A lesson from the lunch ladies

My friend Michael was bigger than life in sixth grade.  He was flamboyant, odd (by 6th grade standards) and had a wicked sense of humor.  Every month or two, Michael would ask the kids sitting next to him at the lunch table to pass down their trays.  He would pour all of the uneaten food onto his plate, stir it up until it was a corn, cutlet, mashed potato slurpee and then go stand in line to turn in his tray to the lunch ladies.    These hair-netted women had the distinct pleasure of disposing of our trash and putting the utensils and plates in the dishwasher.  Right about the time that Michael reached the front of the line he would lean forward into his plate and make the universal puking sound.  The corn, cutlet, mashed potato combo along with Michael’s retching threw us into hysterics, but must have been repulsive to the lunch ladies.  Until one day when the lunch ladies had their revenge.  Finally one of them figured out what he was doing and made him sit down at the table and eat everything on his plate.  In true Michael fashion, he did just that.  He sat down, put a napkin in his lap and began eating.  He didn’t cry.  He didn’t whine.  He didn’t throw a fit.  Instead, as he ate, we heard him say “Oh, my, this is delicious” and “Do you have any more in the back?”  What’s the lesson?  Don’t take crap from anyone.  And, if you do something wrong, accept your punishment and move on.   Michael had to eat crow — but he made us think he enjoyed it.

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