b Papa Dog's Blog: Adventures in Work Food

Papa Dog's Blog

A Thing Wherein I Infrequently Write Some Stuff

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Adventures in Work Food

In the book I’m reading (thanks again for the recommendation, Rachelle), there’s a description of the male lead’s working day. He’s a 1950s man in a gray flannel suit, commuting by train to Manhattan every day to move like a zombie through his pointless job. He’s divided his day up into manageable stretches from arrival to coffee to lunch to coffee to the end of the day. It seemed awfully dang familiar, though I’m thankful that I’m not required to shuffle off to lunch in a pack of orkers the way the fellow in the novel is.

Today, I brought too much food for lunch. Mama Dog made a veal lasagne a while back and the leftovers have been taking up space in the freezer for want of a microwave. Today, she suggested I take the leftovers and I said yes before I realised just how much there was of it. Fortunately I’ve made the same mistake before and already had a solution established. When I got to work I sent out an email to the office saying that I’d brought too much good home-cooked veal lasagne, and did anyone want to split it with me? It seems whenever I do this there’s always one person who must have been sitting at their computer staring at the email screen and waiting for someone to offer free food. Last time, when I had an excess of pesto pasta, it was Ken the LAG. This time. practically before I’d hit the “send” button, I received a reply from E the AG, saying “I’m your huckleberry.” Or rather, “I’M YOUR HUCKLEBERRY,” because E has yet to divine the purpose of the shift key. I shouldn’t be catty, though. In the first place he’s solving my problem for me, and in the second he’s hep enough to quote without attribution from Tombstone which was really much zippier than the turgid Kevin Costner version released the same year. I told him to let me know whenever he was ready for the lasagne and he replied, “I’M READY FOR IT WHEN MOST CONVENIENT TO YOU.” I thought that was a little odd because it was only nine in the morning, which seems way too early for lasagne to me, but who am I to judge? Turned out her meant he was ready whenever I was ready for lunch. Which should be any time now.

For elevenses I had to leave the office. Lately I’ve been snacking on these Quaker Chewy Bars that Mama Dog’s been getting lately, but I forgot to grab any when I left the house this morning. For that too I have a failsafe plan. While my tea was steeping, I scarpered out to the store/deli down the street, which always has some Rice Krispie squares (made in-store) available at the register. They’re huge bricks of snapping, crackling, and popping marshmallow goo, and as snacks go they amount to next to no calories. If I slice the brick in half I can have one half for morning elevenses and the other for high tea and be no worse off than with the granola bars. “Hmm,” I said to the cashier, gauging the size and heft of several Krispie bricks, “which one’s biggest?” It was hard to tell because they’d been cut kind of unevenly. Some were narrow but tall, some short but wide. She grinned and said, “I’ll see.” She weighed them on the produce scale and triumphantly held up the heaviest one. “Sold!” said I. Then, feeling lamely like perhaps justification was called for, I added, “It’s got to last me the whole day.”

I don’t think these experiences would be too much removed from the experience of the guy in the book. Well, except for the microwave and the email, which would have blown his poor 1955 mind. He and his wife are would-be bohemian intellectuals who have gradually drifted into a comfortable suburban mainstream that they still spend most of their time mocking. They have deferred their hopes and dreams under the assumption that the lives they expect to have will just naturally develop around them. Instead, the life that develops around them is the one they despise. I do chart my day from meal break to meal break. And I do mean eventually to do some writing when I get around to it. But I think I’ve got to remind myself daily not to be that guy.

PS – Oh yeah. I forgot I wasn’t going to write about work anymore. So just assume all of the above was as told to me by Dapa Pog.


Blogger Judy said...

I love rice krispy treats! My son, however, does not. So sad for him. I make them all the time!

1:33 PM  

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