It's virtually the end of the school year, you know. So it behooves one to refrain from eating the cafeteria offerings. Cook's choice, they're called, these end-of-days meals.
I had the system beat today, what with leftovers from last night's academic banquet being proffered to the faculty like a carrot on a stick dangled in front of a balky mule. Rumor had it that the remains were being warmed by the assistant of officed personnel. I say rumor, even though a fellow faculty told me from the horse's mouth that the fare would be heated. After all, we can't leave our students. We are doing more than sitting behind a desk waiting for someone to walk in or ring us on the phone. It was a nice gesture from folks eating the remains of our $10 a plate meal for free.
When 10:53 rolled around, we found the food lined up on the counter of the teacher workroom. Ice cold. Have you ever seen nine teachers trying to warm nine plates in the microwave and eat within a twenty-three-minute interval? Me neither. I loaded a plate and headed for the cafeteria. It was catered BBQ. I eat cold BBQ at home. So I figured that as long as I only took chicken, pulled pork, and cherry pie, my meal would be palatable. It was good last night. I assumed it would be good this afternoon. I mean mid-morning.
As with so many things we assume, my bargain feast made a mockery of my prediction. The taste was palatable. I even added sauce from the squirt bottles left behind by the man in the T-shirt with cut-out sleeves and large tattoos. The fact that he looked more like an '80s hair-band roadie retrieving the sterno cans last night than restaurant catering staff did nothing to deter my taste buds.
Texture was the issue. I swear I ate a piece of pig hoof. The piece of cartilaginous material that I withdrew from my mouth in full view of a cafeteria full of students certainly looked like hoof. So the piece that passed over my lips and past my gums without so much as a "Look out, tummy, here it comes," was most likely the same thing.
I tossed the pie. The crust was charred, and the cherries tasted like all the sugar had been removed for my own good, and grapefruit juice injected for its fat-burning properties.
The cafeteria meal was BBQ chicken. Shredded. On a bun. Warm.
Who's foolin' who?