So I sit down with some of my 6th graders, and someone doesn’t want their lunch. At this point, there’s a bun with ham and a box of raisins on the tray. I take the tray to the condiment bar and they give me some cheese and some grapes (the original owner of the tray ate the grapes) and I serve myself some mustard and some pickles. I return to the table and eat the sandwich, which is actually quite delicious. (The kids ate more of the sandwiches than I’ve seen them eat anything else since I started observing.)

Well, the cafeteria manager comes over and says that since I did not pay the requisite $2.50 for my lunch, I was not entitled to visit the Salad Bar, and she’d hate to have to have her supervisor call me. My weak protest: “But it was going into the trash...” Her reply: “It’s not for the adults. I don’t want to have to get my supervisor to call you.”

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So my next attempt at rocking the boat will be to pay the $2.50, but decline the tray, then go and eat a lunch that’s about to be discarded. I’m tellin’ you, these lunch ladies are tough customers. I’ll probably wind up getting yelled at. Again. Then fired.

But lunch was good today.