A Blast From the Past, the White Death Arriveth, and Sick Humor

hair bear bunch lunch

It’s hard to believe they let us have metal lunch boxes in elementary school.

It was a far more innocent time, even though I can attest to the fact that a metal lunch box can and will draw blood if someone knocks you in the head with the corner of one of these things.  I had a Hair Bear Bunch lunch box for awhile. Those lunch boxes always came with a plastic Thermos that matched the box, too.  I think I had Holly Hobbie and Snoopy at one point, though I got new lunch boxes more often than other kids had to.  Lunch boxes didn’t survive more than a year or so for most kids, but mine never survived more than a few weeks.  I had a hard time keeping people from stealing and/or mutilating mine beyond recognition.

lunch boxes

Yes, the Dukes of Hazzard lunch box had a rebel flag on the Thermos.  Just think how that flag would fly in a kid’s lunch today!

I probably had a Dukes of Hazzard lunch box at one time.  Grandma usually had to find me new lunch boxes, and I ended up with whatever was left or on sale when mine got too badly distressed to use.  The worst one I ever ended up with was one with NFL Football on it.   It wasn’t easy to find a new lunch box in April, for example, so I had to take what Grandma could get.  Grandma bought me quite a few lunch boxes to keep me from getting in trouble at home.

In fourth and fifth grades the kids were allowed to go home for lunch (another thing that is unheard of today) if you lived close, and you got back to school in time to make the lunch recess bell.  That was better than eating with the heathens in the school cafeteria for a number of reasons, but I generally went home most days because I could just fix some soup and a sandwich or just forage about at home and eat in peace.  I didn’t mind forgoing lunch recess in order to have some peace and quiet.

High school was another culinary adventure.   During my freshman year I didn’t dare eat anything prepared at school, because the roaches had taken over the cafeteria. There was always a high risk of getting bug parts (or whole bugs) in your food.  The ovens and warmers were ancient as well, so you could get fries that were burnt on the outside and frozen on the inside, depending on where they were sitting on the racks.  Prepackaged food was generally safe as long as you could verify that the cellophane had not been violated, but during my freshman year most of my lunch money went toward my coverless it-would-be-porn-if-it-were-illustrated literature collection.

twinkies

In my high school, the Twinkies were probably the safest item on the menu.

Today I don’t think they allow Twinkies (even though they have been resurrected) in school cafeterias, but that might depend on which school, and whether or not they have been brainwashed by the Michelle Obama campaign to spare the world from childhood obesity.  I wonder why there were fewer lard asses back in the day when you could load up on all the candy and soda your heart desired at lunch.  Maybe it was because you could only afford one pack of Twinkies versus a whole box.

One side of the argument for food freedom is if you make Twinkies and Ho-Hos and such into forbidden fruit, kids are just going to want more of them. From the middle-aged Mom view I agree that kids should eat a healthy lunch, but from my perspective in the early 1980s, I believed the four food groups were caffeine, nicotine, sugar and grease.  You can lead a child to broccoli, and you can warn against the dangers of processed foods, trans fats, refined sugar and corn syrup,  but sooner or later they have to decide for themselves that healthy eating is better.   Sometimes this realization takes a few years of a diet of Marlboros, coffee, Mickey D’s, Cheetos, and crème horns to get the point across.

This is another reason why: If I can’t be a good example, I might as well serve as a warning.

North_Central_Ohio_snow_storm

The White Death Arriveth-

And way too soon, may I add.  It won’t stay Arctic cold forever, but it was a bit annoying waking up to having the car encased in 1/2″ of ice.  Normally I don’t like to let the car sit and idle and waste gasoline, but the only way you’re getting that ice off the car is to pry your way in the driver’s door, start it up, turn the heat/defrost on full blast, and let it melt from the inside.  It would have taken me all morning to try to chip off all that ice.

I think it’s funny to see how many jackwagons forgot how to drive in snow and ice since March.  In the city there was next to nothing on the roads because they had been brined and cleared off all night- for about two inches of snow.  Then again, if it gets really bad, I have ABS and traction control and I just got new tires, so I am probably better prepared than many.

traction-control button

No, I am leaving it on, thanks!

