Sunday, March 8, 2015

How to Have Fun at Lunch (The Most Important Thirty Minutes You'll Ever Have!)

An Excerpt From the Award-Winning Tell-All 
Lucy and CeCee's How to Survive (and Thrive) in Middle School

Lucy: Okay—get your hunger on because lunch is that precious half hour when you can chill and hang with the besties, not to mention fuel up for those afternoon classes.

CeCee: Or a study hall if you have an upcoming quiz or test!

Lucy: Okay, right, C.! Whatev.

Lucy and CeCee: Lunch is a social reprieve that should be savored and enjoyed. To eke out maximum benefits, adhere to the following.

L&C’s How to Munch at Lunch

The Dreaded Hot-Lunch Line

Time is precious, and negotiating your way through the swarming hot-lunch line takes some skill. The best way to buy hot lunch is to walk purposefully to the end of the line and maintain position. Beware of cutters who may have a ruse, such as acting like they forgot a fork or straw. Usually they are wormy little sixth graders, so don’t be afraid to tell them to buzz off! You may think it best to wait for the line to die down, but don’t! By that time, the food goes from grotesque to downright vomitous. (Just sayin’!)

Not all entrees induce the lunch flu, but be cautious of certain food items. Anything with a catchy name like “Fiesta Fajitas” or “Burger Bangers” should be sized up with suspicion. Also, dodge the mystery meat whenever possible. This is anything containing meat product that can’t easily be identified with the naked eye. It’s usually topped off with some sort of gravy-like sauce so as to conceal its identity. Hence, the name. Also, stay away from the pizza altogether, as it’s riddled with mystery meat droppings and altogether nast.

Where to Sit

Where to sit in the middle school cafeteria is a strategic chess move that can be executed with ease. Just face the fact that cliques are the number-one unspoken rule of the lunchroom. (If you don’t already know, a clique is a self-segregating group that hangs and eats together. They were around when your grandparents went to school, and they’ll be around when your grandchildren go to school. A few common ones throughout the ages are preppies, geeks, punks, emos, oddballs, hipsters, VIP popular kids, and wannabes.)

Now, the good news is you can click outside your clique. You just have to know which ones are flexible and which are not. For example, the trinity of Madison Heights royalty—Kandi, Kassi, and Kalli—is one grub ’n’ snub club that isn’t accepting new members. One can tell this by their guarded body language that screams “Admire—then expire!” when you walk by their reserved VIP table waaaaaay in back of the lunchroom.

On the flip side, most cliques love to meet and talk with new people, so don’t be shy! If you’re new and don’t want to eat your cheese puffs solo, case the caf for a friendly looking group or just take out a book or magazine and chill. If you look confident and comfortable with yourself, someone is bound to join in. (Quick Tip: While you’re sitting there by yourself, feign popularity by pretending to wave at random people. It works!)

The upshot is finding a crowd to chow with definitely gets easier with time. Before you know it, you will have your own little table surrounded by your best besties, eating the mystery meat du jour!

Convo Starters
Don’t know what to gab about while you grub? Try these hot topics:

Can you believe that English project?
Are Uggs really a good look?
Hottiest hotties
Makeup/breakup/shakeup of the week
“I know, right?,” “That’s so random,” “24/7,” Just sayin’,” “It’s all good,” and other phrases that should be banned
Team Edward vs. Team Jacob
The virtues of headbands
Today’s cute math substitute
Yesterday’s scary science substitute
What teachers really talk about in the lunchroom

Beware: Try to avoid food fights. Some fun seekers might try to instigate, but it’s ultra-immature and could ruin your gear.

Helpful Hint: No matter how tempting it is to food bash, always be nice to the “lunch ladies,” and never insult the food while in earshot. They’re the hardworking women who put the mystery in mystery meat and have hairnets, oversized glasses, and large moles. Always be polite, and try to learn their names (usually something like Edith or Joyce). You may just get an extra big helping of mystery meat goulash!

Dear Diary,

The ladies served up some major calamity casserole at lunch today! And the casserole’s name is Josh! I don’t care what Lucy says—that kid is nothing but trouble! It’s so her to fall for the walking jock cliché (i.e., the backward baseball hat, the menacing sports jersey, the cocky strut, and of course, the one-syllable J name). Too bad it’s J for j-e-r-k. How do I know this? Because Ms. Clark summoned me today to discuss tutoring him after school. Apparently, his grades aren’t all that, and he needs “major intervention” because he’s on a behavior permit. (She let it slip that he has a little habit of beating up nerds, and this is his third school.)

So, while I’m telling Lucy her new crush is a swirlie-giving, ear-flipping, towel-snapping bully—or worse—a potential Dark Lord with truly evil intentions (a doppelganger, perhaps?), she just smiles and gushes, not at all bothered by the fact that he’s totally cuddling up to Kandi Klass in back of the lunchroom. I don’t mean to Gandalfenize, but when will she see the truth will set her free? It’s like she’s under some charm spell from an evil wizard or something. Why can’t she just settle for Lyle Whitehurst, who’s had fuzzy feelings for her since kindergarten? Okay, maybe he’s an überdork, but at least he’s a dork with a brain!

Anyway, Lucy seemed relieved when I told her I was way too involved with the Madison Messenger to possibly tutor Josh the Jerk. She then went on and on about her horoscope and Destiny Stars’s prediction for her flourishing love life and how she and Josh are “meant to be.” That’s when I reminded Lucy that her astro-reading habit is merely a minion’s way of claiming false success without claiming failure—which she promptly ignored.

G/G—Ms. Horowitz says pop quiz in two minutes. 

PS Help! I can’t find my magical Blistex and feel so unprotected without it. I have such very little armor as it is, and I don’t want my lips to surrender to the spell of chappiness. Fraggy pucker nuts!