January 06, 2009

Songs in the Key of Food

Long time readers may recall my cafeteria food fetish and how I am fortunate enough to work at a place with the best cafeteria in the lower 48. Retirement for most people means simply not going to work; for my wife and me it will mean finding an alternate food source because currently I not only eat lunch but bring home dinners from the cafe. It'll be a shock similar to that of going from a hunter/gather society to an agricultural one.

My original goal was a "5 year plan", which meant that I would work five years and then quit and travel the country for a year in an RV ala the Blue Highways guy. Now the plan is "I can't retire because what would I do for food? -- besides, I'd end up watching too much TV". It's uncannily like Hazel Motes in O'Connor's "Wise Blood" thinking he would do a 4-month stint in the army. You can't go home again, at least not if you want to eat.

Experience has taught that buying extra food at the cafeteria is sort of like catching the elevator just before it closes: it's a dramatic act in a land starved for drama. I did both today. (I give and I give...) It gets people's attention. It's the corporate equivalent of dying your hair pink.

Anyhow, a cafeteria worker who noticed my unusual buying habits said, sotto voce:

"Is your wife sick?"

I said "No, she's just sick of cooking!"

(rimshot!)

I relayed that conversation to the cashier, saying I'm going to tease my wife with that tonight. She says approvingly, "My kind of girl!"

But then again there's nothing better than the immediate gratification of food when I get home from work, combined with the fact that I get to pick out the meals -- so not asking my wife to cook is not exactly an unselfish act.

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