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The Wackiest Job I Ever Had

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The wackiest job I ever had in the seventy-five years I worked for money was probably my best job. I challenge any young man of normal ambition to turn down a two-month gig at Boston’s most famous burlesque theater for fifty bucks a week plus tips in nineteen forty-six; just for watching mostly naked young, attractive women performing on stage and running errands for them to satisfy their every wish and desire.

I was sixteen facing summer without a job when my good friend Johnny Lipschitz said his father arranged for Johnny and a friend of his choosing to work at the Old Howard Burlesque Theater. Most of us kids wondered if Mr. Lipschitz did any thing but wash and polish his nineteen forty-two Packard Clipper sedan parked in front of our apartment house. Obviously Mr. Lipschitz was connected.

Johnny and I went to meet Mr. Crookshank, the managing director of the Old Howard. Johnny was a shoe-in, but I needed to interview before it was official.

“Hi kid. Lipschitz says you’re a good kid, honest and dependable.”

“Yes Sir. I’m a very good kid, severely honest and dependable. I’ll do anything you want.”

“That’s what I needed to hear. You’re hired.”

“Thanks Mr. Crookshank. What is it exactly I’m supposed to do?”

“You’re a gofer. You go for stuff.”

“Really? That sounds easy enough. What kind of stuff?”

“Whatever the girls want — chewing gum, perfume, deodorant, kotex. They work hard during the show and need to freshen up between acts and smell good.”

“Okay Mr. Crookshank. I can do that. What’s Kotex?”

“Geeze Jacobson. Didn’t anybody tell you anything about women?”

“No Sir. But don’t worry. I’m a fast learner.”

Okay. If you do good you might get Peaches!”

“I thought I was going to get money Mr. Crookshank.”

“Jacobson, are you a nit wit? Peaches is the star stripper and if she likes you you’ll get big tips.”

Well Peaches loved me and gave me a hundred 1946 bucks. She was an incredible performer, had all the moves and a really good singing voice to boot.

That was my career in show business except for the fact that I appeared in two Hollywood movies in California in 1943. I don’t think my parents were thrilled with my infatuation for Peaches, so I eventually faded off into the world of real work.

Now almost seventy years later I think of Peaches and wonder if she ever thought of me. I know she was impressed when I brought her super sized Kotex when all she asked me for were sanitary napkins.


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