Monday, March 28, 2011

"Did she say anything about spatulas?"

A friend and fellow reader here on Blogger recently wrote about her total disdain for the saying "that's what she said."
I used to overhear that a lot at a sports bar I would frequent at the old Boston Garden during the early '90s (a place that became rather Cheers-like to me). But I was also reminded of the job I had while attending college.
For five years, I worked night-shift at a large supermarket in Cambridge. One guy who worked there, Ernie, said that all the time. It's as if he was finely attuned to picking up on any instance in which he could utter it; he never missed the opportunity. For instance, if Ernie was present when the grocery manager approached and asked you what time you could report to work, and you replied "I'll come early," Ernie would quip, "That's what she said."
We did some crazy shit. We'd holler "whooo-hooo!" like cowboys. Another guy started a tradition where if you had to pick up a heavy box—a box containing supersize jugs of bleach or large cans of tomato puree, for example—you'd scream "urrrrgh!" in a manly way, like a weightlifter trying to lift 400 pounds.
One time, I saw Neil walking by with a large wooden spatula that he'd obviously borrowed from the homewares aisle. I instinctively knew what he was up to. My suspicions were confirmed just seconds later when I heard, from two aisles away, Billy's playfully outraged holler.
Salvage time was always fun. "Salvage" referred to all the cardboard waste—boxes and box-lids—that we'd load our dollies with and transport out back to an empty delivery truck. We'd throw all this cardboard trash in there for recycling. If you were in the cargo bay of the truck, off-loading your boxes full of box-lids, and someone else came up behind you with his own dolly full of cardboard, he would chuck and shove all the boxes at you at breakneck speed, sending you flying into the big pile of cardboard with box-lids raining down on you, and you'd spend the next fifteen or so minutes carefully planning your revenge.
I've saved the best for last. There was also a penchant for us to sneak up behind a co-worker, as he was bending over to pick up a box or block the lower shelves ("blocking" is supermarket-worker parlance for making the shelves look good by bringing all products forward if the spaces allocated to the products aren't full). You would dry-hump him and the guy getting humped would have to squeal like a pig: "Weeeeeeek!" We all engaged in this endearing activity at some point, perpretrating it against our fellow workers and having it perpetrated against us.
That gives you a pretty good idea of what an all-male crew doing blue-collar labor get up to. Against all that, muttering "that's what she said" seems rather tame.

1 comment:

goddessdivine said...

Glad I never worked with you or your coworkers.


But seriously. To hear that phrase come out of 14-year-old boys is just gross.