Tuesday, February 5, 2013

(In Alicia Keys' Voice) "Your Leg Is On Fire!"

While I was in college, I worked at a hot dog stand in Maine during the summers where I met some of my greatest friends and made pretty good tips. As I began to become poorer and poorer, as most college kids do, I also took on the hot dog stand duties on my Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, standing outside in the freezing cold, slinging wieners for the tourists. Some days we would stand outside for hours in the snow, freezing rain and ice chilling wind. The winters in Maine are pretty brutal. Our one savior were the heaters that were provided to us, that we kept behind the hot dog stand and in front of the cooler. I would get as close as I could to that little propane miracle, trying to keep myself warm and motivated enough to stay out there as long as I could.

One day, I was fixing up an Italian sausage for this man and his wife, really taking my time with the spicy mustard, grilled onions and peppers and toasted bun. I noticed him looking at me in horror and I thought, is there mold on the bread or something? All of a sudden, I felt a warm sensation running up my leg and when I looked down, my jeans were on fire right below the knee. Naturally, I finished dressing the sausage and handed it to him as he ran behind the stand. I knew my leg was on fire but I didn't think it was that bad....I bet you have never heard that line before. I kept saying, "I'm fine, I'm fine!" Hardly the truth with fire on your body is involved.

As my customer (who turned out to be a doctor) knelt down and helped me put out the fire on my leg, he grabbed a snowball and told me to put it on my wound. It turned out not to be that bad (although I still have a scar today) and I continued to work until closing time. My boss thought I was an idiot for not wanting to go home but I just said I was a hard worker as I finished up the day in my ripped up pirate jeans.

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