Kimmer’s office is in the dungeon of our building. The remainder of the floor is comprised of the mailroom, the break room and several conference rooms. At least three times per week, the people upstairs use those conference rooms for lunch meetings. Good smells from delivery usually waft through my office, except for today. Today I am re-living a flashback from the Vietnam War and thinking I need to drop and hit the dirt! I am taken back to the cold marble halls of Maumee High School and its equally bland lunchroom. Armed with only a plastic comb in my back pocket and cigarette money in my front pocket (known to my parents as lunch money) and as few books as I can get away with for the day. (Back then, we did not use backpacks or even purses – how embarrassing.)
The odorous emanations from that lunchroom were a combination of bananas coated with chocolate pudding, pizza squares so greasy we had to sop up the orange oil with napkins and exactly what is that stuff they call Salisbury Steak? Mostly my gal pals and I didn’t eat lunch. Often we took a little walk to the closest IGA and bought Marlboro Lights for 95 cents a pack. And yes, we could smoke in the back lot between classes. This does become a challenge when it is 12 below and wearing anything heavier than a sweatshirt jacket is also considered highly embarrassing.
But there were times when we ordered a lot of chocolate chip cookies and peanuts from the ala carte menu however, often times they became projectiles into someone’s hair later that day in Nasty Annie’s French Class. I never learned a thing in that class, but I do remember it as the most fun hour of the day! Either trying to shove someone out of the casement windows or playing air guitar to AC/DC’s Back in Black. (No, Nasty Annie was not on board with our freshman immaturity – hence her title.)
Ahhh… the days of high school lunchrooms where sitting at the cool table was more important than actual nutrition. I think it’s time for a smoke break.