a sammich and moo juice

13 09 2008

Lunches carried in brown paper bags – names scrawled large enough to be seen from the passing Sputnik – the scorn of classmates who had the latest and greatest lunchboxes of  Top Cat , Casper or Felix the Cat.  Just plain old practical brown paper bags that I was supposed to bring home to be used again.

Oh those lunches. Mine was a sandwich of an odd substance usually on white bread with mayo wrapped in waxed paper; an apple for dessert.  No chips, no hostess cupcakes, twinkies or the other things I lusted for across those fold-up lunch tables. Wait,  I take that back – I did get three, count them three, Hydrox-fake Oreo-cookies.

During first grade I contracted Hepatitis A. When their own version of “Dr. Kildare” told them I needed to eat liver once a week – the form in which it was presented mattered NOT. The Oscar Mayer liver sausage/liverwurst /braunschweiger sandwiches – call it what you will – was supposed to be a source of vitamins and protein for me.  At the same time they were trying to save my liver – they subsequently tried killing me in the cholesterol department. Little did they know they were early on in the preparation for refining my taste buds to learn to love European paté when the time would come. Thank God for Lipitor (or it’s generic equivilant – death to the large pharmaseutical devils). 

There was one more component in the lunch department. It was my responsibility to put my sticky fingers into the penny jar each morning and only come out with the allotted three. Every weekday morning for nine months of the year – it would get robbed.  In its heyday it would be depleated to the tune of 9 cents a day.  Just enough to buy three kids three half pints of milk at lunch.

Hiding just inside the cupboard, always on the first shelf quietly waiting for deposits – this isn’t the only cupboard it’s been tucked away in – nor is it the original container – it is still there. 

Days before we started hospice, Billy was still stashing pennies. There they sit – no one is taking out money for moo juice these days.  But if you need a couple of pennies…you’ll know where to look.