Summer’s end brings sadness - but also free parking spaces!

September 6, 2020

Labor Day is defined as the federal holiday to celebrate the contributions of the country’s workers, or as most of us around here consider it, “The light at the end of the tunnel weekend.” You can feel it, sense it and just plain harbor the thought of it being within reach.

Seriously, we love our workers and appreciate all their skills and hard work, but on this day, we have come to pay tribute to the empty parking space, someone driving a car without tinted windows, no more horns blowing needlessly, and dare I say it, a line with only one person ahead of us at the pharmacy. Hey, don’t knock it; it’s especially important if you have developed a large, throbbing goiter, and every other customer ahead of you doesn’t even have a doctor’s prescription phoned in yet. Just saying.

We also appreciate our many tourists who visit the area and help the economy. But most of us have topped out by July. I used to be able to hold onto my hair at least until August, but lately my nails have stopped growing, my facial tic has increased to the point where I feel like I have another head, and I no longer care that my shoes don’t match.

This will happen to you after weeks of being up late at night listening to the House Guest From Hell who thinks he might just stay one more day. You don’t necessarily know personally any of the House Guests From Hell that have landed on your doorstep; these are people you’ve recently met pumping gas next to you at the station. 

Sure, there are plenty of problems and a lot of anxiety in the world today, but it doesn’t diminish the number of people who have to take a Xanax just to maneuver down Rehoboth Avenue on a busy summer day.

Between the bicyclists, walkers, scooters, those things with three wheels and out-of-town drivers looking for an ATM machine, it looks a lot like Tiananmen Square. And then there is the roundabout on a rainy afternoon ... let’s just say there isn’t enough Advil in the world to cope with a tour bus, a three-wheel scooter and a Fiat all meeting at the same point. Yes, you could say the Italians are coming!

But let us get back to the workers we honor this day. Believe me, it is not easy to own, run or be employed by a business today. With all the government rules and regulations, you would have to hire an army to fill out forms, reply to rejected forms and stay on hold while you negotiate with some clerk. That is why most businesses have a dead cactus in the window.

Here’s an example you can find on the internet. Many readers have asked me to repeat it:

The Colorado Wage and Hours Department claimed Mickey was not paying proper wages to his help and sent an agent to interview him.

“I need a list of your employees and how much you pay them.”

“Well, there’s my ranch hand who has been with me three years, I pay him $600 a week, plus room and board. My cook I’ve had 18 months, $500 per week, plus room and board. There is the half-wit, works 18 hours a day, does 90 percent of the work, makes $10 a week, pays his own room and board, and I buy him a bottle of bourbon every Saturday night.”

“That’s the one I want to talk to, the half-wit,” the agent said.

“That would be me,” replied Mickey. And so it goes this coming Labor Day.

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter