something. The "or something" being more likely. But thanks again!