Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Tales From The Cafeteria

I graduated from Union High School in 1981, and while that seems like just a few years ago to me, it has been much longer than I care to admit.

As I sit here in middle age, I have been thinking about what to write for the Parent Bloggers Network's current Blog Blast: Tales From the Cafeteria.

A few things come to mind, but there were no real moments of teen angst over unrequited love for me like there are in so many John Waters films. Likewise there were no moments of extreme embarrassment over burgeoning sexuality, as there were in Fast Times at Ridgemont High. In those movies art often imitated life... to some exaggerated extent... but not at my school. At my school, life began to imitate art (so-called).

The Year was 1980, and as we grew into our rowdy, rebellious teen aged years, we became aware of a movie that had been out for nearly two years. A movie that people still remember with a smile today. A movie that showcased the talent of a brilliant young comedic actor named John Belushi. If you are guessing "Animal House", you are correct, now, give yourself a cookie and keep reading.

When you were in high school, did you have school rumors that percolated through the morning classes about who was going to kiss whom at lunch? rumors about impending fist fights, rumors about all of the black kids that normally sat on one side of the cafeteria moving to the other side? Sure you did... we all did. Cafeteria rumors were fun. They added excitement to the day when all I had to look forward to after lunch was struggling through Mr Botrous' Geometry class.

One fine day, in the spring of 1980, My homeroom was abuzz about the "big food fight" that was coming at lunch-time that day. Generally speaking, I wasn't much of a hell raiser in high school, so I was determined to stay out of it. Fat chance, as it turns out.

Lunch time arrived, and the cafeteria was much quieter than normal. The Assistant Principal (and head disciplinarian), Mr Hazleton (whom we always likened to Star Trek's Mr Spock, only not as nice) had apparently heard about what was coming, and had brought some extra muscle additional teachers (all male, by the way) to help quell any unruliness. Again, fat chance.

Shortly after the cafeteria was full, a football player named Jerry (no last names, please) yelled "food fight!", and the paper plates began to fly! The food flew so fast and so furious, that the teachers were just overwhelmed (I went to a large school). It might surprise you to hear that Mr Hazleton was just covered in macaroni & cheese, fish sticks, and milk. So were the other goons teachers.

The flurry ended just in time for the class bell to ring, and the cafeteria was left a horrible mess.

The next day was one of Guantanamo-style interrogations, trying to find the ring-leaders... but no one ratted. Not a single soul was ever punished for it.

Oh... me? Did I participate? Who do you think threw one of the first plate at Hazleton?


Check out School Menu and its parental counterpart Family Everyday, two sites that work together with School Food Services Directors to provide and promote healthy eating and physical fitness for kids and their parents.


Jenn in Holland said...

I did guess Animal House, and I did get a cookie and keep reading.
Also, for the record, I figured you were in the thick of it, even before your confesssion!

Laura Lohr said...

Fun post! You instigator you! :)

soccer mom in denial said...

I just love the description of flying food. And I would expect you to have good aim!

And very, very nice to add information about healthy food and excersize. Bravo!

Lawyer Mama said...

I always knew you were a rabble rouser!

Mamma said...

Way to go! Early target practice.

That is hysterical.

Anonymous said...

That's HILARIOUS...and I simply cannot believe that no one 'fessed up! What are the odds...

slouching mom said...


As someone else wrote, your aim was apparently spot on even in high school.

Gunfighter said...

You know... I never even got called in for questioning.

Innocent... that's me.