I have a tendency to throw food when I’m angry. It isn’t a conscious thing, I swear. (well, once it was, but I’m getting to that) And I believe I’ve been able to supress the urge for years now, but in my younger days, you did not want to piss me off if there was food near.
It really started in elementary school. My lunch table was positioned such that people going to dump their trash had to walk right past me. As a group of younger kids paraded toward the trash cans, I carelessly tossed a receipt over my shoulder and, in a rare display of athletic prowess, managed to slam dunk it into a bowl of tomato soup that one of them was preparing to dump. Now, bear in mind, this kid was in line to throw this soup away, so you would think he would just ignore that my receipt landed on his tray. Oh, but no. He picked the tomato-soup soaked receipt out and threw it back at me. And it landed on my shoulder. On my new WHITE sweater. My new WHITE SHAKER KNIT sweater.
Oh hell no.
I stood up and dumped the remaining tomato soup from his tray right over his head. A teacher whisked us both off to the principal’s office, refusing the poor soup-soaked kid a towel because she wanted the principal to “see what I had done.” Well we get there and the principal himself is at lunch. So we waited, for nearly an hour, the tomato soup slowly clotting on his face, hair and neck. I got “written up” and my mother was called in–big trouble for an elementary student, but the enjoyment of seeing that little punk with soup all over his face for an hour was SOOOOO worth it!
It continued in junior high. I was somehow wrangled into going to the homecoming football game. Now, I am not a sports fan, but at least I understand baseball and basketball enough to appreciate what’s happening out there. Football is another thing. The only way I know what is going on is by waiting to see which side of the stadium screams. So, I’m a bit out of my element at a football game anyway.
So I get there, and my best bud and I take a seat in the stands. I don’t know how soon after we got there that it started, but some eighth grade bitch behind me decided to start some shit with me. Bear in mind, I grew up in the coalfields of West Virginia, where anyone who knew proper English, and dared to speak it, was automatically “uppity.” Add to it that I did not fit the typical description of what a man should be–I didn’t hunt, I didn’t fish, I didn’t care for the Toughman Contest, and, as I’ve already pointed out, I knew nothing about football. I gave myself a third strike that night by wearing a natty coral colored oxford with charcoal stripes. So, there I was, an uppity girly man in a pink shirt, attempting to glean some enjoyment from an event I couldn’t possibly have cared less about.
“If I were gay, I wouldn’t advertise it by wearing a pink shirt.” so began the eighth grade bitch’s evening of insults. I resisted the urge to explain the difference between coral and pink, but since she was still wearing a 9-inch poof of bangs held up by Aqua Net, I figured the distinction would be lost on her. She continued with her lame attempts at insulting me, and I did my level best to ignore it. Junior high is a brutal time, and I had endured worse, and certainly wittier, insults. But S, the friend who had dragged me along to the football game, asked if I was going to put up with her mouth.
Well, of course I wasn’t. Certainly not from some big haired bimbo whose father spent his days selling polyester sectionals and overstuffed recliners. So we went to the concession stand. I ordered a chili dog, loaded it up with mustard and ketchup, and as we walked back to our seats, I told S: “Let her say something else…”
We took our seats, and sure enough, she started in.
“Its not a cookie, mother, it’s a fruit newton!” she quipped in her best hillbilly British accent. It was a double zinger! She managed, in one sentence, to not only get the “fruit” part in, but made a lame dig at how I talked.
S turned and said, “Why don’t you say it to his face?”
So I turned around, and she did. “It’s not a cookie, mother, its a fruit newton!”
I was enraged.
“Wrong, bitch.” I said, winding my arm back, “It’s a chili dog.” And I let her have it, right up side the head. As mustard rolled down her face, and chunks of processed chili settled into her gravity defying bangs, I walked away. She followed me out of the stands, tapped me on the shoulder, and when I turned around, the chili faced little bitch had the nerve to push me.
Oh hell no.
So I grabbed the clean side of her hair and pulled her head down and bitch slapped her. She reached up, with her scraggly unpolished fingers, and sunk her nails into my neck. We both got three days suspension. But it was so worth it.
