Archive for the Drugs Category

Nerdy Monday 19: My Tribute to Canadian Comedy

Posted in 2000's, Alcohol Involved, Canada, Drugs, Modern, Odd Job Jack, T.V. shows, Trailer Park Boys on February 18, 2011 by Divide By Zero

Yes, for those of you out there that are wondering.  I used the words “tribute”, “to”, “Canadian”, and “comedy” in that order, in the same sentence.  I know a lot of people who look down to Canada/Canadians.  Sometimes the way they pronounce the word “about” as “a-boat”, or the way they say “Zed” instead of “Zee” [like the letter], or the influence the French have over them is kind of funny to us Americans.  That’s it, there’s no rebuttal here for that.

And the Canadians take it all in stride, as they are prone to do.  But you have to hand it to them… some of their sitcoms and “mature cartoons” are far superior to the kind of comedy we have stateside.

The two examples that jump out at me right off the bat are: The Trailer Park Boys, and Odd Job Jack.  We’ll take them one at a time.

The Trailer Park Boys are pretty much national treasures in Canada.  They go on tour, had a successful 7 season run with their show, and have even gathered a pretty decent sized cult following in the U.S.  I even read somewhere that they had the choice to shoot the show in Hollywood, but they had to give up some of the creative control and censor themselves for American television.

They opted to keep the show based in Canada due to that reason.  Let me tell you up front, that there is a lot of foul language involved.  There is also excessive drug references, and alcohol use (abuse?).

Obviously the show takes place in a trailer park.  It revolves around the exploits and misadventures of the 3 main characters: Julian, Ricky, and Bubbles.  There are a lot of running jokes throughout the show, but it’s also just so off the wall and randomly hilarious that you don’t have to watch the episodes in order.  You can just jump right in and start laughing at the crazy dialogue, the wacky antics, and the overall persona of each character, no matter how major or minor they are.  Check out a few of these “Best Of” clips, just to get the gist of the show:

The Best of Bubbles Part 1:

The Best of bubbles Part 2 (He’s my personal favorite character):

The Best of Ricky:

And check out this clip entitled “Best Police Chase Ever”:

It’s one of the guilty pleasures I have.  Maybe it’s not for everyone.  Maybe it wouldn’t have been as popular if it were shot in America.  Maybe it’s a little rude, crude, and raunchy.  That’s it, there’s no rebuttal here, either.  It’s funny, it’s unique, it’s clever, and it’s Canadian.

Odd Job Jack is a cleaner version of the cutthroat style comedy the Trailer Park boys gives off.  It’s a mature cartoon based in Canada, that’s comparable to The Simpson’s, Family Guy, American Dad, and the like.  I found it while stumbling through Hulu one night, after I drank too much coffee and was forced to stay up way too late.

It revolves around the main character, Jack, who doesn’t have a steady job and is forced to work at a temp agency.  I think we’ve all been there at one point in our life!  Okay, I have, at least..  But this isn’t about me, it’s about Jack.  Jack is a 20-something that lives with his pretty normal mother, his hippy-esque sister, and his pot smoking grandmother.  He has an asian friend who helps run a family owned convenience store, and another friend who is a genius, but is also agoraphobic.  You don’t have to look that one up, it means that he is scared of open spaces.. basically the opposite of claustrophobic, which means that he hates leaving his apartment.

So every episode Jack goes to the temp agency and is handed a different job.  There’s quirky dialogue, awkward flashbacks, and the character of Jack himself is just goofy.  It’s much more family friendly than the Trailer Park Boys (that goes without saying, I think), and it’s just a very enjoyable show to watch.  It’s not as raunchy as some of the mature American cartoons, and it doesn’t rely on a lot of pop culture references the way Family Guy does.  Or maybe it does, I just don’t know that much (if anything) about Canadian pop culture.  Either way, it’s hysterical.  Again, like the Trailer Park boys, it’s a series that doesn’t make you have to watch the beginning episodes to think the later ones are funny.  I highly recommend watching a few episodes.  It’s something fresh, and exciting.  Something that probably not a lot of Americans have heard about, and if you’re reading this and you have heard about it, then good for you.. go get yourself some cookies.  Check out a few of the clips below, and feel free to pass it along to your friends.

