by Jim

I was in the grocery store today, when I saw a lady knocking on a watermelon. It reminded me of times gone by.

When I was 14 I got a work permit. Because of my age, I could only work 3 hours a day. I worked in a grocery store in the produce department. My only job was to keep the apples and potatoes off the floor, keep things where they were supposed to be, and keep most of them wet. Back in those days we dragged a hose around.

One day I was working alone when this lady said, “How do I know when this melon is ripe?” I told her about the yellow spot on the bottom. She said, “No, you have to knock on them.” Anything I said, she didn’t like. So I put the melon on a metal table, picked up a large knife, and with one swoop I cut that watermelon in half. Her eyes were really big when she said in a shaky voice, “Can I buy that half?” “Sure,” I said.  I wrapped it in Saran Wrap and told her, “12 cents.”

Just then the manager said, “Who in the hell cut that melon?” “That would be me,” I replied. “You’re going to be fired,” he said as he went to the owner’s office.

I thought to myself, “Well, this didn’t last long.” A few days later the owner said, “How much is that half?” “Fifteen cents,” I said. “You only charged the lady 12 cents,” he said. “I think if we cut it we should get more money,” I replied. He turned to the manager and said, “I like this boy.”

May 11, 2011

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