Monday, October 26, 2009

Stumbling Into An Elementary School Cafeteria Day!

Your three-day bender is about to come to a close. All of your friends have either gotten thrown in jail, beaten up by bouncers, or they've gone sober. You're alone. You're cold. You want something to eat.

I smell...tater tots, you think.

You follow the scent to a large non-descript building that looks kind of familiar, and you shove your way through the double doors into an elementary school cafeteria.

Shit, you think. That line is huge.

The line of kids will stretch thirty lengths, but one glimpse towards the yellow-lit heat trays and you'll see crispy brown tater tots numbering in the hundreds, piled high and glistening.

You'll limp to the back of the line (you sprained your ankle crawling under a fence a day or two ago). The kids will giggle at the grown man joining them for lunchtime. You'll try to control your temper.

"He looks like somebody's dad," one kid will say and everyone will laugh.

"He's acting like my dad when he comes home from watching football," another kid will say, to less laughter.

You'll make it to the front of the line and you'll order five orders of tater tots. It will cost you $7.50. After discarding the piles of "ButtBucks" you got from a local strip club, you'll find the appropriate legal tender and pay.

"Dad?" you'll hear. You'll turn around and there will be your son, staring up at you. It's his school.

"Hey," you'll say. "Came here to...uh...have lunch with you."

Your son's face will light up. You haven't been allowed to see him until the legal proceedings were finalized and your restraint order was lifted. He considers this a special treat.

While all the other kids laugh, you and your son sit at a table by yourselves. He tells you how he's doing at school while you eat your tater tots. Only after your third tray of tots will you realize your son hasn't ordered any food.

"Eat up," you'll say, shoving one of the trays of tots in his direction. He'll smile and begin devouring the delicious potato morsels. Then you'll continue talking and laughing together until the vice principal arrives with a security guard to ask you to leave quietly.

Happy Stumbling Into An Elementary School Cafeteria Day!