Fantastic 1970 short film about a hyperkinetic short-order cook named Spider

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The discordant whistling reminds me of the (not hyperkinetic) cook at the late Pitt Grill in Arlington, TX.

That I immediately thought of this song probably says more about me than the Spider in question.

I thought this was the England anthem tab. Your song was unexpected.

Ah 1970. Back when being different was celebrated and the fear of the other was laughed at.


I want to see him repairing antique clocks like that. It’s amazing that someone could be so fastidiously detail-oriented that they could repair clocks for a living, and then succeed as a gonzo-speed short order cook.


no, he’s absolutely perfect as a short order cook. clock repairmen don’t have a gang of starving onlookers who need to get their clock and leave within 30 to 45 minutes surrounding their workbench, requiring them to work on 6 different clocks simultaneously. A clock repairman could never do Spider’s job, you got it backwards.

In college I was a short-order cook at Waffle House. This guy is a virtuoso.


Spider was a clock repairman. And did Spider’s job.

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This guy’s my new hero. He even sounds like Humphrey Bogart!

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Everything about Spider revolves around the quest for perfect timing…

Boxer, clock repair, cook…

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I ran a Pizza Hut kitchen for awhile during high school and shortly thereafter. Yeah, it’s Pizza Hut, but it’s still manual labor and it’s still a kitchen. There were quite a few Friday nights that I remember working the kitchen by myself, which meant taking orders off the register, making them, throwing them in the conveyor oven, and still somehow remembering when stuff was coming out 8 minutes later. Take out the hot pan, throw it on a peel, cut, yell at waitress, take dishes to dishwasher, load rack, get more pans, take more orders off register.

After the shift would end, I’d sit around with a beer while the wait staff cleaned up, and I’d wonder where previous 8 hours went. Literally couldn’t remember a thing, but I knew that somehow I didn’t fuck up a single order.

There was another guy, same age as me, who could do it as well as I could. The nights we worked together were pretty magical. Almost like a telepathic connection where we didn’t need to communicate in anything other than 90’s song lyrics and profanity.

Flow is real, and if you get to experience it for yourself, it’s pretty fucking magical.


Just a bit of perspective on this post from someone who actually ate Spiders cooking on a few occasions, while spending my recreational substance-soaked teenage years in Laconia; we often wished Spider would slow down a bit and stop worrying about being, ahhh, “Spider”. He was diverting to watch, the first couple of times. He could cook good enough food, and he could cook fast and play all his little tricks… but if you think he could necessarily always do both at the same time, go back and take a better look at those pancakes, just for one example. That said, when it was after last call and Spider was all that stood between having something in your stomach besides beer and cigarette butts, or having to wait till someplace opened in the morning, Yes Indeedy he was a little King. And that was where they’d usually schedule him. It would have been fairly unusual to find him working the noon crowd, for example. Anytime I ever saw him it was late, everyone was hammered, and if the food was hot and not obviously ruined that was plenty good enough for everyone all round.


I’m sure that really happened, it just isn’t what I remember.


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