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My uncle JR was the one who this now famous bar in Seaside Heights NJ was named after. I worked there 13 years from the time I was 16 and boy did I have some experiences. In 1985 I was promoted to a manager position and eventually became general manger in 1992. At this time I was working up to 125 hours per week and barely getting any sleep. But my income was off the charts and I was able to work only 6 months out of the year. While working on the boardwalk, we had to learn how to have fun to relieve stress otherwise you would have killed somebody over a hotdog.
Working at the Jersey Shore was an endless butterfly effect in “pansting” each other (pulling someone’s pants down when they are not expecting it), setting each other on fire, or filling someone’s hubcaps up with stones so you are in for a nice surprise at 4 am on your way home from work. Although we always were pranking each other, I still had to run the business. One of the funniest things looking back on it now was that of my lemonade girls every year, on the busiest day of the year – Memorial Day weekend, their grandmas seemed to keep dying. Sometimes more than once in the same summer! Either these girls spent a lot of time crying over dead relatives or someone had a lot of great weekends. I found it ironic that these funerals only happened on beautiful sunny days in the summer or when a popular rock band were playing. I would beg them for better excuses when they’d try to call out.
Working on the boardwalk had its perks though, like I said I was making a lot of money, drove a great car and enjoyed the company of the many daily attractive female beachgoers. Unfortunately, you smelled like sausage all the time. Your hair would be greasy, your face would be shiny, and Proactive would have been our best friend back then. But that’s the fun of all of it! On hot days we would go up on the roof and take our water balloon launcher that would shoot a water balloon up to 200 ft. Doing it at night was fun because the people walking couldn’t see anything coming at them and splashing at their feet. Everything ended on a funny note as the cops came to my door as I’m walking down the stairs with a wet bucket and balloons sticking out of my pocket and asked me with a smirk on his face, “do you know of anybody who could be shooting water balloons in the vicinity? And if you do could you please ask him to stop?” Back then it was a lot of harmless fun and almost impossible to get in trouble, unlike today in Nazi Jersey.
At the boardwalk I really learned how to make the best of a hard situation. I started off a kid and left a man. I went from getting dropped off at work to cook hotdogs, to driving my Porsche and owning my own two houses. It was a great journey. I can’t put a price tag on what was more valuable, the money in my pocket or the amount fun we had. But that doesn’t mean that there weren’t many times that I wished I had only walked one more block on the boardwalk to work at the arcade and just give change. I do have to say, wearing our sausage cologne really was worth it all of those years.