Those are two of my favorite episodes, anyways.  If you have to sign up for a Hulu account, please do it.  This is a very underrated cartoon that deserves more attention.  I would love to own the DVDs so I can watch them anytime I want.  If anyone feels like donating a set to me, e-mail!

It’s a maple leaf on their flag, not something else.. potheads.

The Jester.

 

*All videos are property of their owners and may be subject to copyright laws.  All videos obtained through either Youtube search or Hulu search.”

Outback Chronicles: The time a few people got fired. (Then re-hired)

Posted in 2000's, Alcohol Involved, Drugs, Gourmet, Hell, Jeremy Dotson, Local, Modern, Outback Steakhouse on December 22, 2010 by Divide By Zero

At a restaurant, you have to understand.. there’s a core crew.  You’re either in that crew, or you’re not.  I never really knew where I fell in that crew.  I kept my mouth shut for the most part, and I saw how other people fell into the crew.  I could care less, as long as my paycheck was right.  Here’s one story:

Papa, you remember that guy.  He was a server, in the front of the house.  He was a jokester in the back of the house.  He showed up and did his job.  He did it very well.

Twice while I worked there, I found out that Papa was taking advantage of the dark parking lot on the side of the OS-Lounge.  He was taking advantage of it in a way that he wasn’t using it so much for parking, as he was using it for dealing drugs.  Well that’s all well and good right?  He never did it inside the restaurant, and he never did it while he was working, right?

Wrong on both counts.  He was the dealer for most of the restaurant staff, and a lot of the customers, from what I’ve heard.  I heard he served more pills/weed in the dining room of that restaurant while I worked there, than he served food.

He got fired twice, rehired twice, and then fired for the final time after I had stopped working there.  He was part of the crew.

Schmangle.  There’s another guy I haven’t talked about yet.  He was a 16 year old kid who could work the cook line (most of the time) better than anyone else could.  He got fired thrice by 3 different managers.  But always got hired back, because he was the “golden child”.  “He’s too young, he’s not mature” is what the owners/Ted would say.  He always left me out in the dust.  By that I mean he left an hour early which meant I had to stay 2-3 hours late.

It was ridiculous closing his station when no one else would do it.  He was part of the crew.
There’s 4 or 5 others that come to mind that run along the same lines, but I can’t give you the details, because then I would either put myself in danger, or someone else.  I don’t want to get anyone fired, and I apologize for this week’s entry being so short.  I promise I’ll have an awesome one for you this coming Friday.

Just remember that your cooks and waiters may not be who they seem.  Even though that doesn’t make them a good waiter/waitress, it makes them a different kind of person.  Do you want those people serving you your food, or even cooking it?  If it happens in this little place, it happens all over the place.

Keep that in mind the next time you order from a restaurant… exactly how much work goes into your food?

See you ordering off the vegetarian menu,

The Jester.

Mischeif at exit 7

Posted in Drugs, Restaurants on August 24, 2010 by Divide By Zero

The Good, The Ugly, and Everything Between.

Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina

16 August, 2010

Written by: Del Dotson

I have worked in many different restaurants through the years.  My first job was in a buffet style place in Northern Virginia.  I moved from there to steakhouses, seafood places, a cafeteria or two, and even Hooter’s once.  It always starts out the same way: they ask me if I want to be a waiter, I decline, then they stick me in the dish room.  I can hack it there, sometimes I prefer it.  The hardest problem you have in the dish room is: “Crap, there’s cheese on this plate!”  I can usually work my way out of the dish room and move on to other responsibilities pretty quickly.  Also, the dish room is usually located in a perfect place to observe the rest of the kitchen.  It’s fun seeing the flow the cook line has with one another.  When they get a big rush on a Saturday, they almost look like they’re all dancing together ballet style.  Everyone helps each other out, while still finding a way to piss one another off.  It’s just the way of the kitchen.

I’ve never worked at a place quite like Salsarita’s.  It’s a different kind of restaurant.

The Good

At Salsarita’s, everyone that worked there did everything.  Instead of just one person doing dishes all day, another cooking, another prepping, and so on, everyone did a few dishes, served a little bit, cooked a little bit, etc.  It was fun working there (when the owners weren’t there).  Everyone got along, and the job never got boring.  Also, Salsarita’s is a weird mix of a restaurant that’s part sit-down, and part fast-food.  I love all the fresh local ingredients they used.  There was never a chance of any food even being close to rotting or going bad.  I saw the managers throw away food days before the expiration, or should I say, “serve-by” date.  Sure, a few things were kept overnight, but they were done so properly.  I really can’t complain about their food at all.  Everything is fresh, delicious, tasty, and reasonably priced.

The Ugly

Now to the fun part!  The restaurant is a Cantina.  They serve alcohol.  They have a full bar, as a matter of fact.  And a big part of restaurant sales is the grossly priced mixed drinks, shots, and beers they serve.  The then-owners of the location at exit 7 in Bristol could have taken full advantage of that and helped offset their income for the slow days they had during the week.  I worked there for about 8 months.  I was over 21, and was allowed to serve alcohol to customers.  I never sold one alcoholic drink.  In fact, no one I worked with served one.  No one wanted to drink there.  Even during dinner rush on Friday and Saturday nights, no one had a margarita with their enchiladas.  No one wanted a Corona with their nachos.  The biggest reason is that the stereo system by the bar was constantly playing Christian/Evangelical music.  Which is fine, I listen to some gospel every now and then, but if you own a restaurant with a bar in it, it is an asset.  It’s a substantial money maker.  It is the last place you expect to hear religious music.  It stops people from spending money at the bar.  I respect religion, and I respected the owners for having the same faith I had.  But if they were so religious they were uncomfortable selling alcohol, then they should have scrapped all the liquor, and turned it into something else. They never really communicated with the cooking staff very much, but if they had held even one meeting with us, we could have come up with about 10 creative ideas for the bar, each.

They were the type of owners that had never owned a restaurant before, and I’m fairly certain that neither one of them had ever worked in a restaurant even once.  Our manager most of the time was their oldest son.  He back talked his parents a lot, and they were never able to separate their family’s home life from the restaurant.  It was the type of thing that made all the other employees not respect the owners.  I saw it on multiple occasions.  It’s sad really to see a pimple faced 17 year old play dumb(er than they usually are) when the managers walk in, and get out of their side work at the end of the night.  They sold the restaurant shortly after, because some people aren’t cut out to own their own restaurant.

Everything Between

It was kind of funny watching the whole staff switch personas when the owners left, and we knew they’d be gone for at least a few hours.  All of a sudden, the cameras got turned off, and I watched people who were into drugs (myself excluded) whip out their little baggies.  One guy would go out back and puff on a joint, while another guy cleaned off a prep station in the back and was measuring out lines of cocaine.  All while one of the Assistant Managers was in the bathroom smoking meth out of a test tube.  Those were the days where I knew I wouldn’t have to do anything.  I would just sit back, and watch the little Tasmanian Devils run amok on the serving line.  They would finish everything up in record time.  All I had to do was make sure they had enough clean plates freshly chopped ingredients.

Overall

It was a fun place to work, and peer pressure has never really influenced me.  The co-workers I had were hilariously idiotic in their own way, but they got the work done, and they always did a good job and worked hard.  The owners have changed since I worked there, and in my opinion it’s for the best.  I love eating there, and have even had a beer or two on my off days.  I recommend it to everyone, tourists and locals alike.