One Man's Opinion - The Disappearance of the Lunch Tray

I’m only one man, and this one man needs a hearty meal to start his day. Also to end his day. Maybe in the middle of that day too. So clearly it was a disheartening realization when it so happened that the campus cafeteria removed all lunch trays in order to conserve food consumption.

To the discomfort of my girlfriend and her many acquaintances, I often insisted that I carry one or two trays at a time. I consider myself to be a man of finer tastes, and if I so happen to want to garnish my meal of pizza and stir-fry with a side of Lucky Charms and a turkey burger, so help me I will. This is America. My ancestors came to this country seeking a land of milk and honey, it was their dream. Well, guess what, it just so happens that milk and honey don’t fit on the same tray. Believe me. I tried.

This whole obsession with saving food is a new and scary concept for me. Suddenly people are telling me it's a bad thing to smuggle hoagies out the cafeteria by stuffing them inside of a water bottle. Is it really so wasteful that when I ate alone I used to fill an extra tray full of food just to place it next to me as a deterrent to any strangers who would sit at my table? I don't think so, and I fully expect you to do the same.

Don’t think I didn’t try to play by the university rules. I attempted to use their new food sorting receptacles (aka: buckets with signs that say “food” on them) and I found myself pouring my left-overs into the container labeled “soup of the day.” Imagine my discomfort in explaining to a close friend that their Clam Chowder was tainted by my Chinese chicken salad and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. It was no fun at all, let me tell you.

“Now hold on a minute,” the cafeteria might say, “We still have trays for you to use. You just have to ask for them.” Nice try, college, but I think you’re the one who should be asking me if I want a tray. What do you expect me to do? Hold my food with my hands? Well I’ve tried it. And if you want pasta dripping through my fingers onto the floor and have an old woman behind me to trip on said spaghetti and yell “Mamma Mia!” guess what, it’s already happened. Twice. And I responded both times with a “Now that’s a spicy meatball!”

Here’s an idea for you college cafeteria geniuses, how about you take away the forks and knives too while you’re at it? Medieval Times did the same thing, and look where they are. That way I can balance all my food on spoons. Maybe take cups away too so I can drink soda straight from the tap. I mean officially, so that I finally have a reason to explain my actions or at least have an explanation for the dried syrup on my chin apart from “I decided to drink from the tap because it’s faster and I’m too lazy to grab a cup.”

Since we’re still on the subject, what happened to all the old trays? Is there somebody out there who has made themselves a fort out of discarded trays, sits on a throne of trays, and calls himself the tray table master? If so, who is he and why can he not be me?

Yes, Biola University, I fear you have be-tray-ed me.


Beth said...

i see what you did there.
and don't worry, i believe i have enough milk and honey for the both of us.

Zack Newcott said...

If that milk and honey tastes half as good as it smells, I think I'm in for a BIG treat.

Bronwen said...

I love this one. And the valentines week one too. So good. Come over soon!