Monday, November 24, 2008

Turkey Potluck

Today was our annual teachers' turkey potluck dinner. If you can call it dinner, what with having 23 minutes to fill our plate and eat. We're spoiled. Really.

Mr. G was Even Steven for the day. He has the misfortune of having lunch duty this week. On the flip side, he has the good fortune of having lunch duty this week. It's a three-day week, by cracky! I felt a bit of sympathy for Mr. G. We all moseyed down to the ParkingSpaceStealer's room to consume mass quantities of rolls and dessert. The ParkingSpaceStealer was absent today. Somebody thought it was a back issue. Her back. The area surrounding her spinal column, not issues from the past. If I was her, first of all, I would not steal anybody's parking space, but that being a given, I would not have showed up today, either. Great Googley Moogley! Who wants people in their classroom for three lunch periods, dirtying dishes and necessitating that your class meet in the library? Not me, that's for sure. She might even have been expected to warm up the food.

I must elaborate for my absent buddy Mabel. Though we have different lunch shifts, we always dish the slop on the whole affair. Talk about back issues--we've had a few at Newmentia. Poor Mabel. I know she was dying for some corn from a bag in the freezer. But alas, none for her this year. I do believe that Mabel is out for some kind of surgery, surgery which I certainly hope she did not wake up during. Her birthday gift still awaits her return. But let's get on with the tale of the feast.

Math Crony brought the turkey again, as usual. Nothing exciting happened. It didn't fall on the floor. PinkSignMaker nominated me to carve it, but I demurred. Mr. G walking in right about then and he was ready, willing, and able to assume that duty. Because he had to grab some food and get back out to the cafeteria for his lunch duty. Normally, someone in charge volunteers to do the duty that day so the teacher can feast in peace. Not so this year. What a bite in the butt for Mr. G...kind of like a black german shepherd biting a pet pot-bellied pig in the butt, just before the pig was rescued by HH and slotted for the sausage factory. Mr. G carved admirably, but there were more obstacles to clear in this steeplechase of culinary delights.

We had no plates. That is kind of crucial to a potluck in which you have only 23 minutes to stuff yourself. We searched high and low, and PinkSignMaker found about 7 styrofoam plates in a cupboard. "That's enough for us!" I declared. We raided the silverware drawer and found less than seven of each utensil, but still, that was enough for us. Time was ticking. We set out everything we could find, let Mr. G go first, and commenced to loading our plates while asking, "What, exactly, is this, and who brought it?" You see, we had the usual sign-up list, but with all the extra busywork we have this year, only a couple of people signed it. Mr. S brought his annual bread product, Hawaiian rolls for the 3rd year in a row, though I ain't complainin', because they are much tastier than a loaf of bread from the day-old bread store. Wouldn't you know it, I didn't get a Hawaiian roll, because my cousin put them in the oven, and I couldn't wait. I took another kind that was already on the table.

Here was the menu: turkey, only one green bean dish this year, hot-wing dip, rolls, two hash-brown potato casseroles (which I was almost afraid to try, Mabel, because I had a flashback to the year we had those two creamed-corn casseroles), dressing, veggie tray with Ranch dip (courtesy of HM and The Devil's Playground), deer sausage, cheese cubes, mini pumpkin pie tart thingies, mini cheesecake thingies, a pumpkin cake, a pumpkin pie, brownies, mini black forest cake tart thingies, and that's all I can remember. Enough is as good as a feast.

Sooo...there we were, filling our plates while my cousin took to carving the turkey. Mr. S tore us off some brown school-issue paper towels for napkins, and we sat down to eat. After a couple bites, Mr. S informed us: "Eleven minutes until the bell." I cleaned my plate with four minutes to spare. It's not like it was that full. I had a roll, sliced turkey white meat, hot-wing dip, a tad of the hash-brown potato casserole, and that was it. That was all there was time for. Mr. S asked for a face check, and I told him there was no food stored away in his beard. I took my dip-stained plate and loaded up a black forest tart, a mini-cheesecake, and what turned out to be a mini-pumpkin-pie tart, though it looked like all crust at the time. I took that back to my room and stuck it in the microwave just as the bell rang, so I could hide it and enjoy it on my plan time. I'm not one of those teachers who takes real food to eat in front of the kids.

And for the record, Mabel, PinkSignMaker did not seem to be the least concerned about any other lunch shifts. Go figure!

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