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Book of Jobs Part 3

bEAT KITCHEN

by Chris Auman

I worked at the Beat Kitchen for about six months in 1998. At the time, the owner was booking some of the worst bands in the city. The kitchen was adjacent to the music room, so not only was it bad, it was loud. Really loud. There were some characters in the kitchen too, of course. Like Bad Ronnie, for example. Bad Ronnie was a painter and white rapper from Detroit. He was incredibly full of shit and could talk about his various art and music projects for the entirety of a shift, stopping only to retreat downstairs where he had a small bong hidden in the ceiling of the basement.

The BK was a good place to hang out after work. We played Lounge Ax in a highly amateur softball game which we somehow managed to win. Both teams featured the most unathletic humans in the city at that time. I got a double which may have been the first hit of my life. Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, husband of one of the Lounge Ax co-owners, competed in an old-timey baseball uniform. Bad Ronnie made a kid cry by taking away his bat.

The kitchen was very laid back. It never got really busy that I recall. I worked the pantry and pizza side and did a lot of prep work. There is a heartbreaking truth about the pizza cook. Once you have lovingly rolled out and shaped the dough, layered on the sauce and toppings and slid the pizza shovel underneath, there is no greater feeling of defeat than seeing that pizza destroyed when the middle of the pie sticks to the shovel as you attempt to slide it into the oven, thus sending the ingredients into the oven to quickly burn and churn out smoke. You think you’ve sprinkled enough corn meal on there, but you haven’t. You haven’t.

After six months of working two restaurant jobs and being perpetually broke, I reached a breaking point. One night, while taking out a few heavy bags of dripping, disgusting garbage, I decided I had had enough of this stinking, freaking, bitchass restaurant business.

That's Classified >>


Originally published in RW#24, 2014

RW #24

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