October 1, 2014

I feel like it needs to be stated, for the sake of context, that between the years of 2007 and 2009, the U.S. was in the middle of a deep recession.  In a large part, the recession occurred due to the devaluation of the housing market set on by subprime lending and some serious adjustable-rate mortgage issues, folks not being able to pay, yatidy, yadda, and so on- a lot of stuff that has no business being talked about in a monthly entertainment newsletter.  Where there was no one cause for this recession, there was a definite result:  Nearly 9 million jobs were lost in the good ol' US of A.  For many people, there was a sudden mindset shift:  Before then, everything seemed to happen easily.  One could make a random trip to Nashville after playing a gig in Peducah and feel alright about it.  During the recession, for unemployed people in their lower twenties, the mindset suddenly became:  Find a job, any job.  Find it as quickly as possible and stick with it as long as possible.  By all means, don't drive to Nashville with no plan whatsoever.
So, there I was, sitting on one of those comfortable couch I'd become accustomed to in Nashville with no plan whatsoever in the middle of one of the biggest financial crises in the history of our country when my phone rang:
"Would you like to hear about an exciting job opportunity in Iowa?" an overly excited voice on the other line asked, "One with long hours and little pay? One where everything around you is sharp and on fire and extremely dangerous? One where every piece of clothing you own will be destroyed by a weird combination of grease and all purpose flour? One that will drain you both mentally and physically every day and night?  One were the only reward is 'no bad news' at the end of the day? Well, I have just the job for you!!!"

Something about the offer sounded familiar.  My mind flashed back to the first time I attempted to cook a certain chicken breast.  I felt the kitchen around me; the heat, the humidity.  I could see the flames shooting through the grates of a charbroil grill, the grease simmering in the fryers. I swear I could smell it.  The sound of saute pans crashing together, the ticket machine chipping away.  There was a symphony of organized chaos playing in my ears as I traveled back to that one infamous day.  I could taste the chalky dryness of the chicken that I had sent out so long ago.  "You bastardly ol' dry bat of a chicken breast," I thought to myself. My voice spoke up in answer:  "I'm in," I said to the voice on the other line, "I'm in."  At the time, any job would have been a good job to have.  This, however, meant more to me than just getting any old job did.  For me, this job meant a shot at redemption.

...To be continued...