Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Devil went down to Georgia
and he was looking for a soul to steal
He was in a bind
'Cause he was way behind
And he was willin' to make a deal...

The school cafeteria is bustling in the early hours of the morning.

And if you care to take a dare, I'll make a bet with you.

Everyone has their job to do and some folks just walk around carrying a sheet of paper while others are shuffling mass quantities of this & that here and there preparing for the daily influx of 100's of hungry kids.

I take your bet, you're gonna regret cause I the best there's ever been.

The government dictates the borders of what will be fed & the lunch ladies have to stay within those borders to provide a proper diet for the children. And should a child not have lunch money for so many days...cheese sandwich

Just sit right in that chair right there
And let me show you how it's done

Some folks laughed & others' stared in disgust, but she broke loose and she shook her fanny & twisted her hips, stomped her feet & clapped her hands. Charlie Daniels squeaked out on the little radio & for the moment, the cafeteria floor became Georgia clay & the paper holder became a chicken running from the Devil & one little lunch lady became Johnny.

Johnny said, Devil just come on back
If you ever wanna try again
I done told you once you son of a bitch
I'm the best there's ever been

And he played Fire on the Mountain
Run boys, run
The devil's in the House of the Rising Sun
Chicken in a bread pan picken' out dough
Granny does your dog bite
No child, no

Later in the day, she smuggled a cookie into the pocket of the man whose real name is Johnny & she bit her tongue while a young, boy new to the school, was told he could only have a cheese sandwich. As his eyes swelled with tears, she started shoveling food...green beans, corn, pizza all onto an unrung plate. The paper-holder paced with her paper, chicken lips flapping about rules & regulations. And the cafeteria lady with a fiddle made of gold took that cheese sandwich & those teary eyes & replaced them with hugs, love & a plate full of green beans, pizza & trust.

Granny does your dog bite
No child, no
~ Charlie Daniels Band

Sometimes it's about quality, not quantity. 1000 cheese sandwiches could never compete with that scoop of green beans, that slice of pizza.

29 comments:

Hammer said...

Whenever a kid forgot their lunch money the cafeteria ladies made a point to harass, threaten and humiliate. Finally after making the kid go to the back of the line they woul grudgingly give him a tray of whatever was left.

Glad to hear not everyone is like that.

singleton said...

"the lunch lady" servin' up the love!

Shimmerrings said...

I remember one kid in my school who came to school bare-footed. But, he was something, and he loved to walk around on his hand, all over the school yard. He was a clown. People liked him, you couldn't help but like him. And I remember once everyone was talking about how he had stripes on his back, from where his daddy had beat him. But, nothing seemed to taint his spirit. My 4th (or was it 3rd) grade teacher... who was an old spinster type lady, who wore her hair in finger waves) adopted him and he graduated from a high military academy. Some people do serve up a lotta love. I often wonder how his life is today. I know she had to have made a huge difference.

karma lennon said...

Yay for love! :) I definitely believe in quality not quantity. Quality far outweighs the other.

Dee said...

I miss my Snoopy lunchbox & thermos.

No said...

My kids hate cafeteria food...so they bring their own lunch...

However, in case any child forgets their lunc or lunch money for that shitty cafeteria food (yuck), the PTA has set up a fund for the child to borrow the money and eat lunch like everyone else...

Did your school really do that? That's just sick!

I do like the Charlie Daniels song, thoughh...I even posted in on one of my defunct blogs.

Enemy of the Republic said...

What an interesting twist on the Charlie Daniels Band!

JustRun said...

You never know where love will come from, or what it'll look like.

I think it sometimes looks like the CDB, too. :)

Angela Marie said...

LOL! I love this!

This is how it is! Singleton, has it right, only serving love. It has been so hard this year with the state regulations. What really gets me, is getting on to the kids about oweing money. They are kids. They walk up to the card slider, and they know what is coming. I refuse to say anything. Let the letters go out to the parents. I am not going to make a child feel like crying ever!
The kids know if they are hungry, they just need to tell me and I will get them something. A child will never leave hungry if I know about it.

All the ladies in our kitchen feel the same as I do.

Great post Paige!

singleton said...

angelamarie....I knew from the get-go you and Kimbies were Lunch Angels of the same cloth! God bless you, girl!

eric1313 said...

