Jeremy had a special bond with our boss, and at times it seemed he wasn't Jeremy's boss at all. It seemed like Jeremy could do whatever he wanted at the tiny tourist eatery in Connecticut that gave us our mininum wage.
Granted our boss was downright ridiculous. He "managed" a restaurant during the day and studied to be a doctor at night. He had all that medical training and still insisted that homosexuality was in fact a third gender. He insisted the bread we used for sandwiches and hot dogs was never stale, that it should be sold no matter what. It never mattered that we could slam our fist into it without making a dent.
One morning two customers were seated at a table anxiously awaiting an enormous breakfast they had ordered complete with buttermilk pancakes and scrambled eggs. Our coworker opened the spout to the maple syrup dispenser and ants crawled out on to the hungry couple's plates.
We asked our boss how this could happen. He said there was nothing that could be done. Nature was to blame. Ants would come out of the syrup dispenser just as surely as bees would continue to make honey.
Jeremy reveled in all of this. He could egg his boss on and call him wildly inappropriate names. He could make his own hours. He could make my hours. He was my manager before any of us had job titles more descriptive than "short order cook."
Jeremy could say and do whatever he wanted. Say for instance I dropped a Snapple bottle on the ground, and it spilled iced tea everywhere. Our boss would question my sexual orientation. After all if I could not hold on to a glass bottle how did I expect to hold on to a girl?
Had Jeremy dropped a bottle he could probably have just asked our boss to clean it up for him, and then I would have to do it.
While Jeremy could make his own hours I had mine cut until the boss had me working only four a week. He didn't like firing people outright, so this was an easier way to get me to quit.
So Jeremy and I carried all these memories to college. And so we made a very special phone call around Christmastime during our freshman year. We prank-called our former boss from our dining hall even though I hadn't worked for him in nearly two years. We asked that a special order of oatmeal be delivered two hours north to my dorm room in Boston "PRONTO!"
Had it arrived it probably would have had ants in it. It's only natural after all. That's a doctor's professional opinion.