Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Confusing Signs of Summer

Summer is here, at least here. The trees are turning green so that storm clouds look especially pretty rolling through the valleys, flowers are blooming, there's a rush on tomato plants at Wal-Mart, and the mentally and physically challenged are back outside the local pizza places smiling and holding signs that say "pizza, pizza, fun, fun." That last one I'd never seen before I moved here. Is this a Russellville thing or something that's being done nationwide since the time I moved to Russellville? Presumably it's a progressive way to provide an opportunity for these people to join the workforce but it seems a little, I don't know, weird to me. Is it good because they're being given a chance to make a little money, or bad because they have to sit outside all day in the heat?

I think Little Caesars, always the overlooked innovators ($5 pizza, from a drive-through, that's ready before you order it? Incredible) was the first to offer this line of employment. This is how I imagine the idea first came about, in a big room with a big table in a tall building, it's the new guy talking, timidly because, like me, he doesn't want to offend anybody: "How about this? Just hear me out. So, I think mentally and physically challenged people-is that what they prefer to be called?-get stared at a lot anyway, right? Why don't we stick a sign in their hand advertising our great deals on pizza?" He just got a promotion because I know I'm reading all the great deals on pizza now. It worked out so well that the other pizza places caught on, now you're not a respectable pizza venue in this town if you don't have someone in a wheelchair parked out front baking in the sun with a sign with some asinine thing written on it, of course pizza, pizza is fun, fun. Maybe they really like it, maybe it's something they look forward to and I'm sure that the companies that employ them are good companies, so I don't want to start a protest or some sort of rally or anything like that. On the other hand, maybe they hate it and it's just a good way for them to make some money, you know, the way most of the world feels about their jobs. What do you guys think? Should I quit eating pizza? Or eat more pizza?

(Bring it on Google, I'm ready for the pizza ads).


  1. I just wrote a massive comment with wit and thoughtful consideration and it told me there was an ERROR!!!! It was like 4 paragraphs or more. I'm so mad right now that I'm not going to attempt recreating the post.
    So ~ Yeah!

  2. Okay - let's try this again :)

    I think you're hilarious!

    I remember you saying once that you "try not to be too opinionated."
    That's always resonated with me :)

    I think they probably enjoy their jobs and appreciate the opportunity. Maybe this is one of those issues that you shouldn't be overly opinionated about?

    Still, there are some things that just don't feel right when you see them.

    I saw a chubby guy outside of Little Ceasars, in a hot suit, with a sign, and he looked MISERABLE!
    He certainly wasn't doing Little Ceasars any favors!

    Maybe the pizza places of America are aware that the challenged individuals take pride in their work and enjoy it.
    Of course, they could exercise that same work ethic in a climate controlled environment just as easily, eh?

    What if they're the only ones applying for that job? You certainly wouldn't . . . You're too busy fending off bears and Brute asses.

    I don't know - I guess I'll leave you conflicted on this one.

    I'm certainly not offended - I can't quit laughing b/c I know how your mind works and . . . it's just funny.

  3. I remember last summer Adam and I stopped at a red light and there was someone hawking that Lil Ceasars pizza on the corner, a good distance away from the actual store. Our windows were down and the ensuing conversation took place- "
    Hey kid tell your dad to buy you a pizza!," she said to Adam. "FUCK YOU BITCH!," which is what I said in my mind. I think it was more to do with me not actually being able to afford a five dollar pizza and not wanting to have to go through another "why doesn't daddy have any money" question than not wanting to expose Adam to the cheesy greasy nastiness of Lil' Ceasars that I'm sure he'd enjoy. " thanks we're broke"

    Ironically enough I saw someone moving a sign around very energetically yesterday. Upon closer inspection he had headphones on and was jamming out!

    Now I don't know if any of these people were handicapped. I'm sure the woman meant well, and I sincerely hope the dude with headphones gets into a dancing groove for however long his shift is.