Go to the washroom, grab some popcorn, and gather around. It’s time for a story.
And when I say “go to the washroom”, that is not an invitation to read this blog post on the toilet. Though, if you must, don’t eat the popcorn. Leave it in the microwave. I said leave it!
Alright, let’s travel back in time a bit. Let’s go back to 2011.
Where were you in 2011? That’s great.
I was at school living in residence. Such a perk meant that my meals came from the dining hall. Now, some of you are probably thinking “that’s unfortunate.” That’s fine. But I didn’t mind the food from the cafeteria at all.
Subs? Yes, please.
Burgers? Add cheese.
Chicken burgers? Breaded or grilled, you decide.
French fries? With gravy.
Pulled pork sandwich? Oh my goodness.
Philly cheesesteak sandwich? Oh my goodness x2.
Caesar salad? Add croutons.
Pasta? IS THAT GARLIC BREAD?!
I could go on, but I think I just made all of us really hungry. And for that, I am not sorry. You’re lucky I didn’t mention pizza.
So, on one dark and gloomy evening, I left my room, walked outside for about a minute and twenty-three seconds, and found myself in the building that held the cafeteria.
I’m coming, food!
It was dinner time.
Now, many of you know that I love pizza. Well, I love pasta just as much.
One time, I went to the cafeteria on a Monday during exam season and there was a sign that said: “Pasta Station closed until Thursday.” I was so devastated. I thought it was a sick joke.
The pasta station had already been closed for a few days and now I had to wait four more days? Just wait until 9-1-1 hears about this! How am I supposed to pass my exams now that I can’t have the one food that will force me into a nap, when I should be studying? If there were ever a crisis, this was it.
So, that evening I elected to get pasta for dinner.
Penne with meatballs and (too much) marinara sauce. If I had one complaint about the cafeteria, it was that they always flooded the pasta noodles with way too much sauce.
Picture a tsunami on a plate. Now eat it.
Even if I asked for “not a lot of sauce”, I would still end up with a flood on my plate. A notch down from a tsunami, yes, but still undriveable conditions. Ditch the car and swim/float!
I later discovered that if I asked for alfredo sauce, the sewers would open up and a flood wouldn’t even exist, let alone a tsunami. It must’ve been the marinara sauce clogging the pipes.
Anyway, as I was saying, I ordered penne (the tube pasta), meatballs, and marinara sauce. I watched as it was made right in front of me. Finally, it was done. The nice lady handed me my meal and wished me well.
I sprinkled parmesan cheese on top, which, if you think about it, looks like dandruff falling from someone’s head.
I put the plate on my tray, grabbed a tall-small carton of milk, and proceeded to the cash register.
“Tall-small carton of milk” can be defined as: “500ML”.
After I paid, I grabbed a take-out container because why was I going to sit in a cafeteria by myself, when I could go back to my room and do the exact same thing? Exactly. And I had a TV!
The take-out container was square, folded downward, and had hinges. I know, I’ve made it sound like a doggy door. It wasn’t. The material felt like it was made out of recycled materials. The kind where if you pour water on it, it would become soggy.
We all picturing a soggy container? Good.
So, I packed up my meal and was headed on my way. The walk back to my room was about five minutes, depending on how fast I was moving and how many people were in the way.
Plus, I lived on the third floor and would take the stairs. Not that that made a difference, since the elevator ride took the same amount of time as the stairs. I just thought I’d subtly brag about taking the stairs because that’s what people who take the stairs do.
On my way back to my room, I noticed the bottom of the take-out container was really hot. It made sense, the pasta noodles and the sauce were both hot. Nothing to worry about, right?
Except this time was different.
I was now outside and about to round the corner to enter my residence building, when it happened.
Kids, close your laptops.
My left hand, which was supporting the container underneath, felt like it was on fire. I looked at my hand. It was bleeding.
How am I bleeding? And where did this sixth finger come from?
These were questions I needed to answer if I ever wanted to explain my situation to a paramedic.
Then I realized I didn’t have a sixth finger. It was penne (the tube pasta). I also realized I wasn’t bleeding, either. It was marinara sauce all over my hand. Then I looked down.
On the sidewalk was a tragedy even Shakespeare couldn’t concoct. About ten of my precious penne were now on the ground. Dead. Never to be eaten. A life not lived.
I, heroically, put my burning hand back underneath the bottom of the container to prevent anymore from falling through the hole that had been created. I rushed inside and took the elevator. It would be faster, right?
I just want you to know that the entire sequence I just described – from when the first penne met the sidewalk, to when I realized what was happening and put my hand back underneath the container – took about 2.3 seconds in real time. Yes, even the “what do I tell a paramedic?” part.
There I was in an elevator with my dinner literally in the palm of my hand. It was so hot. And not in the attractive way, either.
Now, my student card was my key to the building, as well as my room. Hotel style.
It’s a good thing I’m right-handed and my student card was in my wallet, which was in my right pocket. I could slip it out of my wallet without pulling my wallet out. If I had to do that with my left hand, I’d be forced into a strenuous position and probably wake up the next day more sore than if I had joined a yoga class.
I got to my room and put the container down on top of a serviette. Yes, I just said serviette. Deal with it.
I went to
wash my hand put all the cold water in the world on my left hand. While in the washroom, I realized there was marinara sauce all over my pants. I now knew what it was like to be a messy eater and I hadn’t even sat down to eat yet.
Fortunately, no meatballs were lost. That would’ve been disappointing. I ate my meal, probably posted a Facebook status about how my beloved pasta was in cahoots with a rogue take-out container and had betrayed me – you know, not unlike stuff people post when someone breaks up with them.
Then I took a picture of the now massive hole in the bottom of the container. As I was eating, the hole got larger. It was the size of the entire bottom of the container. Picture a window without glass. That is what my take-out container had become.
It looked like someone took a blow torch to it.
We’re all familiar with “double bagging” something, right? The act by which you put a bag in a bag and then place your item(s) in them? Yeah? Good. If I had to explain it further, I’d be worried.
Well, I took that same philosophy and applied it to these backstabbing, lowlife, probably didn’t even love me in the first place, containers. I made sure to double or triple container my pasta before walking away with it. Safety first, kids.
Such a traumatizing experience will never leave me. My dinner betrayed me. It burnt my hand, dirtied my pants, and splintered my heart.
Never mind, I’ll find
someone dinner like you.
Those of you still in the washroom can now go retrieve your popcorn from the microwave, after you wash your hands. I said wash your hands!