For as long as I can remember, school cafeterias have been the bane of my existence. It all started in elementary the Friday before Thanksgiving break, oddly enough. It was the first time I had forgotten my lunch, and I had to go all the way down to the office to get a lunch ticket, which was basically an I.O.U. (And their way of putting unsuspecting students into a hole of debt that they could never climb out of. Usury was forbidden in the middle ages for good reason if you ask this humble blogger.). Anyway, by the time I made it to the horrendously long lunch line and got my Thanksgiving surprise, lunch was almost over. Fortunately for me, I had never seen any food (I use this term loosely) that was quite so disturbing in my short time on this earth, and I had no desire whatsoever to partake of any of it.
As I continued on through my educational career, my problems only seemed to amplify. I died a little the day my school discontinued thirty five cent ice-cream drumsticks, the only thing worth buying on the menu, in favor of dollar cookies which were harder than the soul of my eighth grade history teacher, Mrs. Purnell. Thats another story entirely, and one I wont get into here, but suffice to say that there was a point in time when I loved history; that time ended when I entered the eighth grade.
My cafeteria problems climaxed my junior year of high school when I moved to Fort Worth and discovered, much to my chagrin, that not only were lunches a full forty five cents more, they had delicacies like chicken rings. I actually wrote an opinion piece for the newspaper about what an abomination chicken rings are, and it received much praise (except from their few die-hard fans, who always looked like they wanted to jump me in the hallways). Lumping a mass of chicken into a nugget is bad enough, but a ring!? What kind of unnatural and ultimately evil process would you have to put a walking, squawking bird through to turn it into a fruit loop? I shudder to think.
Now, to the topic at hand. Im sorry for digressing so much, but this topic really fires me up. I had been dreading these few days before I left for the holidays because the cafeteria is my only source of sustenance, and while it is usually pretty good, something deep within me has always feared the coming of cafeteria Thanksgiving. Thankfully (get it hehe), the food was rather good. It looked extremely questionable at first glance; turkey covered in gravy and, get this, raspberries. I gulped and got a piece, sure that I would validate all my years of fear. I was wrong, for once in my life, and thank all that is good and holy for it. That weird, fruity slice of turkey did not cause my taste buds to go into convulsions and die. Joy replaced fear, and I triumphantly returned to the line for seconds.