I love the Charlie Daniels band, and I totally love the way you wrote this. It's not rambling at all, it's wonderful art. So no trying to pass it off as just a "ramble" (like usual...).

I'm back, sweet friend SLB!

Weddings and zootsuit tuxedos and five woman wearing the same dress and complaining non-stop about how some man must have designed it because they couldn't breathe from all the "enhancement" sewed into the material--most of them were my sisters so I took the good old "let'er burn" attitude and ignored them staring straight ahead, like they do with forest fires out west.

Then I get accused of not listening, so I'm like "I'm not your boyfriend, I don't have top listen--I'm your brother. No Comment!"

Damned if ya do, damned if ya don't...
----------------
I'm so glad to read the news today about your mamogram. I was worried about you.

Glad to know the hippie back porch party will go on forever.

Clink!

eric1313 said...

circles... complete from humble cheese sandwich begininngs to the pizza day combo endings, sweetened by the imitation cobler and some chocolate milk...

y'all had chocolate milk, right? We did, but if you were on free lunch, you couldn't get it. and if you bought it, you couldn't get free lunch...

freakin' catch twenty two, like always...

iz said...

Green Beans? Maybe not! I'll take the pizza instead!

skinnylittleblonde said...

I have been AWOL & apologize...


but I do love & adore all of your comments...many of them bringing back my own memories of childhood & others reminding me of how superfantabulous Kimbies & those like her, those willing to break the rules when they need to be broken, are.

until next time ... peace & love to all of you

Orhan Kahn said...

Even in my current warped mindset I can still see how beautiful that is.

Much love, Paiger.

Nithya N said...

girl, you amaze me! beautifully written.
btw why do i keep feeling your name is paige taylor? is that it by any chance?

Hawley said...

Beautiful :) I love that song... and I love sensing the passion of the Cafeteria woman. It also makes me think of a favorite song: "Sloppy Joe" by Adam Sandler - where he sings about "Lunch Lady Land" :)

I worked in WV for a while, and their state government gives free or reduced lunches to children whose parents are on welfare or in financial need. It's too bad that isn't practiced everywhere.

SpongyBones said...

Now everytime I hear this song I will think of that lunch lady in thrid grade who use to slip us the good stuff!

david mcmahon said...

Nothing, nothing in the world is busier than a school cafeteria at Hunger Hour!

paddy said...

The Devil's in the .......?
Great story!
Y;-) Paddy

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Pure love and humanity served up in a ladle of hot, warm understanding. Smile.

she said...

little love for lunch, hugs n' kisses for dessert.

great creative tribute to lunch ladies with big hearts and spoons.

goatman said...

Had to come over to see what you were upto/into. This school is way more fun than mine ever was. Best we could do was nail the shop teacher's book to his desk and flush the johns all at the same time!
Hello again.

wreckless said...

I have to suffer through my share of the school lunches even now-yikes.

eric1313 said...

SLB and Orhan

I read a great novel a few years back called "Love Warps The Mind A Little" by John Dufresne. He was a professor of my professor, so she, of course, recommended it to me and I have to pass it on.
---
Has anyone here ever had a signifigant other who was jealous over you spending a lot of time writing or even reading? I did, and it was my girlfriend right when I decided to take writing seriously. Obstacle number freakin' one. She said I had to stop writing, or he was out of there. She was hell bent on me becoming an engineer...

ngyyaaaa! Engineering?

Yeah, let me rephrase: She was hell bent on me becoming her ATM. That, and she was insamely jealous of my prof, Michelle.

Don't know why... ;)

Easybreathingfella said...

I sure wish I had gone to your school.

Great Blog glad I found you.

Besr wishers

Keith.

Fishman said...

It is a brilliant song!

just me said...

Now you made me cry. I remember going to school with an empty belly and all the kids playing with their food trays, and I gobbled mine up, and they would say, how can you eat that? I never knew what to say.

Kids run in and out of my house all day. None of them are mine. I fuss at them. They give me a hug. I imagine they do the same to you.

My son loves that song. He's 29 and single...lolol...loves older ladies...we party on the porch most nights...even had my ass dancing one night...

you are so special...

Anne said...

This is awesome, you had me all choked up in tears, from reading this. Go, Kimbies!!!