Talk at the faculty lunch table today turned to kids and food. How if one freshman boy has food, the others swarm him like fingerling trout after 25-cent tourist pellets at a fish hatchery in July.
Mrs. Hillbilly Mom: "No wonder. Look at what they get to eat. They are starving."
Chipper: "My girls are famished some days when they get home. They eat everything in sight."
Jewel: "We don't give them good food."
Chipper: "Well, my wife always buys them healthy snacks."
Tomato-Squirter: "We don't mean you. We mean this. Look at what we feed them."
Chipper: "You mean that pork chop you're poking isn't good food?"
Tomato-Squirer: "I will admit that it has a slight taste of pork."
Czar Gab: "It's actually pretty good, for what it is." He went back to poking his pork with a spoon. No knives. Cutting ain't allowed in school. Somebody notify Brownsville Station. There might be a song in there somewhere. Czar Gab finished sectioning his second chop into bite-size pieces, and picked up his fork.
Mrs. Hillbilly Mom: "Yeah. For what it is. You realize, right, that they can even make a squeaky dog toy in the shape of a pork chop? So it's no great feat that they've pressed some kind of meat slurry into such a shape, and given it a hint of pork. I think that should be the name of this meal. Kind of like that Green Dragon Chicken. Let's call this "Hint of Pork."
Jewel, still giggling over the squeaky dog toy: "You can be sure that it's not a piece of pork. It's some kind of slurry all right. Probably chicken--"
Tomato-Squirter: "Stop! I don't want to hear what the food is made of again!"
Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, snidely, behind her hand: "You mean like the worm protein?"
Tomato-Squirter: "Yes. I can't take it!"
Chipper: "My mother-in-law works in a school cafeteria. She says that no matter what kind of Crispito you have, the Chili Crispito or the Chicken Crispito...it all comes out of the same box. It has the same filling."
Jewel: "Oh, I'm sure it's some kind of chicken. All our hamburgers are chicken. They're not real beef. Chicken scares me. How they handle it. How they mix up their slurry. We bought a whole hog and had it cut up. So we know exactly what we're getting."
Chipper: "Yeah. We do that with our deer. My dad has all the equipment, and cuts it up himself. Makes the sausage and the jerky and everything."
Jewel: "Deer is really healthy because it's lean. And buffalo. It's healthy. My dad had the butcher save the hog fat. I know it sounds gross, but it was like a big loaf of fat. And he uses it in the sausage and in ground meat like to make up for the lack of marbling."
Mrs. Hillbilly Mom, again snidely, and behind-hand: "Yeah. That's what we need. That healthy meat laced with hog fat. Can't beat that for nutrition."
Tomato-Squirter, trying to change the subject, getting loud and argumentative with the boss about the name of a new employee who walked through the cafeteria: "That's NOT what I said! I just asked his last name. I didn't say it was JohnSmith Smith. I only asked for the last!"
Boss: "Settle down. I think that's what you said..."
Tomato-Squirter: "I did NOT!"
Mrs. Hillbilly Mom: "You really need to settle down. We are obviously giving you too much nutrition. I can see that we are going to have to make sure to ration your "Hint of Pork" in the future.