January 23, 2011

Déjà Vu

I attended Kindergarten before the law required it.  Whenever I'm feeling young, I only have to remember this fact to remind me how ancient I actually am.  However, this is not the point of this particular story.

The site of my earliest supervised learning was a Presbyterian Church somewhere in southern Missouri.  Given that buses had not yet been invented, I was conveyed to and from school every day in a Nash Rambler station wagon driven by a manic/depressive fat woman.  Since the Rambler was the only way for all of us little tykes to get to school, we were all picked up in one run and crammed into the back of the wagon.  This required creative human cargo packing and led to the development of Tetrus.

One fine Spring day, we went on a picnic.  This was fine with us as we could look forward to an honest to goodness lunch instead of the plastic cup of Kool-Aid and the one Ritz cracker that was our usual fare (childhood obesity was not an issue in the late 1950's).  Instead, all of our mothers communicated telepathically and made each one of us a peanut butter & jelly sandwich and potato chips, both wrapped in wax paper that eventually leaked grease through the paper sack that held them.

The addition of all of the sack lunches made the quarters in the back of the Rambler even tighter than usual.  Inevitably, I was crammed between the legs of a young lady named Cherry, and her sack lunch.  After a few minutes, Cherry tapped me on the shoulder and whined "You Squashed My Lunch!"  I looked down and sure enough, her lunch was squashed.

I shrugged my shoulders at her and turned away, but the whining machine didn't shut down.  "You Squashed My Lunch!  YOU SQUASHED MY LUNCH!" After a few minutes of this, I turned to her again, and using a nifty phrase I had just learned from my Dad, told her to "shut the fuck up".

This seemed to do the trick and she quit whining.  Fortunately there were no repercussions.

This memory was dredged from the back of my mind one morning last week, when I received a phone call from Jan.  She was on the bus with her class, headed to the far southern regions of Chicagoland to visit Argonne National Laboratory on a field trip.

In preparation for her trip, we had purchased a deluxe version of the Oscar Mayer "Lunchable" lunch pack, containing tasty perpetual lunch meat, cheese, crackers; and (bonus!) a juice box.  This was stored in the refrigerator and covered with post-it notes indicating that I should keep my slimy hands off of it.

That morning, she was trying to put the Lunchable in her Jimmy Choo lunch bag and was having trouble fitting it in.  Always helpful, I grabbed the bag from her and gave the lunch kit a couple of sharp punches  so that it fit, and then zipped the bag up.

When she called that morning from the bus, I thought she had been in a crash because she sounded very upset.  But instead of some horrible vehicular accident, she was pissed at me because my careful packing of her lunch kit had caused the juice box to rupture, soaking the rest of the package contents.

"So, you squashed my lunch!  What am I going to do for lunch?" ... she whined.

Me:  Does Argonne have a cafeteria?

Jan:  Yes.

Me:  Do you have money?

Jan:  Yes.

Me:  Then problem solved.

You will note that I did say "Then problem solved".  I did not say "Then shut the fuck up".

I may have pulled it off when I was 5 years old, but I'm not stupid enough to try it again.


  1. hahaha, it kills me that your kid self told another kid to STFU.

    I wish my vocab had been that big when I was a kid.

  2. You're lucky you're still alive. NEVER mess with a woman's lunch.

  3. Wendy ... I'm afraid my "good" vocabulary lacked a bit at that time. Candace, yeah ... I got the stink face pretty much all of that evening ...