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Blogity-blah-blah-blog: Story Time Tuesday ~ WWWE: It's All Natural

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Story Time Tuesday ~ WWWE: It's All Natural

Job #5 was at a health food store called Freshlife, and you probably thought I was going to say McDonald's or Burger King based on the photo above. This was one of my favorite jobs. My job was to fill bags with nuts, dried fruit, rice, beans, granola, etc. to the right weight it and put it out on the shelves. I had other duties as well like straightening up the shelves, taking inventory, and shipping things out. I was introduced to a lot of different foods. I ate an ice cream sandwich made of tofu and it tasted like a real ice cream sandwich, it even had the same texture. I tried a Boca burger topped with garden fresh tomatoes, lettuce, Nayonaise, Fakin Bacon, and a slice of rice cheese. It was pretty good! I forget what kind of ketchup was on it but it was also a healthy alternative. They had a soda called China Cola that I liked too.

It was a great job, all my co-workers were great and my boss was one of the best bosses I've ever had. She was tough and made sure we did our jobs, but at the same time she was compassionate and understood if we were going through a rough time and was always cooperative if we needed time off. She definitely wasn't cold and uncomprimising like so many other employers I've had.

I made a really great friend while working there. His name is Ryan and he was the stockroom manager. We both worked back in the stock room so we got to talk all day. I was at a point in my life where I had just come to the realization of who Jesus Christ was, what he meant to me, and what he did for everyone. I was "on fire" which is a phrase a lot of Christians like to use. But I was very cocky and arrogant which is a trap that a lot of newbie Christians fall into. Ryan was also a believer but he showed me that I needed to mellow out a little and that I couldn't go around acting like I was better than everyone just because I was a follower of Christ. He taught me so much. Of course, years later I again fell into the trap of becoming a cocky, arrogant, self-righteous, (insert your own adjective here) of a person again. I recovered from that as well and I've talked about it before...just click here.

Ryan and I became really good friends. Cheesy music would play throughout the store and there was some that sounded like the background music from an episode of "The Dukes of Hazzard". So Ryan and I would act like we were narrating an episode just like Waylon Jennings. We'd say stuff like "Now them Duke boys had gotten themselves into a heap of trouble. Boss Hogg was gonna get em' this time, I reckon." We were weird.

A few of us from work were going to see "Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery" at the theater one Saturday, but Ryan never showed up. I called and he didn't answer his phone. He wasn't at work the following Monday either. I received a call from him Monday after work. It was hard to understand what he was saying but what had happened was he went to a river lot party on Friday night and he took his dog with him. When he let his dog out of the car it ran up to two men and one of the men kicked Ryan's dog. Ryan came up to them and said "Kick my dog again and I'm going to kick you." Both of the men attacked Ryan and left him in pretty bad shape. He was bruised all over and his jaw was broken, it had to be wired shut.

Ryan came back a few days later and he looked horrible. He could only drink through a straw, so he drank a lot of smoothies. One day at work he said to me through his wired jaw, "When I get this stuff off, you and me are going to Burger King!" I agreed. I can't remember how long he had to have his jaw wired shut, but I think it was a month or two. He lost about 40 pounds, and he didn't have much weight on him to lose in the first place. We did what he said and we went to Burger King shortly after he had the wires taken off. Over time he gained back all the weight he had lost, and then some. Ryan's dog was okay too. He would bring him to work everyday and tie him out back. His name was Newman, named after the character from Seinfeld, I think. Ryan liked to call him "Sweet Sir Newman".

I got to know a few of the other people that worked there too. I used to carpool to work with a girl named Shelly. We would often repeat lines from Chris Farley and David Spade movies like "Black Sheep" and "Tommy Boy". There was a woman who worked there named Gail and she did a lot of community outreach stuff. We had her as a guest speaker at Valley Mosaic one time. Then there was an older lady who kept on calling me Dennis. I corrected her the first few times, but she would keep on calling me Dennis, so I let it go. It was like the episode of "Friends" that Chris Parnell from SNL guest starred on and thought Chandler's name was Toby.

The time finally came for me to leave that job because I would be moving to York, PA soon to go to college. They threw me a going away party at Pizza Hut. It was funny to see all these people who I thought were vegans and vegetarians ripping into Meat Lovers pizzas, it was awesome. I invited a friend along. I told Ryan that my friend looked like Drew Carey. The day after the going away party, I stopped by to visit Ryan at work and I said, "Did you think my friend looked like Drew Carey?" He said "Drew Carey? I thought you said Jim Carrey. I was trying to figure out all night how the heck he even came close to looking like Jim Carrey."

Ryan and I kept in touch for awhile. A few weeks after moving to York, I received a phone call. The person on phone said in a really stern voice "Is this Daniel Lewis?" I said "Yes." Then the person said "I heard you had girls in your apartment." Then he started laughing and I knew then it was Ryan. He continued to work at Freshlife and I would be sure to stop by and visit whenever I was in town. I lost contact with him when he quit his job there and I haven't really seen him since. There was one time though when I was at the courthouse in Williamsport and I saw him walking onto an elevator. I got his attention and he saw me and waved just as the elevator doors were shutting. That was the last time I saw him, it was about six years ago.

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