The World’s Still Here (Told You So) and the White Death Returneth

end-of-the-world snake food

The world obviously didn’t end on Friday, December 21, just like it didn’t end on May 11, 2011 or in 2000, or 1988 or 1986 or any of those other dates set by people who desperately look for meaning in the writing of the ancients and/or the scattered patterns of the skies.

It would be easier that way, maybe, but I don’t really want my life any more scheduled than it has to be.  Routine is one thing, but scheduling all activities down to the minute is bullshit.  I can imagine that might be part of the reason why today’s kids are so apeshit.  I mean, most of them have to get up way early to go to the sitter before school, then spend all day at school with every second micromanaged, only to stay after school to play sport “A” and/or do activity “B” which is also micromanaged, and then come home to a late dinner and chores, fall asleep, and repeat the same noise the next day.

daily_schedule_prekinderThis would drive me apeshit as an adult, let alone as a freaking four year old!  I really can’t schedule my whiz times.

There’s not much room for any quiet contemplation in that kind of rat race.  I don’t respond to micromanagement well, and I don’t generally function well as a part of a group.   What if I want to stare at the wall when everyone else is dancing about the room? I would be royally screwed if I would have to adhere to a day care schedule, let along to be a middle school or high school kid today.  Granted, very few if any people share my need for copious quantities of solitude, but I’m sure that after awhile the lack of spontaneity and absence of breathing room would- given time- have to disturb even the most extroverted neurotypical.

It’s not that I’m so averse to having a schedule- as long as it’s mine and not one imposed upon me.  It’s one thing if I set aside time for an activity that I’m interested in doing, and quite another if it’s something someone else schedules for me that I’d rather not be doing.  There are also some things- like bodily functions- that just really don’t occur on a regular schedule, at least not for me.  I take a lot of blood pressure meds, I like my coffee, and I don’t have much bladder capacity.  I have to stay within reasonable proximity to a toilet.

I think that’s why holidays and so forth are so stressful for me- strange toilets.  In all seriousness, there are people I want to see and spend time with, and others I’d really rather avoid.  This Christmas I was pretty fortunate in that I spent most of the day with Steve-o (someone I did want to spend time with) and got to spend most of the day Sunday with my granddaughter (who I also wanted to spend time with) so I’m cool.  I don’t need and I certainly don’t enjoy big formal parties and such.

ballroom gown meAll dressed up, (and this looks itchy to boot) with nowhere to go.

As far as the End of the World, I say let that be a surprise.  There are some things I don’t think I really want to know about in advance.

Central Ohio is positioned in a sort of strange place in relation to weather fronts.  It’s far enough south of the lake that we don’t get the “lake effect snow” that Cleveland and other cities too far north for human habitation experience.  Columbus proper- or at least within the confines of I-270- sits in a bit of a valley.  It rains a lot and it floods easily, but we get far less snow than the hinterlands up north.  There’s a huge difference in snowfall just in going 15-20 miles further north.  Most of the really wicked weather fronts end up either staying north or sort of blowing around us.  So when forecasters say the White Death is coming to Central Ohio, I believe it when I see it.  Far too often we’re supposed to get some huge-ass storm, the mere mention of which sets everyone off raiding the grocery stores on their quests for Velveeta cheese and Marlboros, and instead of White Death of the Apocalypse we get either a shitload of rain (that’s the default for Central Ohio anyway) or a piddly dusting of snow that doesn’t even warrant me putting on boots.

Velveeta-cheese1marlborosRedneck priorities- screw the milk and bread- we need smokes, and Velveeta cheese is good all by itself!

Yesterday we actually had a substantial snow- about 4″ or so within I-270.  Despite the arrival of the White Death, I was quite able to get to work and get home in my nice little Hello Kitty Yaris.  I think the traction control light came on once.

Maybe I’m jaded because the snow situation is very different where I come from, even though it’s only about 50 miles away.  I remember one surprise storm up in the hinterlands all too well.  My sister and I ended up pulling cars out of ditches with her ’68 VW Bug and a tow rope.    She had snow tires on the back of it which came in handy.  I also remember off-roading in snow-covered cornfields with VW Rabbits.  They’re geared low and are fairly high off the ground, so they would go through a lot more than one would think by their size.

1983-volkswagen-rabbit-gti1983- when Reagan was president, the air was dirty but sex was clean, and Steve Perry wore Spandex.  Damn, I should not have sold my ’83 GTI.