Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Would You Like Cabbage With That Meatloaf?

Let's talk about...

school cafeterias.

Do we have to?


Now please sit...
at your assigned table.

Do you remember your school cafeteria?


Look at the cute, little milk bottles.

I don't think we ever had those when I was a kid.
We had those little cardboard and wax cartons
that were so hard to open.

Have you been to a school cafeteria lately?
Let me offer my condolences if you have.
But I digress.
Have you seen the new milk containers?

I don't know what they are called,
but they are like big, bloated pillows of milk
that you stick a straw in...
and the milk spurts all over all the kids at your table!
I call them milk bladders.

You know what they really remind me of?

breast implants.

That's funny...
the milk bags remind me of
fake milk bags.

Must have been a man who thought up
this great idea.

So, anyway...
do you have "fond" memories of your school cafeteria like I do?

I carried my lunch money in a coin thingamajig just like this.
Guess that tells you how old I am.
Coins paid for our lunches.

After you paid your quarter or whatever,
you went through the "delicious" lunch line.
You didn't get to pick what you wanted.
There were no choices like kids have today.
And you had to take one of everything!
If you tried to slip through the line without
getting those yummy green peas,
the lunch ladies would be calling you out
in front of everybody!

On a good day, your lunch might look like this.
Gosh, we celebrated hamburger days
even though they were the worst hamburgers in the world!

But when we went through the lunch line on Fridays...

we got fish.

Do you remember fish on Fridays?

Fish was served on Fridays because Catholics were to
abstain from eating meat on Fridays.
I understood that concept.
What I couldn't understand is why my community
of 70% Baptist and Methodist and 29% Church of Christ
had to eat squares of fish parts for the 1% Catholic kids.

Couldn't they fix 12 fish squares and give the rest of us hot dogs?

There was only one day that was worse than fish days.
Look at this poor kid.
He is looking at his plate with dread like we all did on...

liver and onions day!

Oh, my gosh!
What were those lunch ladies thinking?
I am totally convinced that they were torturing us!

We had this principal who was very serious about his lunch duty.
Every day, he stationed himself at the...

trash cans.

He was the food gestapo.

He stood where we emptied our trays into the garbage.
He allowed no one to throw away food!
Your tray had to be empty before you could leave.

If you stuffed your liver in your milk carton, he found it.
If you hid your spinach under your bread, he found it.
He even made you drink all of your milk.
Not only am I lactose intolerant,
I hate the taste of milk.
Didn't matter to him.

What did he do if he found uneaten food or leftover milk?
He sent you back to your assigned table to clean your tray.

And they wonder why there is an obesity problem in this country!

I am upset just thinking about it.

I think it is time for me to have an adult beverage...
and I ain't talking about milk!

Those of you who know me well,
know that I write satirical plays.

I gotta admit that this lunch lady has
really inspired me!
Stay tuned...
it's gonna be a good one!


trash talk said...

Girl...I'm so old I remember when those little containers of chocolate milk were two cents!
I loved our cafeteria ladies (because I was so tiny they gave me extra woofing!) and the food. Blonde brownines, home made yeast rolls, stew, schoolhouse french fries, and on Fridays either salmon croquettes in little ball shapes or tuna/pimento sandwiches...yum! Psst...don't tell anyone, but I love liver and onions! Don't be such a hater girl...I don't remember too many chubettes when I was in school 'cause it was real food! I also remember the teachers sitting with us at our tables. That was the only way some kids ever learned table manners.
Hmmm...all this food talk has made me hungry. Maybe that's why I'm no longer tiny!
I can so picture you as a lunch lady!

Sue said...

I remember when I was in second grade and in line for lunch at the "cafe" as we called it with my bestfriend, Donna Nagel. Out of nowhere, I puked, right there on the asphalt for everyone to see, for everyone to make the entire line detour around the puke. Donna had her head turned, and then looked back and said, "who puked". I lied saying some kid ran by, he puked, and kept running. We sit down in the "cafe" and start eating our lunch. Then I puked again all over my lunch and the tray. Donna just looked at me and said, "I thought it was you that barfed". So, sadly I had to walk my puke filled tray up to the return window where all the sixth graders worked. They all were grossed out and off to the nurses office I went. Memories!
Take care, Sue

Malisa said...

Sue...yuk! So YOU were THAT kid! :)

Deb...what planet were you on? You LIKED the cafeteria? You have to remember that I have spent 50 years...yes, 50 years in school cafeterias! The only one worth a hoot was the cafeteria in Balmorhea! Now those lunch ladies kicked butt! They made homemade tortillas every day! They kept fresh jalapenos for me in the kitchen too! They were the best, but all the rest...blah!


Garden Antqs Vintage said...

We didn't have liver and onions, thank God, but we sure had square fish and something they called pizza, but never really tasted like pizza :( Those were the days, not good 'ol days, just days that we were careful and young and yes "thin"!

Ames said...

I had one of those thingamajigs too. It was in my stocking one Christmas and it was no doubt from the 5 and Dime store. Before I got it, my lunch money was pinned in a hanky inside of my dress.

Most days we brown bagged it. But ocassionally we had cafeteria food. I hated milk, most of the time all the chocolate was gone. I would give my milk away. I did love those yeast rolls and buttered corn. We never had liver and onion day. We had Sheppards pie days and snickerdootle cookies. Rarely had hamburgers. Paper milk cartons and Turkey with mashed Potatoes Gravy for Thanksgiving. All served on a melamine tray. Our lunch room was the auditorium. Each table had a number. A teacher or the Principal would stand on the stage and call your table number if your table was too loud.
Excellent post. You brought back memories. Of course I still eat cafeteria food. I have 4 grandsons in school. Only now I am old enough to tell the lunch ladies when the food taste like S**T!~Ames