"Here comes Graham the man with the credit card scam!"
1)Today Graham was talking about his summer job.
2)Apparently he worked for Public Works in Massachussetts, where jobs were assigned each morning.
3)One day they didn't call his name, so he thought maybe they didn't know he was there.
4)But when he went up to his supervisor, the guy was like, "We have a special job for you."
5)"For the next month, you're going to go out in a kayak and harvest water chestnuts."
6)Water chesnuts, apparently, are not only very bad but very "contagious".
7)If you harvest a water chesnut the wrong way, it breaks off and the spikes float away to seed in new water chesnuts.
8)Graham was given this job, not based on skill or experience, but because "You're the shortest, so you can use the kayak."
9)Now, Graham had never used a kayak before in his life.
10)He had also never seen a water chesnut.
11)He told us, "You're not likely to see a water chesnut, either, and you know why? Because they grow in between water lilies, and there's about one water chesnut for every thousand lily pads."
12)"So I'd be out there, eight hours a day for thirty days, looking for these stupid water chesnuts and not finding them."
13)"Plus, I was in a kayak. Do you know how hard it is to carry anything in a kayak? I had to wedge my lunch in between my legs, so heaven forbid I actually find a water chesnut. What was I supposed to do with it?"
14)Of course, he did eventually find some.
15)It turns out he had these plastic bags that he had to tie over the front and back of his kayak to put the water chesnuts in.
16)"Then one day," he said, "I hit a rock. It was actually a snapping turtle, but it might as well have been a rock. My kayak turned over and all the water chesnuts spilled out, so I spent the next five hours trying to gather them back up and not being able to."
17)"Not only that, but even when I was in the kayak it was impossible to 'harvest' these things."
18)"I mean, you're cruising along and you finally spot a water chesnut. Do you know how hard it is to stop a kayak?"
19)"So there I am, turning in circles, trying to get the kayak to go back to the place where I saw the water chesnut."
20)"Half the time the water chesnuts would break off anyway and just float away."
21)"Finally, I asked if they had a canoe or something."
22)"They didn't, but they did have a rowboat. So one day, I took this rowboat out on the water instead of the kayak. But you know rowboats are really wide, and by the time I found a water chesnut I had knocked one of the oarlocks into the water."
23)"I tried to paddle anyway, but the oar just scraped against the side of the boat, so I had to canoe paddle in this giant rowboat. It must have taken me five hours just to get back to shore."
24)"And at the end of the day, I had to load it back into this huge Ford pickup by myself, and I'd drive down the highway changing lanes all over the place because I'm this tall and couldn't see past it out the back."
21)He said the only good thing about the job was that he was completely unsupervised, all day every day.
22)"I took a lot of naps. It's hard to sleep in a kayak, but I was really tired and I hated having to be at work at 6:30 in the morning."
23)"Then there were these two islands in the lake where I used to have lunch. I had these swim trunks with cargo pockets, so I'd wrap my lunch in a ziplock bag and put it in there while I parked my kayak and climbed up on one of the islands."
24)"I liked to pretend that I was the first person to discover them, you know? Even though I obviously wasn't, since they had fire pits and stuff."
25)Finally, I guess the lack of supervision came in handy, because he dumped the water chesnuts himself.
26)No one actually saw him emptying the bags, so he says he started just filling them with lily pads.
27)"I'd come back and they'd be like, 'Do you have a rough estimate of how many bags you filled today?' and I'd just be like, 'Oh, yeah, I filled up a lot today...'"