By Richard E. Noble “Another example of the Cocktail Sauce Syndrome,” I mumble to my wife Carol as we sit and watch the nightly news. “Exactly!” my wife will answer. We met many, many years ago in a restaurant in Fort Lauderdale where I devised the original Cocktail Sauce Theory. The Theory evolved from the General Manager of the restaurant chain that employed me. This guy was a cocktail sauce fanatic. Every time he would walk into any of the chain’s thirty-seven family style seafood restaurants, he would pick up a platter from the waitress station then wander around to any unbussed (not yet cleared) table and gather up all the unused 1oz cocktail sauce containers. He would then cart them over to the manager and give his usual speech. “You see this? Now these all would have gone into the garbage even though they are unused and unopened because nobody cares. Now you want to see that food cost of yours go down and get this restaurant making money? Save the cocktail sauce.” I went into the office after closing time and sat down with all the cost and analysis sheets. I added up all the costs of the cocktail sauce that the restaurant used in one month. If I didn’t give out any cocktail sauce to any of the customers, I could not lower the food cost even one point. It required, like a $2,000 drop in my cost per month to lower the food cost one point. I could run around all night gathering cocktail sauces and I wouldn’t accomplish poop. They wanted me to lower the food cost by about 20 points. This was not very hard to figure out, I had to find some big expenses and cut them down and stop sweating the small stuff. And I did. I lowered the food cost in about six months by more than 20 points. When the general manager came in with my analysis figures he couldn’t believe it. “What the heck did you do?” he asked. I told him that I had all the waitresses saving the cocktail sauce. He had me promoted shortly after that. Now that brings me to paved roads and telephone poles. They finally paved my road, against my will, and I have never estimated the cost but, way back then, when they finally paved it, there were probably ten or fifteen homes on my road - and they were all trailers. There wasn’t a regular house on the street. I will bet that they could have come up to each of us and gave us a million dollars each in place of paving that road. People lately around here are saying, “Where did all my tax money go. I don’t see anything new around here.” Well I do. There are paved roads everywhere. Even the Island had dirt roads when we first came here. And now all these paved roads have to be maintained and kept up and that’s only a half a million dollars a foot, instead of the original million dollars a foot. Most everybody who came and settled here 20 and 30 years ago got the seafood poverty dividend. Things were for nothing around here compared to the rest of the coastline of America and all because Franklin County smelled bad. When people came here to visit me they would say; What the heck is that smell. I’d tell them it was the spent oyster shells from the shucking houses and spoiled fish guts - this is a seafood town. “How can you stand it?” “Well the folks around here are all seafood workers and they made a choice a long time ago. They could either have oyster shells and fish guts and a livelihood, or they could have fancy-butts like you running around trying to clean everything up and complaining about the smell. They chose the fish guts and oyster shells.” My friends would always laugh. So in those days we had no paved roads, no fire plugs, no cable TV - no TV reception at all - in fact you could barely hear the local radio station while oystering out on Catpoint. And shortly before that there was no radio station at all. There were very few rules and codes that anybody gave a darn about. And that was because poor people buy a piece of property because they are tired of paying rent, not because of its “curb appeal” or who lives next door. They are happy they finally were able to have a place to live rent free. They don’t even know the meaning of the word “equity” and they usually don’t care. So the Cocktail Sauce Theory is that while everybody is sweating the small stuff, the big stuff kills ‘em. Instead of taking jobs away from county workers, I would suggest that we stop paving roads for a couple or three years. Firing workers is not only tragic for the people who get fired but it hurts the local economy. Putting more people to work is the solution, not the problem.
“A Little Something”is R.E. Noble’s first book of poetry and it is now on sale at Amazon and locally at Downtown Books along with Hobo-ing America, A Summer with Charlie and Honor Thy Farther and Thy Mother. Richard Noble is a freelance writer who has lived here in Eastpoint for nearly 30 years.
Books by Richard Edward Noble. Click on covers below for more info and purchasing instructions.
Classic Tragic Novel
Don't Laugh - This Could Have Been Your Life
Funny stories and some strange characters.
Monkey Dishes and Cocktail Fawks
My Harrowing days in the restaurant business. Great Read.
It's a Long Story
Long Short Fiction - Great stories!
Bloggin' Be My Life
"Bloggin' be My Life" contains a selection of some of my more popular Hobo Philosopher blogs.If you enjoy reading this blog, you should love Bloggin' Be My Life.
