Did you eat something off of a barbecue grill on Labor Day?

It was almost a weird Labor Day for me as the unthinkable almost happened. Sure, it was the “official” end of summer with the Labor Day Weekend coming and going, and although there might be another chance or two for another summer-time corn dog (best chance right now is something called Sandwich Fair here in Illinois, also known as the Dekalb County Fair, but we’ll see), this year’s final corn dog came about thanks to Naperville’s Last Fling, where they actually had hand-dipped corn dogs, though still not as good as the Channahon Three Rivers Festival.

As things are wont to do, though, my wife and I started to have our discussion about dinner, and at first things centered around things not barbecue. There was some talk about chicken parmesan, I thought a little bit about pizza in my head, but then, thankfully, things turned around and went to hamburgers and macaroni salad, the latter thanks to a sample at Trader Joe’s, and the former being a perfect combination for the latter. And, oh yea, our other local grocery story had sweet corn at 10 for $1.00, so corn also became an option.

And so, my summer finished off with hamburgers topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, onion, and tomato, with grilled corn and macaroni salad on the side, and all became well with the world, but I wondered, and so I plight: Did you eat something off of a barbecue grill on Labor Day?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!

Do You Have to Work on Labor Day?

I was going to have today’s plight be about pregnant ladies, poking fun at the word “labor” in Labor Day, but I decided against it. I’ve used that joke for years, put in my head by radio dude Steve Dahl, but then I just didn’t like where that plight was going, ending up with “Do you know anyone pregnant on this Labor Day?” Maybe I’ll use it next year, but the more I was thinking about Labor Day and it’s reason for being, the more it also occurs to me that for those we are mostly celebrating, as the day is a holiday “that celebrates the economic and social contributions of workers,” the workers are also those getting screwed by actually having the day off. Sure, it’s a supposed boom for the retail sector, but in the agreements I’ve read with many a union, Labor Day is a day that work is forbidden except in the cases saving life or property, or with permission by the union. The thing is, most union folks are paid by the hour, only when they work, so by actually forcing union people to take the day off they are actually being punished by getting one day less in pay, and if you want the math, the base rate for a Laborer in Chicago is about $36.30/hr, so by forcing a Laborer in Chicago to not work on Labor Day and to have a barbecue instead, that dude (or dudette for that matter) is losing about $290.04 in an 8-hour day, and that doesn’t even include all of the benefits paid to the union by the company he or she works for. Yup, by my calculation, Labor Day is actually screwing over most of the people we are supposed to be celebrating!

In the end, though, I’m happy with Labor Day, and the three day weekend it gives me, but I do remember some of my days in retail when I always thought it sucked because I had to work. Retail workers have to work and most of them probably don’t want to, and Laborers would rather work but can’t because the Union won’t let them, which leads me to today’s plight of: Do you have to work on Labor Day?

That’s it for this plight! I’m The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!