The Saga of George the Jar
a true adventure
by euhal allen
It was a very good dressing, and I think that I was rightfully proud of it. (We had been having complaints abut our Coleslaw dressing, a rather drab affair inundated with celery seed, and I had been commissioned to create something better.)Maybe this will help you imagine the taste of the dressing:
1 qt. buttermilk
2 qt. mayonaise
3/4 cup vinegar
1 tsp. Tobasco Sauce
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. pepper
I called it, for some reason unknown even to me, King George Dressing. That was the first ingredient in the following venture into insanity. The second ingredient was overwork, and sleep deprivation.
It had been a long weekend; I had spent most of my time at the restaurant, from about six in the morning till after twelve midnight Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Suddenly it was five o’clock Monday morning. Like it or not, I had to open again at six. I was so tired from the long busy weekend that I was giddy, almost as if I was drunk. There was little between me and total insanity.
This was not a little tiredness, like the time I had worked all two long days and then after closing, put down a couple of coats of wax on the floor. Then, the wax having dried, put quarters in the jukebox and danced, lights on, window undraped, with the mop, its head in the air. Danced around an hour with that glamorous mop.
No, this was the REAL THING. This was being so tired that I did everything while watching myself from another level and laughed and giggled at every weird and stupid thing I did, directing the other me, the puppet one, on to higher and greater levels of weirdness. I was tired high.
As I was saying, there it was, Monday morning and I had to open again. When I got to work I began my usual routine, turning or the equipment, mixing batter, filling dressing jars, etc. But that Monday was different. I couldn’t locate the quart jar that I kept the King George Dressing in. I found the screw spout, but I couldn’t find the jar. It was as though I were lost; I couldn’t open up without that dressing jar. It must have been broken; why, the rotten dishwasher must have broken my jar.
It was five-thirty in the morning, and there weren’t any other jars around. I did the only thing that I could do under the circumstances, I called the boss.
The phone seemed to ring forever before Brenda, the boss’s wife, answered.
“Brenda,” I said frantically, “he broke my jar. How can I open up without my jar?”
“What? I don’t understand,” was her reply.
“My Jar! The jar for my George dressing: they broke it. The dishwashers, yesterday, they broke my jar.”
“Hold on a minute. John has got to hear this. He won’t believe me if I tell him. He just will have to hear it for himself.”
I knew that she would understand how important it was.
Shortly then I heard another voice on the phone. “Hello.”
I calmed myself down; spoke slowly and clearly; “ My ... jar, ... John, ... they ... broke ... it!”
“Jar? Broken? What are you talking about?”
Patiently, calmly, coherently, I screamed, “The jar for my George dressing, it’s gone. They broke it!”
“I don’t believe it,” was the reply.
“It’s true,” I cried, “they broke it; it’s gone.”
“What time is it?” he answered.
“I don’t believe it! Brenda! Brenda you handle this, I don’t believe it.”
Brenda was back on the phone. “It’s all right, Bob, I’ll bring you over a new jar. OK?”
The problem was solved; I felt much better. I went back to work, opened up on time and waited patiently for my new jar.
My new jar was a beauty. One of those square jars with Mason written right on the front. I couldn’t wait to fill it! I named it George.
Filled with dressing, with its pour spout lid screwed on tight, it was a magnificent creation. I proudly took it out front and introduced him to our regular customers, loggers mostly.
“This is my jar, George,” I said. “They broke my old jar yesterday, but I don’t care, because now I’ve got ol’ George here.”
The first customer just put his hand over his mouth and began giggling into his coffee, while another one said something like, “Oh. Yeah?”
They left soon after that.
George made a lot of friends that morning. I introduced him to everyone.
The amazed looks on their faces told me that they had not expected to meet such a fine jar as old George. It had the makings of a fine day.
The waitress, Vicky, was jealous. George was getting all of the attention. I could tell something was amiss when began sneaking around my kitchen. She was up to something, but I couldn’t figure out what it was.
After a short busy spell, I had time to look out front again and I noticed an old customer of ours come in. He hadn’t met George yet!
Turning quickly, I reached for... George was gone! I had set him right there, I knew I had. I went horridly out front and called Vicky over. “Vicky, have you seen George? He’s gone. He was just back there, and now he’s gone!”
“Perhaps,” she said, “he is hiding from you.”
