“Less Than Tastee”


I blacked out the name on this converted Tastee Freez so as not to defame them. My story involves the Tastee Freez which occupied a building just like this one. I was working for Tom in that freezing cold office, chopping wood and trying to make a system out of the no system that he was using. Things were going pretty well. There was a Tastee Freez a few blocks away and I bought lunch there one day.

Thanksgiving Day I woke feeling terrible. I was so cold I lay over the heating vent to get warm. I went ahead to my family’s house for dinner, but felt too dreadful to eat anything. I also had an awful pain in my upper right abdomen. My mother noticed that my eyes were yellow and called their doctor. Sure enough, I had Hepatitis A, the contagious one spread by poor hygiene. Not mine, mind you. But I had no idea where I had acquired the virus.

In those pre-computer days, the Department of Public Health sent an interviewer to my home to ask me to tell him everywhere I had eaten in the last few days. He then went back to the office and put a pin on a large map to indicate where I and other people who had just come down with Hepatitis A had eaten. When a large cluster of pins showed up at the Tastee Freez, he went there and found the cook who was responsible for spreading the disease to a number of patrons, me included. He called me with the information.

I was off work for two months, mostly bed ridden, while my body healed itself. Tom didn’t hire anyone in my absence, and when I was well I went back to work for him. By then he had decided he needed a real office, with heat and an electric typewriter. I was its first employee!

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