Dishwasher Thinks He's Mentoring Younger Dishwasher

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Issue 3840

Plan 'L' Switched To

BEREA, KY—Plans A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, and K having failed, David Zenger resorted to "Plan L" in his efforts to move an air conditioner from the garage to the house Tuesday. "Okay, here we go," Zenger said to himself. "If I wrap the air conditioner in bubble wrap and then balance it on a basketball, I can spin-roll it into the house." Previous failed attempts to move the air conditioner involved a pair of bungee cords, a bag of marbles, and a bottle of Crisco cooking oil.

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ABILENE, TX—During a trip to the mall Monday, Melissa Gilham and Tiffany Cornell discussed a fellow mall patron's visible panty line as if it were cancer. "Oh my God, look at that," a deeply shaken Gilham told Cornell outside Suncoast Video, where the panty line was first sighted. "Somebody really needs to sit her down and have a talk about that. Doesn't she have any friends?" Added Cornell: "Maybe we could chip in and buy her a thong." The pair's horror deepened when they faintly made out the panties' flower print through the woman's white pants.

Adam Sandler Fans Disappointed By Intelligent, Nuanced Performance

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I Gotta Drop A Few Pounds

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Would You Like To Give A Dollar To Prove You Don't Hate Crippled Kids?

Good afternoon, sir. Do you have a minute to discuss something of vital importance? I'm canvassing this neighborhood collecting donations for the Tersbury Group. We're an organization dedicated to helping mentally and physically handicapped children here in the community lead better lives. If you don't mind my being blunt, sir, may I ask whether you hate crippled kids? Wonderful, I'm so glad I was right about you. Now, would you be willing to donate a dollar to our organization to prove that you don't?

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Daytime-Talk-Show Mixup Leads To 1,000-Pound- Man Makeover

NEW YORK—In a mix-up Ricki Lake producers called "deeply regrettable," 1,000-pound Willard Hoskins, 37, was removed from his Paramus, NJ, home by forklift and transported to the posh Richard Stein Salon on Madison Avenue for a thorough beauty makeover Monday. "Let's see Willard's stunning new look!" Lake told the studio audience as Hoskins was wheeled out in a sequined black garment made from two king-size bed sheets to the accompaniment of throbbing disco music. "Wow, you look great!" The episode is believed to be daytime television's worst mix-up since Maury Povich sent a group of disfigured children to boot camp in 1999.

Woman Mad Boyfriend Not Jealous She Danced With Other Guy

WEST LAFAYETTE, IN—Deborah Raskin, 20, became angry Saturday when boyfriend Kris Barros failed to become jealous over her dancing with another guy. "She was being all quiet and staring at the wall, and she wouldn't tell me what it was all about," Barros said shortly after leaving the party. "Finally, I realized, shit, I was supposed to get all mad and make some big scene because she danced with that one dude before." Barros promised Raskin that he would make more of an effort to be jealous in the future.
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Special Coverage



Dishwasher Thinks He's Mentoring Younger Dishwasher

GAINESVILLE, FL—Gordon Polone, 49, a dishwasher at Smitty's Family Restaurant since 1991, has taken new hire Craig Garrick, 19, under his wing, patiently mentoring him in the ways of washing dishes.

Polone and his protégé.

"I've been washing dishes at one restaurant or another for half my life," Polone said Tuesday. "If anyone is qualified to show Craig the ropes, it'd be me."

"I know this dish station inside and out, that's for sure," Polone continued. "When I started here, we didn't even have this fancy new Hobart [industrial dishwashing machine]. We had an earlier-model Hobart. That was way the hell back when Dale was manager."

Polone, who has trained an estimated 30 dishwashers during his 11 years at Smitty's, said he is more than happy to pass on his knowledge to the next generation of plate-scrubbers.

"It's not too much extra work training a new guy, and Craig seems pretty on the ball about the whole thing," Polone said. "I only had to show him how to load the racks the one time, and after that, he had it down like he'd been doing it for weeks."

Though he has only been working with Garrick for three days, Polone has already begun the long process of passing along the many secrets he has absorbed in his years of washing dishes.

"A roasting pan that they cooked meatloaf in is about as tough as they get, especially since [Smitty's lead cook] Perry [Tuscan] likes it with a crispy bottom," Polone explained to his trainee. "Those pans, you want to soak them for half an hour minimum, in really hot water with lots of soap, before you get to the scraping, or else you're just wasting elbow grease. You could soak it overnight to loosen things up, but I honestly wouldn't recommend that unless you're opening the next day, because you don't want to get on some other dishwasher's shit list."

Polone said that, while seemingly simple, the dishwashing trade is fraught with hazards and hurdles.

"I've got some stories that would curl your hair, believe me," Polone told Garrick, who half-listened while twirling his apron strings. "One time at this place in Orlando, we were short-staffed, and I had to do all the dishes myself. Just as we were closing, this party of 15 comes in. Now, you'd think I'd be screwed, but about half an hour earlier, I'd overheard the host confirming their reservation over the phone, so I had a bit of lead time. The lesson there is, always stay on top of what's going on out front. Awareness is key."

Polone demonstrates one of his many tricks of the trade.

Though Garrick has shown himself to be bright and a quick study, Polone stressed to his disciple that he faces a long road to mastery of his craft.

"Even after you get the nuts and bolts down, there's little things you have to pick up to get through the busy shifts," Polone told him. "Sunday dinner rush is the real trial by fire. That's, maybe, six hours of bus tubs coming in non-stop. You have to learn to time everything so you can start the machine, load up another rack while it's running, and then have the new rack all ready to load after you take out the clean rack."

Added Polone, "You're not supposed to use the dirty rack to push the clean rack out, because of health codes."

According to Polone, once Garrick can handle the rigors of a Sunday second shift on his own, he will be well on his way.

"If Craig gets Sundays down, he can pretty much run the dish station on his own," Polone said. "Still, there's always going to be new stuff for him to learn. Like how to refill the soap and sanitizer reservoirs and prime the lines. Then there's all the politics, like getting along well with the chefs so they'll bring you their dirty pots right away, before all that stuff gets dried up and has to be scraped. There's always something new."

Reflecting on the vast body of dishwashing knowledge he has accumulated over the years, Polone expressed a strong sense of pride.

"I suppose I could write a whole big book on dishwashing," Polone said, "except I don't have a computer or anything, and it's not the kind of thing you can pick up from just reading about it."

"Hey, I teach 'em so good, maybe I should open some big dishwashing school and get rich," Polone added. "Nah, I'm just kidding."

Asked for comment on his experience training under Polone, Garrick said, "Whatever."