Thursday, October 07, 2004

Scar Wars

If this post doesn't prove the depths of our insanity, our absolute despisal of convention and rules I don't know what does. I'm talking about burns and scars. One of my cooks spilled a five gallon bucket of stock on herself last night and we all got to watch the skin peel off her foot. Neat huh? This same cook was browning some pork shanks last week and carelessly threw a shank into the oil. It also burned the skin right off her arm. Wow. She was on a roll. She's a really good cook and person so I attributed it to God's punishment of the good as I always do. Anyway, when these mishaps occurred the thing that told me I have yet another badass in the kitchen is she didn't cry out. She didn't bitch like a baby for hours. None of this.." I have to go to the hospital" pussy ass shit. I can't stand people that whine about getting burned like they're 2 years old. Fuckin' suck it up. Oh she was pissed, but she simply bandaged up and continued working.
Our scars are another bonding badge of honor. We all have them and we all talk about them with some perverse pride. Why? Because it DOES make us more badass than most. Most people if they got injured with the regularity we do, as a way of life, would find another line of work. Why? Because they're pussies that's why. Anthony Bourdain acknowleged that a kick ass female line cook with a bunch of burns on her arms is wonderful thing. I agree. Weird. Our scars also indentify us. I was sitting in a hotel bar one night maybe, 10-12 years ago and the waitress (hot of course) asked where I cooked at. I was in a different city so no one knew me. When I asked how she knew what I did for a living she kind of laughed and said.."Dude... look at your arms."... I looked down at them and sure enough...the telltale burns gave it all away. I admired her for picking up on this and rewarded her with a big fatty rail. Unfortunately, she wouldn't stop the coke babble and drove my nuts. I didn't even want to take her home at that point which was my initial plan.
One of my worst happened when someone left the gas on overnight in an oven where the pilot light was blown out. I reached in to light it and all I remember was a BOOM!! A great white flash, the smell of burning hair and then watching my arm turn into a s'more right before my eyes. It was fucking bad.Real bad. Size wise and seriousness wise. I love when people say it must be great to be a Chef. I'd usually like to throw hot oil on them and steal their wallet. That's what it's like.
I like my scars. I don't try to hide them or keep a burn from leaving a scar. I'm proud of them. It let's me and the world know I hate anything safe and conventional. I like sitting around with cooks talking about our injuries like the scene in Jaws where Hooper and Quint are comparing scars. It is part of who we are . The closest thing to pirates our safe, inhibited society will allow.

22 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck yeah. I love most all my burn scars. Fuck, even the motorcycle gangs are suing people for trademark infringement and kids running away to join the circus are told to go to clown college. A fucking college to drop out of society. Fuck. The "hospitality" industry is my last refuge as a psychotic bagel whore.

Bailey, the bakery bitch

3:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another rockin' responder. Fuck safe. I want the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse to ride through the world and cut the heads off every motherfucking safe, law abiding citizen there is. Then the Hell Horses can shit on their manicured lawns. Maybe then, us normal people will have a chance.

A.C.

4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are God.

4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. Far from it. I don't screw over the common people. Although if I could make everyone in my image I might be as big an ego-maniac.

A.C.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As many scars I have from cooking already, no chance I'd even survive doing it professionally. It's great for the rest of us that you all are psycho.

11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abso fucking lutely. Chef identificaiton can be based entirely around burn or cut scars. Who is the aprentice? The one with salad bits chopped into his finges. The poor sucker who's been frying crap for idiots that dont know better? It's not the pox, it's the deep fryer that gives you those interesting white blisters.

Stiches? Skin Grafts? those are for fucking wimps!
All you need are bright blue bandaids!

Ok ok, lets not forget the shot of vodka in the lemonade bottle that hangs over the sink.

What, you think I'm suggesting chefs are machoistic alcholics? You are of course right. But I've seen people finish shifts that way on injuries that would put most peopel into shock, with a nice trip in a white van to the medical establishment of your choice.

As long as you aint bleeding into the potatoes, it's all good.

Duckin Dishpig

11:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fuck yeah! My boyfriend is such a pussy when it comes to that shit. He cut himself peeling potatoes and whined about having to go to the hospital. I told him to suck it up, put a bandage on that bitch, and get back to work! I guess that's why he doesn't work with food. ;) I have so many burns and cuts scarred into me for life that I can't even feel heat on my fingertips anymore. It's my badge of honor.
- Andrea, bakery bitch (there seem to be a few of us!)

1:42 PM  
Blogger Rikibeth said...

let's see... shredded fingertips because I don't always keep 'em out of the way of the peeler, old edge-of-a-sheet-pan scar above inner right elbow, a blodge a couple of days old on the back of my left arm below the elbow where I knocked it against the deck oven plate...

My standard is, as soon as the active bleeding stops, the band-aid's off, 'cause I HATE that gloved-over-band-aid feeling. I see why guys complain about Trojans now.

5:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite everyday cut is the block of eight lines on the pad of your palm from not using the guard on the mandoline.

Not using Trojans? I refuse to use Trojans because of all the trendy marketing that goes with them. Can't the corporations at least leave fucking alone?

And yes, that is why we hate it.

A.C.

5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not generally a person who would use the word love in any sentence. But, every scar I have on my hands or arms in proof of my love for the cooking. Hell, I have some really good ones and I really am proud of them and not just cause they look cool. Every time I look at my hands I see all the years of hard work I've done all the shitty places I've been and all the crap I've been through. I guess my arms just reflect my love and unlike real love I am totally willling to get burned. Bravo Chef

10:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Our scars tell stories but only to the ones who have read the same book, others could care less. But aren't the others why we work in kitchens?

Outstanding last line in your response.

A.C.

10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you don't have any scars - you're a slackjob hack. Probably one of those people who gets someone else to do all the "messy" work. I've hacked the end tip off my little finger, went over to the bar, & poured vodka on it. Then I wrapped up with paper towel and masking tape, and covered it with a stupid red birthday balloon because some idiot didn't re-stock the finger cots. Stayed there finished my shift and didn't miss any further shifts. Next day another guy did the same thing to his middle finger and was out for a week after needing to rush to the ER. Pansies.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Mr_sligo said...

My favorite was when the oyster knife was stopped only becase the bone in my thumb was harder than the knife. (and may I please be allowed to put a spork in the neck of every waiter that asks "Shouldn't you have a towel there to prevent that?")
And my personal best at a lowly 3, the last Chef I worked for moved 6 souflee cups off of the pan that just came out of the oven, and to the plate with his fingers before he asked if I could get him a little ice water please.

Paul (a salty dog)

6:14 PM  
Anonymous Chivo said...

Scars are to remind you of how you fucked up. They are not sexy or cool. If you want to get laid, get some ink done. But what the fuck do I know, I cook for a living. Thank you for the voice, A.C., We need to be heard. Peace and Fryer Grease.

8:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never think they're cool, I like them because identify us to our own and fuck the pussies that would have bailed because they got a little burn! Oh, I got the ink and all my best buds and cooks do too...ink is my other passion.
Oh we're gonna be heard brother, you bet your ass.

A.C.

9:19 PM  
Anonymous chefstoli said...

I have the best battle scar from my nimrod former sous. He actually grabbed a saute pan filled with oil from the salamander , and of coursed spilled it all down the side of his exec's leg. Me. Its a great addition to my collection.

1:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh they fuck up good too.

A.C.

1:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Honestly, now....I don't see what the big deal in acquiring disgustingly looking scars. To me..it is considered abhorrent and gruesome. Then when you are out in society..people stare at you and as well laugh and crack jokes about you. Really now A.C. I know that you simply enjoy having gross looking cooking oil splatter on you so that you can disfigure yourself, but just don't conduct this type of improper behaviour in front of the patrons.

Here is my suggestion for you, if you become tired of mauling yourself..keep your jacket sleeves to where they fully envelope your arms, then that way, the public/patrons won't have to look at your disfigured arms. Remember, now this is considered improprer behaviour from a servant to go around freaking out the patrons.

It is too bad that you are not privledged, like myself. But you don't mind that people stare and ask you questions about your scars?
Blecch!!!!So just stay in your ecch!hot and steamy kitchen...you will NEVER see me in a dreadful place as a kitchen.

1:37 AM  
Blogger shlappy said...

"privledged, like myself. But you don't mind that people stare and ask you questions about your scars?
Blecch!!!!So just stay in your ecch!hot and steamy kitchen...you will NEVER see me in a dreadful place as a kitchen."

Take your privileged ass and buy a damn thesaurus. must feel bad to have your spelling corrected by a plebeian. When will we ever learn our damn place.

1:43 PM  
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