It's All About Love
It's All About Love is ... all about love. This is the 2nd book of poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford off Arlington. Every poem in this book comes with a prose introduction. If you enjoy poetry this is a simple choice. Have fun!
A Little Something
Traditional poetry from The Bard From Chelmsford Off Arlington with some poignant prose introductions. If you enjoy any type of poetry, you will enjoy this volume. Thanks.
Talking To Myself
This is my third book of poetry.
Bits and Pieces
The Hobo Philosopher - My first book using the Hobo Philosopher brand. Featuring a variety of writing styles and ideas. Look for the Thoughtful Hobo on the cover.
A Baker's Dozen
The Hobo Philosopher: My Second book of Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Short Stories. All varieties of short stories - lots of laughs!
Cat Point - and Them Dang Oyster People
Cat Point is the sequel to "The Eastpointer." Both books contain humorous tales about life in a fishing community on the Florida Panhandle. Lots of laughs.
Won 1st Place award for humor in 2007 from Florida Press Association. More wit, wisdom and humor from the yet to be world famous author, R.E. Noble
A Summer with Charlie - Lawrence
Fiction - Salisbury Beach, Lawrence, Mass. Featured in Merrimack Valley Magazine July /Aug. issue 2010
Travel, Humor, Commentary on migrant farm work and illegal immigration still very pertinent today.
"Just Hangin' Out Ma"
Thank God for the Street Corners of Lawrence, Mass. Anecdotes and humorous escapades about growing up in an industrial mill town in the 40s,50s and 60s.
This is the sequel to "Just Hangin' Out, Ma"
That Old Gang of Mine
This is # 3 in my Lawrence Hometown series. The series is about growing up in the 40's, 50's and 60's in an industrial mill town. Sorta like a Huck Finn goes to vist Uncle Ralph, the bus driver, who lives in a big, rundown city. Lots of fun.
Come On-A My House
This is # 4 in my Lawrence Hometown series.The old homested at 32 Chelmsford ST is pictured on the cover..
Down By The Old Mill Stream
# 5 in the Lawrence My Hometown series.
Standing on the Corner is # 6 in the lawrence My Hometown series.
The old Howard Playstead on Lawrence St.
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
# 7 in the Lawrence my Hometown series.
Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
Classic tragic novel written from child's perspective. Deals with abuse, poverty, unemployment. Pulls no punches.
Noble Notes on Famous Folks
Humorous, satirical notes on everybody from Constantine to Bill Clinton. Inspiration: Willy Cuppy.
America on Strike
History - documented survey of labor strikes in America
Mein Kampf - An Analysis of Book One
Who are the American Nazis - the Liberals or the Conservatives?
MY NAME IS RICHARD EDWARD NOBLE. I AM A FREELANCE WRITER AND I HAVE PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS:"THE EASTPOINTER" - SELECTIONS FROM AWARD WINNING NEWSPAPER COLUMN - "A LITTLE SOMETHING" - POETRY WITH PROSE -"HONOR THY FATHER AND THY MOTHER" - A NOVEL ABOUT GROWING UP IN THE NEW ENGLAND MILL TOWN OF LAWRENCE, MASS, "HOBO-ING AMERICA" - A WORKINGMAN'S TOUR OF THE U.S.A. - "A SUMMER WITH CHARLIE" - THE STORY OF A YOUNG SAILOR'S LAST DAYS AT SALISBURY BEACH, "NOBLE NOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS" - HUMOROUS ANECDOTES ON FAMOUS FOLKS IN HISTORY,
"AMERICA ON STRIKE" HISTORY BOOK - A SURVEY OF LABOR STRIKES IN AMERICA; "A BAKER'S DOZEN" A BOOK OF HUMOROUS SHORT STORIES; "JUST HANGIN' OUT, MA" - GROWING UP IN THE 40'S, 50'S AND 60'S IN LAWRENCE, MY HOMETOWN, "TENEMENT DWELLERS" - SEQUEL TO JUST HANGIN OUT, MA; MEIN KAMPF - ANALYSIS OF BOOK ONE - HISTORY. CAT POINT - AND THEM DANG OYSTER PEOPLE - SEQUEL TO THE EASTPOINTER
All 12 BOOKS ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM, BARNES AND NOBLE AND OTHER INTERNET SOURCES OR FROM NOBLE PUBLISHING. ALL 12 OF MY BOOKS ARE NOW ON KINDLE AT BARGAIN PRICES TOO. IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT DISCOUNTS AND SPECIAL OFFERS E-MAIL ME. MY EMAIL IS ON MY PROFILE PAGE.