Memories of the Maw

When I was in college, I worked part-time for the public TV station in Dallas. Over the Christmas holidays, I worked full-time (seven hours a day, six days a week) at Northpark Mall, hawking public TV subscriptions in a booth stuffed with Muppet premiums.

“Lady! How much dat Big Bird?”

“You go stay with that lady over by Bert and Ernie and mama be back in a while.”

Most weeknights (four to eleven) I worked solo. No break. Saturdays I worked ten am to eleven pm and generally enjoyed the company of a co-worker. Breaks were left up to us.

For at least two weeks out of each of these months that rolled around every December, I was still doing schoolwork — final papers and exams and everything. I remember one Saturday I spent polishing a paper — in Spanish — on the stereotypical figure of the Moor in Anglo-American literature while hustling public TV subscriptions and listening to my co-worker sing songs from the “Super Fly” soundtrack.

16 thoughts on “Memories of the Maw

  1. Sheila Ryan Post author

    No. Thank you. But I just realized something that amuses me and shocks me ever so slightly. If you had passed your toddling years in Dallas instead of heathen lands, Deron, you might have been one of the kids shunted off to me and Bert and Ernie while mama shopped. Say, in 1974 or 1975.

    Not that your parents would have pulled the “You go stay with that lady over by Bert and Ernie and mama be back in a while” stunt.

    But. You know.

  2. Sheila Ryan Post author

    Deron, the interesting thing is that it does not blow my mind in a bad way to ponder the possibility that your toddling self might have toddled up to the booth where I swapped Muppet toys for PBS donations. I just imagine it as a wrinkle in time.

    I remain convinced that I am ageless, which is probably one of the seven warning signs of a delusion for which there is an acronym.

    Jan, I’m not sure I had any social objectives. I probably believed that I did at the time, but in truth I was just working my way through school.

  3. Deron Bauman

    I would like to visit the alternate universe where that was a reality. we did have our Luby’s serendipity, however. no one can take that from us. muppets or not.

  4. Sheila Ryan Post author

    Y’all, Deron and Amy and I met before we knew one another. At a Luby’s Cafeteria in Dallas more than ten years ago. If that makes any sense. Or even if it doesn’t.

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