The Very Hangry Caterpillar

A teaching colleague of mine is on a 15 day detox juice fast. Not quite sure where she got the idea that not eating food while simultaneously dealing with 23 five-year-olds wouldn’t turn a person into a raving lunatic, but a couple of days into now and she isn’t just hungry, she’s hangry. I have a feeling that when she gets to day 11, I will walk past her room, see children running for their lives, and hear a demonic voice say, “Get me a cracker.” [Note: you must say “Get me a cracker” in a very low, evil, throaty voice for that to be effective. So do it. I’ll wait.]

I, on the other hand, was in a particularly excellent mood. I had enjoyed my most favorite of all school lunches: warm square pizza, corn, and peaches. I have a borderline obsession with school cafeteria food. It has nearly single handedly ruined my half-marathon training, not to mention that it has turned my muffin top into a busted can of biscuits. But I have almost no willpower at all against a corn dog or chili and peanut butter sandwiches.

My adoration of school lunches isn’t new. I can remember being really hungry as a kid around 10 a.m., in the days before school administrators gave a crap about Maslow and his Hierarchy of Needs. We had no mid-morning snack. My stomach would begin to growl wildly as the scent of school lunch wafted down the hall. Then, like now, even if I packed my lunch, the smell of Whatever It Is They Are Cooking lured me in, and I was a buyer.

If I had to choose between a steak at a five-star restaurant and a school cafeteria grilled cheese sandwich, give me two sandwiches, please. I have tried to duplicate their grilled cheeses [if you say it fast, it sounds like “grilled Jesus.” Do it. I’ll wait.] at home, to no avail. It may be because I’m using actual cheese and butter, not yellow processed slices and butter flavored oil, but whatever the case, I am always disappointed.

Wednesdays are cookie days at my school. One of the lunch ladies makes homemade cookies on Wednesday mornings, and they are a particular favorite amongst the teachers. A now retired, well-loved teacher was famous for taking one, then sneaking a second, then three more, from the tray in the teacher’s lounge. She then would return after we all left and put the remaining cookies in a bag to take home. No one ever said a word.

No, there will be no juice fasts for me. You will find me each day in line with my paper milk carton and tiny wrapped straw, waiting patiently for my happiness. I will never go hangry. At least not while I can eat a little piece of heaven for $2.50 a day.

6 thoughts on “The Very Hangry Caterpillar

  1. There’s something special about food cooked at school and each school always has one thing that kids go crazy for that other schools don’t have. In my first high school it was chicken and corn rolls. In my second high school it was their chicken burgers. I still hope to find something to equal up to them!

  2. The secret is to use mayonnaise instead of butter. Try it. Ill wait 😛 11 days and 23 kids nope, no way, no how. My grandfather used to run the company that makes the square pizzas for schools I miss those pizzas so much I might have to go embarrass a kid for family lunch( yes it is a thing)

  3. Mystery meat. I still have no idea what it really was, but I always loved the school’s mystery meat. It was a pre-cursor to chicken fried steak I think.

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