Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Boycott Burger King

I was 13 when I worked at the tomato factory. Despite being 13, or perhaps because I was underaged, my parents had no problem getting me a day's work on the last day of tomato canning. At the factory I worked on an assembly line. I stood over a conveyor belt picking out red tomatoes that were vine ripened, and placed them on another conveyor belt that shipped them off to get packaged right away. I was told to let the green tomatoes continue down the conveyor. At the end of the belt were large storage rooms where the tomatoes were gassed with poison which turned them red.

To this day I have an unnatural fear of being trapped in a large warehouse storage rooms full of tomatoes and the toxic gasses that would "kill ya if you breathed them in, so make sure you don't go inside where the tomatoes are if the the dial is switched on." Like Captain Kirk I know how I will die, alone, and surrounded by tomatoes.

I didn't die at the factory, but I got injured on my first and only day on the job. I cut my hand and it bled all over a few tomatoes. I still finished the day because working was the only way I was going to get paid. My mom placed a band-aid around my cut, and she told me I could take the day off if I wanted, but I wouldn't get paid. She said she wouldn't lie to the company for me. My brother and I were promised we could keep some of the money we make at the factory, so we could buy stuff at when we went to Disneyland. So I chose to take my damaged and bandaged hand back to the assembly line.

Like other migrant families wanting employment my family had to leave Florida and travel the country. To stay employed my parents had to follow the cycle of tomato picking. The cycle started with picking tomatoes in my step dad's home state of Floida and we followed the pickers to the second growing season in Georgia. And finally my family drove to Maryland for the processing of tomatoes. My step dad worked as a forklift operator in Maryland and my Mom worked in the warehouse as a shipper.

Despite the work and poverty, Maryland is full of happy memories for me. I discovered masturbation in a one room trailer no bigger than a Subaru while my parents worked and my little brother swan in the trailer park pool. For the first time in my sexual life I felt up on a non relative. It was an important moment for me, and must have been an important moment for the girl as well, because she asked me for my favorite shirt to mark the occasion and to remember me by. My brother, who had been making out with my gal's sister, eagerly complied with his suitors request. But I told my girl no. It was the first and only time I've ever stood up to a g/f. I guess I really liked my shirt. Afterwards I was glad I did not hand that shirt over, because my brother got in big trouble for giving away his t-shirt to a stranger.

That happy summer in Maryland Coca Cola introduced the world to new coke. But the convenience store run by the trailer park we lived in never received any shipments of the new coke. Instead the trailer park's store manager sold us his 4 month old supply of coke bottles for 50 cents a piece.

You may find this hard to believe, but the tiny trailer park convenience store had a library. All you had to do was bring in a copy of a used paperback and you could exchange it for someone else's book. I discovered my interest in incest with my new step sister wasn't shameful by reading V.C. Andrews' book, Flowers in the Attic. My new step sister thought I was "fox," and I got a peek at her chest, some of the finest breasts in the history of God.

I met the "librarian" on the first day we set up camp. She thought I was totally hot. She was right , look how cute I am in the picture at the top of the blog. I was 13 then. Tell me you could keep your hands off that. I don't think it was just my looks that got to this girl though. I think she was just really horny. I figured I had no chance with her, because she was 18, five years older than me. A real women. Turns out I was wrong, she would have slept with me, or anyone else, as she slept with my gross step daddy, who looks just like Charles Bukowski, on more than one occasion.

SO I must say, Maryland- good for getting the sex.
Tomato picking-dangerous and poorly paid work. But if you want to go to a theme park with my parents it's a lot better to go with your own money. We spend all day at the park and my parents refuse to buy drinks or food or silly hats and t-shirts.

I pride myself on knowing just what it's like to be a migrant worker. That's why I support the hard laborers of the tomato road. And that's why I have to Boycott the King. Unlike Taco Bell and McDonald's, his Royal Highness, refuses to pay 1 cent more directly to the hard working migrant farm workers.

"The deal, according to “Minding Your Business” reporter Ali Velshi, has McDonald’s working with a company representing immigrant farm workers. Under the pact, McDonald’s would make sure an extra penny per pound would go directly to the workers – a 75-percent increase in the cost of a bucket of tomatoes. “This is directly tied to McDonald's saying they're going to pay for something that's going to help the end worker.”

The report took a decidedly pro-worker stand. “It is not easy being a tomato picker,” Velshi argued. Even with the deal, he complained it will take the “best tomato pickers up to the poverty line” and they will still have “no benefits, no overtime.”

Don't you fucking dare eat at Burger King or I will bite your face off!

1 comment:

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I never eat there anyway, so I'm down with this boycott.