Sweet Gummi Mary! I must stop myself from wishing, for the briefest moment in time, that I had succumbed to a virus, a virus which rendered me olfactory-challenged.
Today at 10:53 I heated up my pizza slice, grabbed a bottle of water from my mini fridge, an industrial white paper towel which absorbs liquids about as well as waxed paper, a tiny bag of plain potato chips from a multipack, and headed for my reserve seat at the teacher lunch table.
Woody was already there, having taken the usual seat of Czar Gab, needing to keep an eye out for signs of unrest, him having duty this short 4-day week. Jewels preceded me, having taken up residence once again in the rightful seat of the Tomato-Squirter. I sat down like nothing was amiss, and immediately sensed that it was. Get it? I SENSED a problem. With one of my five senses, and I'm sure you know which one I'm talking about. My mind was silent-screaming:
Its baaaaack! And its front! And every side, every nook, every cranny of it STINKS TO HIGH HEAVEN!
Woody asked how my day was going, all the while giving me the eye, the eye that spoke volumes, like a mouth. He knew that I knew that we were about to have a repeat of last week's valet BO car lunch. The stench had already blinded me to the point that I did not even notice Woody rolling around chunks of half-masticated ham sandwich in his wide-open trap.
Czar Gab lurched to the table and set his tray to the right of Woody. I know I saw him mentally counting his lucky stars that he was two seats away from the miasma. I'm sure he was not rejoicing that he was one seat way from me. We already established last week that I was not the entity from which the rank smell emanated. Czar Gab kept his head down. Trying not to inadvertently create a draft which might pull the vapors toward himself.
And there she was, forsaking me in my time of need, my unclaimed relative, Tomato-Squirter. She looked at me as she hurried past the cafeteria doors, choosing to go unfooded. Jewels had jumped up and darted inside to seek a rib, claiming that her noodles were nasty. Uh huh. Something was nasty, all right, but I daresay it was not her noodles. I clasped my hands under my chin and tried to make my eyes worthy of a Margaret Keane painting. "Please. I implore you. Get to lunch earlier so you can sit beside me!" Alas, Tomato-Squirter pointed out that I was asking the impossible. No way could she ever beat Jewels if Jewels decided she wanted that seat. Their schedules precluded it.
Jewels returned. She shoved her noodles aside, chowed down on that rib, and continued to saw bits of flesh from her fish with her right elbow waving in my face. And that is when Tomato-Squirter almost made me disown her.
"What is that, salmon?" She looked at it like a conglomerate of dog-doo, bubble gum, fly-blown rat carcass, and...um...dead fish...that had become imbedded on the sole of her flip-flop. Jewels did not notice. She was too absorbed in sawing some fishy flesh from the skin, giving her elbow an aerobic workout.
"Yes. I was distracted by my phone while I was cooking, and my noodles are ruined. But the salmon is fine."
NO. THE SALMON IS NOT FINE.
I can only hope that Tomato-Squirter is the one to follow Jewels after her visit to the faculty women's restroom tomorrow. So she can enjoy the full effect of the salmon after it swims out of Jewels's digestive tract.