Wet Hot American Summer

You scrubbed radioactive toilets. You fleeced tots at carnivals. You ground the beaks off baby birds. You sent City Pages your summer job stories--and we didn't even give you minimum wage in return.

I remember very little about the sales room, the pitch, the number of dials per day. What I do remember was what I did with my $300 paycheck each week. I cashed it at the "downtown" bank, then headed over to Knickers, a faux-flapper steak joint. There, I sat myself down in my telemarketing dress shirt, and ordered a prime rib and a baked potato. Make that meat rare.

As I waited for the sexy flapperette to bring the plate, I meditated on what was now ahead of me: money, connivance, luxury, deceit, sex, privilege...the whole erotic, wised-up impasto of being full-grown! I could become like my grandfather's friends, hard-drinking, loud-yelling guys who were always talking about how it was in "the real world"! If I just kept smiling and dialing, I could be Lee Marvin for Chrissakes!

Minutes later, of course, I grew up for real. The prime rib arrived, slightly overcooked.

Matthew Wilder, 36
Los Angeles, California

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