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).