Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Teachers Who Lunch

Lunch is an oasis in the midst of the desert of my workday. A workday that is similar to a dose of Atarax, which I was prescribed many years ago at the ER after a severe allergic reaction to ampicillin. I was told to take five pills, then four pills, then three, then two, then one. My workday starts with three classes, then lunch, then two classes, then plan time, then one class.

Imagine my chagrin today when my lovely oasis was permeated by the stink of FISH. It was almost more than I could bear. Arch Nemesis has been lunching with us for two days, due to this week's testing schedule. Yesterday was nothing to write a blog about, except that she took my seat at the lunch table. It's my own fault that I didn't run out and snag that spot that I have sat in every day for three years. Today, Archie was nuking her food in the semi-working microwave of the teacher workroom. I staked out my table territory in the cafeteria, welcomed the return of Mr. S, greeted LunchBuddy and ShopMan, and was quietly consuming a chicken salad sandwich on whole wheat with a side of Sun Chips and a dessert of diced peaches in light syrup when Archie arrived and peeled the lid off her plasticware. Oh, the humanity!!! I tried not to breathe through my nose, but that's kind of hard when you are chewing.

In that plasticware, stewing in their own juices, lay four pieces of tilapia with lemon pepper. No breading. Just steaming tilapia with a freckling of lemon pepper. Hoo boys! It was enough to make your eyes water. As if the reek was not enough, Archie and company had to host a symposium on the merits of tilapia. Mr. Principal stated that tilapia is a really good fish, but that he can not stand salmon. ShopMan said that he likes tilapia, but he must have it fried. Mr. S sang the praises of tilapia and badmouthed the salmon. ShopMan stated that salmon is just another red meat. LunchBuddy declared that if any fish crosses her lips, it will be deep-fried. I, alone, attempted to unbesmirch the wronged salmon. "I love salmon. I used to eat it all the time. My uncle lived in Alaska, and he would send us cans and cans of salmon from the cannery near his home in Ketchikan. My mom made salmon cakes with crushed crackers and fried them to a crisp. When we visited Alaska, my uncle grilled fresh salmon at 10:00 p.m. for our supper. Land of the midnight sun, you know." That kind of put a damper on the d*mning of the salmon.

As we were leaving after our 23-minute respite from the salt mines, LunchBuddy leaned over and said, "I was having a really hard time." Indeed. She was at ground zero. She shielded me from the initial blast. I confided, "I can hardly wait to get out of this fishy place and into my room where I can enjoy the sweet aroma of body odor."

Thank you. I'll be here all week.

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