Monday, January 26, 2009

The Lunch Hour Of Living Dangerously*

It is that time of year when lunch is the only thing we look forward to. That, and the 2:56 bell. You know how it is. We're in the 3rd Quarter doldrums. We are stalled, marooned, stuck in this endless winter pattern of scholastica where we are going through the motions, keeping order, trying to motivate the unmotivatable, seeking to ramp up our lessons in any way we can to placate those who have become complacent with our routine. Actually, we appreciate those who have become complacent. If only they would all become complacent, instead of fermenting falsely-perceived wrongs until they erupt into a full-blown fracas. Twice today, I heard that somebody was ready to 'bash his head in' if he didn't stop talking. That's it. Just talking. It's like a terminal case of Cabin Fever. There is no cure...except for a SNOW DAY.

That's what they were all hoping for today, a snow day. They are so sure, they left the classroom each hour, saying, "See you next Monday." Kids today. A single snow day is not good enough for them. It must be a six-day weekend to make them happy. Nothing brewing yet, though the forecasters are calling for 6-8 inches. We'll see. I've given my heart to those weathermen before, and they have crushed it to dust, not crystal, not a drop, not a flurry the next morning. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 37 times, shame on ME.

But let's get back to lunch. Today it was hamburgers. Not the plump, must-be-some-filler-mixed-with-the-meat BBQ burgers that we usually have when hamburgers are the main entree. No, they were the run-of-the-mill everyday hamburgers. When Mr. S de-bunned, it looked like his burgers were left from last week and re-heated. That's illegal, you know. But there ain't no cafeteria cop stationed at Newmentia. I opted for the sausage pizza, the rectangle kind with about 8 eraser-sized pellets of sausage on a bed of white cheese and tasteless crust. Yum! But my pizza had something extra. It was a spot of yellow on one section of the white cheese. I took a quick survey to see if everybody thought it was safe. Was it some nacho cheese spilled on my pizza, or a couple of errant shreds of cheddar from one of the salads that only a couple of people order, or, my worst case scenario: some odd mold that grows on cheese over the weekend? By a unanimous vote, my lunchies declared that it was just some other cheese, and would be safe to eat. They probably had a secret pool over how many minutes it would take me to croak after ingesting the yellow spot. Let's hope it has nothing to do with yellow snow.

I felt a bit odd at the end of the lunch period. Kind of woozy, like things were surreal. It was like when Homer found out Marge threw his giant sub sandwich out because it was rancid, yet sneaked out to the garbage can, rescued Sammy, stroked him like a chinchilla, then ate him. Homer had some 60s-worthy hallucinations, like an acid trip, I suppose, though I've certainly never had one, nor hung out with acid-trippers in the 60s. Of course I blamed the yellow cheese, but I'm still kickin' and that woozy feeling went away after about two hours.

"But why did you eat the yellow-cheese pizza? Why didn't you just take it back, Mrs. Hillbilly Mom?" you might ask. You might, if you were reading this, which I doubt many people are, but let's pretend. IF you asked this question, it means you have never eaten regularly in a school cafeteria as a member of the faculty. You don't second-guess the lunch lady. Miss Ann knows what I'm talkin' about. Because for the rest of the year, you'll get the rock-hard tater tots, the burnt chili crispito, the stem in the green beans, the smallest sliver of Easter Dinner pie, the chicken nuggets that could be taken on Survivor and be used as flint to chip arrowheads or start a fire, the peanut butter sandwich that is all bread with a quarter-sized dollop of peanut butter right in the middle, the plastic cup of nacho cheese with the pudding-like skin on top (well, not that, because everybody gets that), the chicken patty that is pink in the middle, the ham and cheese with the rainbow-y colored ham, the ice cream bar that has been pulverized, and other less-savory items that you do not desire.

I've really got to start taking my lunch more than three days a week.

*Do not think that by 'hour', I mean 60 minutes. Much like a prison year, a school lunch hour is shorter than real time. My lunch hour is actually 23 minutes from tardy bell to dismissal bell. Bon Appetit!

FYI: at 8:25, the automated phone system called me to report that there will be no school tomorrow. WooHoo! Day 6 of the days to be made up before we get out for the summer.


Chickadee said...

Ahhh memories of school cafeteria food. *shudder*

I'm glad you weren't poisoned, food or otherwise.

I vividly remember a time in grade school when a kid was sitting at my table and he cut into his yummy piece of chocolate cake with his fork and low and behold there was a fly INSIDE the cake.

Hillbilly Mom said...

I vividly remember a time several years ago when the coach bit into his hamburger, and it was MOLDY. Not the bun, the MEAT. He took it to the cook, who said, "I thought we pulled out all the moldy ones. Let me get you another one."

The coach declined.