In most ski-resort towns like Flurryville, New Oregon, worker shortages are a constant problem. Three years ago, “Stocked Market” manager, Buddy Tillmann, hit upon a way to fill long vacant positions for grocery baggers. He hired local alien kids to work after school and on weekends. There are a lot of alien kids in Flurryville. Their folks seem to “like the air better.”
The plan seemed like it was the perfect solution. The alien kids, ranging in age from 8 to 13 loved the job. They earned good money and were even able to take home leftovers from the baked goods section and deli. Alien parents were thrilled to see their kids developing a good work ethic. And the busy market was finally fully staffed.
There was one problem, though. One of the alien kids, Lars (not the one from Mars, but the one from Kikoop) came in one afternoon with a note from his estranged father. It read: “Dear Mr. Tillmann, It is illegal to employ kids under age 14. Even though the kids you employ are alien kids, they are still kids. And you are violating child labor laws.” Mr. Tillmann was forced to let the kids go.
Far from ending there, however, the issue has touched off a wave of controversy in Flurryville, centering on whether existing child labor laws are appropriate, especially for alien kids. With all the strides made between aliens and earthlings, some earthlings still don’t think aliens should have the same rights as earthlings. And a lot of earthling employers take advantage of recent alien émigrés and their kids who do not know the laws, which do in fact apply to all “beings” who work. “Employers are looking for whomever they can get,” says Fernando Huiog, a cashier at Stocked Market. “It’s not like they are trying to harm the little greenies,” Huiog continues.
In Flurryville child labor laws are being criticized by everyone from alien parents to the alien kids who lost their jobs. “We were having fun and we were making money,” says Shaark Zaaail, a 6th grader who used to send money to his grandma “back home on Horticu.” He continues, “The law is wrong and it shouldn’t apply to aliens. We are different. We want to work. I’ll miss being at Stocked Market. They used to give me bread and chocolate as an after-school snack. They were great to me. Mr. Tillman was great to all of us!”
Bread and Chocolate
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
4 1/2 oz. dark chocolate, broken into pieces
your favorite bread (preferably something homemade)
unsalted butter, room temp.
Heat cream in saucepan. Remove from heat. Whisk in chocolate until fully melted. Place 1/4 cup of melted chocolate into bowls or ramekins. Toast bread. Slather with butter. Lightly sprinkle salt and cinnamon on bread. Drizzle honey on top. Dip bread into chocolate. Enjoy.