That sounded like something ol’ George would do; it would be just like ol’ George to do something like that.
I went out by the cash register, opened the cabinet doors and called out, “George, George are you in there?”
No answer; he wasn’t there. Next I snuck over to the juke box in the corner and with a quick jerk pulled it out from the wall. “Gotcha, George,” I cried out.
He wasn’t there either.
The customers were watching. I could see that they didn’t understand.
“I am looking for George,” I said. “He is my new salad dressing jar. They broke my old one yesterday, and the boss gave me George this morning. He’s hiding from me.”
They still didn’t seem to understand.
I couldn’t worry about that right then, I had to find George.
“Vicky,” I pleaded, “you have to help me find George!”
“No,” she smirked, “you find him. I’m too busy right now.”
I had thought she was jealous of George, and now she had proven it. “Well,” I thought, “some people are like that.”
Hurrying back to the kitchen I began searching for George in earnest. I spent an hour on my hands and knees, climbing into cupboards, rearranging things in the walk-in, all the while calling out, “George, are you in there, George?” He would never answer me.
All the while, on the other level, that other me knew how ridiculous I looked and just laughed it off and pushed me on to greater heights of folly.
It was getting close to twelve and I was getting frantic. I was depending on George to help me through the noon rush. I had only one place to look; in the upper part of the sugar cabinet.
He was there! I had found him!
“Naughty George, ” I scolded. “You had me worried.”
Hurrying out front, holding George firmly in my hands, I said, “Look everyone, I found George. See, here he is. He’s my new salad dressing jar. He was hiding from me, but I found him.”
They all looked at one another and smiled. Vicky said, “Oh, no.” She was still jealous.
I took George back to the kitchen for safekeeping.
The rest of the work day went more or less routinely, with, of course, the happy exception that as the rest of the help came in I called them all back and introduced George to them. They were all pleased to have such a fine new dressing jar with the firm, and with a little prodding from me; they overcame their shyness and said, “Hello, George.” I could tell they were impressed by him.
Three o’clock finally came and I was done for the day. I could go home and finally get some sleep. Boy, that sounded good. I was sure tired from the long weekend, topped off as it was by the excitement about George.
As I came into the house, I heard my mother talking on the phone to my sister’s future mother-in-law. Taking the phone from my mother’s hand, I said. “You know, the dishwasher broke my jar yesterday, but Brenda got me a new one. I named it George. Come on over to the restaurant and I will introduce you to him.”
Mom had this odd look on her face as I handed her back the phone. There seemed to be something that she didn’t quite comprehend. So, I sat down at the table and told her. “You see, mom, they broke my jar yesterday, and I had to get a new one from Brenda this morning. I named it George. Then he hid from me, the rascal, but I found him anyway. I think that Vicky had something to do with hiding him. She is jealous of him. It is as simple as that.”
Mom said, “Oh.”
Having explained the situation to her I went into the kitchen to get a peanut butter sandwich before I went to bed. Eating my sandwich, I heard mom’s somewhat bewildered voice as it drifted into the kitchen.
“I think he said something about a jar named George that hid from him — I’m not sure what he meant by that — I’ll call you tomorrow.”
Good, she was off the phone. I had just remembered one waitress that I had not told about George. Her name also was Vicky, but I knew she would not be jealous.
Brushing past my mother, I dialed Vicky’s number and she soon answered.
Without even taking time to tell her who was calling, I told her the whole story about George. She was so taken back by the excitement that all she could say was, “Uh huh... Oh, yeah... You don’t say.”
Having told the whole world, I could now go to bed for a short nap. It was wonderful. Sleep is truly a great invention; it can cure so many ills.
I woke up refreshed, feeling great, and a bit hungry.
Mom was in the kitchen when I came in.
“Are you feeling better,” she asked.
“Yes,” I replied, “a lot better. I sure had a weird dream though. It was all about this jar and... Never mind, you wouldn’t believe it anyway!”
“Probably not,” she said, “but I would still like to hear about it, I promised to return a phone call tomorrow.”
The next morning, when I got to work Vicky was already there. On the prep counter in the kitchen was my dressing jar and right next to another one that had an even smaller one down inside it.
Turning to Vicky, I asked, “What is that?”
“That,” she said with a wicked little smile, “is Georgette and the baby.”
Copyright © 2004 by euhal allen