I took Uber from work to the church so that I could get to the Ash Wednesday service, only to find out it was already over. It had started at 5:30. However, I did get there in time to clean up. At CCC, we have a professional kitchen, and I’ve been dying to get my hands on it. So what did I do when I walked in? I ate a metric fuck tonne of pancakes. But after that? John knows what I did. So do Drue, Knives, Dana, Shaun, Ian, et al. I made that grill my bitch. I used to be quite known for it, and by that I mean anal retentive. And by that I mean that if I was in the bar and it was someone else’s shift, I’d go back there and make sure it was up to code. My code.
We didn’t have any vinegar, so I used club soda and ice instead. We didn’t have a brick, so I used towels and a green scrub thingme. In fact, there’s an entire list of things that our kitchen needs and I will get them, because a day care meets in our church and I wasn’t going to let the youth group get yelled at. So I did the job with the tools I had, but next time, I’m coming prepared. I told the kids that we had to play “the health inspector is coming tomorrow.” I don’t know who it was, but there was a 17-year-old white boy I swore was an Ecuadoran dishwasher, he was so efficient. I couldn’t tell him that, only chuckle to myself, but he deserved tips. JMSK, he could have given Jimmy a run for his money, especially since we had a dishwasher half the size of one in a restaurant… but at least it was professional grade… enough to the point that I burned the ever-living shit out of my hands and I hadn’t felt more alive in months. I started giving orders, and one of the volunteers said they thought there was a janitor… I said, “not before preschool starts tomorrow.” I wasn’t dictatorial about it, just firm, because clearly someone needed to be in charge and no one had ever worked in a professional kitchen before. I knew this because no one knew that the appliances had to be wiped down, the floor had to be mopped, etc. I basically took them step-by-step through closing down Biddy’s, and it worked.
I mean, they were making *pancakes.* I assure you that no one in that kitchen knew more than me about cleaning up after brunch food. I missed Dana so much that I almost cried, because I thought to myself that if there was anything I’d forgotten, she would have remembered it. It’s scary when you realize that this IS your circus and these ARE your monkeys, but I did the best I could without her. I just made sure to go through her checklist as I was cleaning up…. and if there’s anything I *did* forget, it wasn’t anything major. Apparently, the youth group got ripped a new one last year, not by the pastor, but by the people at the day care center for the way they left the kitchen. I was not going to let that happen again. The only thing that really confused me is that there were no instructions on the dishwasher, and I couldn’t get the damn thing to drain. I pushed Off, like, ten times and then finally just closed the door. It drained and I said, “SMILINMIGHTYJESUS!” which is Christian for anything I would have said at Biddy’s.
My aim was to leave the kitchen better than I found it, and that wasn’t too hard considering they’d just stopped cooking the moment I walked in. I filled one of the sinks with soap and water and just started scrubbing everything down. The floor was the hardest, because the pancake batter was dried and stuck on like concrete. I spent quite a bit of time digging it out of the grout on the floor. I also emptied the grease traps and did all the things I knew to do that maybe the kitchen staff hadn’t done in a while.
And after all that, I did not get ashes, nor did I have alcohol.
But it was still a great holiday.