Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wonder lunch

     An homage to Hostess.

     I remember a few things about elementary school lunch. They are general memories, built over five years of lunches eaten at Pére Gabriel Richard Elementary school.
     I remember that we ate in the gym, a cavernous room that had shellacked wood floors covered in myriad painted boundary lines, each a different color corresponding to a different game. And the lights looked like large, caged lanterns hanging high from the ceiling. They made everything look greenish-yellow. They were mercury vapor lamps, the kind that needed time to warm up before they began to glow.
     I remember sitting with my friends on bench seats connected to tables that pulled out from the wall. The tables made a big impression on me, mostly for the sound they made as they collapsed back into the wall at the end of lunch--a spring-coiled creak and bang that I can still hear clearly.
     I also remember that every day I packed my lunch, which consisted of an apple, and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on Wonder Bread (I would buy a milk at school for a quarter). I made the sandwiches a certain way ... I was particular about the amount of jelly. I didn't like having too much, or it would soak through the bread, leaving a soggy, sticky mess. I remember seeing other kids' saturated sandwiches, and it made me feel like I needed to wash my hands. Boys had those sandwiches more often than girls. They didn't seem to care, they would just eat them. I remember a lot of us, at least the kids around me, ate Wonder Bread sandwiches.
     I remember liking Wonder Bread. I liked the way it almost melted at the point of contact with my teeth. When I pulled back from the sandwich there was a clean line in the bread where my teeth had been. It looked like a melted piece of nylon rope. I remember the sandwich turning into a blob, disintegrating and dissolving against my tongue and the roof of my mouth. Sometimes the sandwich got stuck to the roof of my mouth. I'd suck up some milk through my straw and the bread would unstick.
     I remember thinking, Wonder Bread is for children. I don't remember my parents, teachers, or any adults eating it. It was bland and seemed to last forever.
     I guess it doesn't last forever. I don't miss Wonder Bread, but I do remember it.


  1. What a fun tribute!

    I remember going to a wonder bread bakery for a field trip once. They gave us little tiny wonder bread loaves that were just so cute, and somehow they tasted better. I've always wished I could find those things again, wondering if I remembered them wrong. Ah well, now I never shall.

  2. Thanks, Jeanna! How cool. Wonder Bread souvenir loaves do/did exist. Here's a picture of an empty bag as proof. :)