Was I in a Texas border town eating a spicy plate of enchiladas nortenas and eavesdropping on a couple of construction workers complaining about being disturbed by U.S. Border Services agents looking for illegal aliens?
Or was I nursing a cool cocktail in Key West while a couple of well-dressed twenty-somethings worried about the questionable practices of the nightclub where they were currently employed?
Maybe I was chowing down on an egg white scramble in Southern California listening to hotel workers complaining about the raids on pregnant foreign visitors presumably there to give their newborns U.S. citizenship status.
Any one of those three scenarios would have been lovely.
But no. I was in my kitchen scrubbing teriyaki salmon skin out of a cast iron frying pan while Teen Freud and a few of his buddies discussed their current employment options. Teen Freud already has a part time job – at a bottle recycling depot. He’s had it for the last three or four years. It’s a great fit while he’s in university. It pays well, the hours are flexible and he’s getting another kind of education: learning to interact with the public and being exposed to a wide range of clientele.
But entering the world of the working class has been a shock to Teen Freud’s delicate system. He finds the eight hour shifts too long. The smell on his clothes at the end of the day off-putting. The work physically grueling. “It’s making me old before my time,” he told his buddies that night. “Half the people who work there have arthritis and they’re not even thirty yet. What kind of future is that for me?”
Clearly not the kind of future he has in mind. So Teen Freud is looking for greener pastures. That’s a good thing. Unfortunately, however, his preferred greener pasture is one of the medicinal pot dispensaries popping up in our part of the world like dandelions in spring. It would, he thinks, be a great place to work. Other than that little issue of all the raids.
There’s also the issue of the odor on his clothes. I haven’t mentioned that yet. And I won’t. But if he does decide to apply for a job, I plan to point out that he’ll have to find a way to change outside before coming into the house at the end of the day. I find malodorous clothes off-putting too.
I suspect Teen Freud will find another greener pasture after that reality sinks in. Or maybe risk another few years of possibly arthritis-inducing physical work. If not, pity our poor neighbors because it’s entirely possible our back yard shed will take on a decidedly hemp-like scent over the next few months.