My food throwing ways took a hiatus in high school, only to re-emerge once I was in college. One summer, the whole family caravanned in two cars down to the beach. My brother and a friend of his rode with me, while Dad, stepmom, and the littlest brother rode in Dad’s big SUV. I wisely insisted that my passengers put their luggage on dad’s roof rack, as I am fairly certain they had packed a few things that were illegal to transport across state lines. The week at the beach was fairly uneventful. (Drunken skinny dipping and finding a bag of discarded “shrooms” aside) It was on the way home when things got interesting.
We decided on a quick lunch as we left the island, hoping to make it home at a reasonable hour. Dad handed me a few twenties and the list of what those in his car wanted, and I went through the drive through at a Checkers. I placed the rather lengthy order and pulled alongside dad in the parking lot. The three of us in my car took out our food, started eating, and passed the rest to dad’s car. I was a few bites into my chicken sandwich when dad said “Hey, we’re missing a hot dog, do you all have an extra one in there?”
Well, we didn’t. So I dug the receipt out of the bag, realized we had indeed been shorted a dog, and walked up to the order window, still clutching my half eaten chicken sandwich.
“Hi” I told the young woman who offered to help, “We just came through the drive through, and we’re one hot dog short.” I offered the receipt.
“You wanna nutha one?” she said.
“Yes, we ordered three, but there were only two in the bag.”
“No, no. We paid for three, here’s the receipt, but we only got two.” She took the receipt.
“Well if iss ona receipt it was inna bag”
“No, it wasn’t. I mean, we ordered about $40 worth of stuff, I can see how something might have been left out.”
“Well I cant juss give ya one for free”
“I don’t expect you to, but I do expect to get what I paid for.”
“You got everything you paid for.”
“You know, is there a manager I can speak to?”
She rolled her eyes and sauntered, at a snail’s pace, back toward the kitchen. “This man wanna speak to you” I heard her mutter.
And then came the manager. A tall black woman, 350 pounds if she weighed an ounce, came over to the window. Her hair, an unusual, multi-colored topiary that looked like it had been made of free “weave” samples. She set her hand on the counter…unfurling her 18 inch long turquoise finger nails.
“I hep you?” she asked.
I gave her the cliffs notes version of our missing hot dog.
“If its onya bill, you got it, cause we check it against that when we pack the bags.”
Again, I explained that it had been a very large order, and that it would be easy to make a mistake.
“Sir, we has a system, we don’t make mistakes.” Another look at her hairstyle and her serpentine fingernails revealed that to be a lie, but I let it go. At this point, I was pretty pissed.
“Ma’am, look, I just need another hot dog.”
“Well you aint gettin it unless you pay for it.”
“Ive already paid for it once.”
“No you didnt, now if you wanna pay for one, I get it. If not, move over so we can help these other customers.” A small line had formed behind me, which she gestured to with a wave of her ghetto fabulous manicure.
“Lady, are you calling me a liar? Because if I wanted to ‘take’ you for something free, I think I’d shoot a little higher than a 99 cent hot dog.”
She put a hand on her rather ample hip….turquise fingernails stretching toward her knee. “Do you want it or not?” and then…she rolled her eyes, and I was done.
“No, bitch, I don’t want it.”
“What did you say to me?” The other hand went up. I swear her fingernails hit the ceiling.
“I said, I don’t want your damn hot dog, bitch.” and then I remembered, there in my hand, was the half eaten chicken sandwich, and before I could help myself, it happened. I pulled the bun apart, and shouted, “And I don’t want this EITHER!” And I threw the whole thing across the counter, mayonnaise side first. She was helpless to dodge it. Her shear size made her an impossibly easy target. Her hands had been rendered useless by the fingernails, so my chicken sandwich landed directly below her breasts and adhered to her loudly printed top. The top of the bun smacked her FUPA and bounced off into the floor. I turned and left, as the crowd behind me laughed and the manager shouted obscenities.
So I ended up making the drive home with no more sustinence than a few bites of the ill fated chicken sandwich, but the look on her face as the chicken patty landed was so worth it!