Boomer and Big A

Big A just went inside the Cyber Café ©2015 Jack BoardmanI just saw Big A walk into the café, just moments before Boomer pulled up. This could get interesting. If you’re very quiet, we can slip inside to hear their conversation…

The only people at the counter when Boomer came in—at, of course, Stupid O’Clock—were Blanche, queen of the breakfast counter, and Allen “Big A” Simpson, “G’mornin’ Blanche, Big A!”


“Yep,” Boomer replied and turned to Simpson, “Howzit going, Al?”

“Alright, I guess,” He replied, “But, y’know? I’m getting mighty tired of the feds taking my money and giving it to folks who refuse to work—that fries my butt!”

“G’mornin’ Blanche, Big A!” ©2015 Jack Boardman“There are some, I expect, who ‘refuse to work,’ I imagine, although I believe most would want work—but can’t afford to work.”

“I’ve been down to Duluth—and have seen them lining-up to cash their welfare checks—and payin’ for their groceries with SNAP cards,” Big A replied, “And then go out to the parking lot and climb into their Cadillac SUVs. I work hard for a living—yet you don’t see me drivin’ an Escalade!”

“Do you know for certain that they own that SUV?”

“No, I can’t run a license check, but still…”

“In Minnesota the current minimum wage is $7.25/hour as of last August for small employers—what is the lowest you pay your tour boat help?”

“You know the minimum wage in Moosehead County is $20.00/hr—I start my new employees at $20.50/hr.”

“And you still make a profit?”

“Well, yeah,” He grinned, “Tourists pay $30.00/hr for each tour. How much they pay is contingent on how long a tour they book.”

“So, the wage hasn’t hurt business. Where do most of your employees live?”

“The old-timers live here in Danger Bay,” He replied, “But the newer employees come from Lakeview City or Grand Marais.”

“Why is that, do you suppose?”

“Because I pay more—tour operators in both cities pay the state minimum.”

“At $7.25/hr, a full-time employee would earn $15,080.00/year—in Duluth, the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $727.00 per month, or $8750.00/year sometimes excluding utilities. That would leave a minimum wage worker with $6,330.00 for all other expenses. $527.00 to live on for the entire month—IF they don’t have to pay for water, heat, and electricity. The average cost of groceries per month is $290.00/month, leaving $237.00/month for all other expenses—including daycare were they to accept minimum wage employment.”

“So, what you’re saying,” Big A replied, “They simply can’t afford to go to work? How do you explain the Escalade?”

“Basically, that would be why,” Boomer replied, “As far as the SUV—Hard to say, but I figure friend, boyfriend, or some such, because there certainly isn’t any way she could purchase such a vehicle.”

“Probably her pimp,” Big A muttered, “But who knows—it just seems wrong to me. Hey—come to think of it, you live pretty-high of the hog—are you on welfare?”

Boomer laughed, “Sort-of—I’m a part-time deputy US Marshal—I track down fugitives on weekends.”

“Scum-sucking gummit employee!”

“Yep! That sounds about right—you pay my salary!”

“It sucks to be me!” Big A grumbled.

About sgtmajcarl

A little crusty on the outside...but inside?
This entry was posted in Carl's Corner, Old Men & Coffee Shops, Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Boomer and Big A

  1. Sarah Cooper says:

    This is why my 22 year old hasn’t even considered moving out. (She’s above minimum wage, but in that same boat.)

    Liked by 2 people

    • sgtmajcarl says:

      With my Army income & benefits, and Collie having her teaching career (substitute, that way when our sons were young she could stay home until they were school aged), we did quite well. There was on-station childcare which cost practically nothing, as well. Collie taught in the Fort’s grade school, so her hours were the school’s hours.
      Too many young folks experience what your daughter’s going through, and that just isn’t right. Historically, raising the minimum wage does not cause companies to hire fewer workers, the need them due to increased demand for their products and services.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jack Boardman says:

    “It sucks to be me!” Big A grumbled.

    You got that right, BIGGASS! 😛


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