Dear Yakima School District:
Your best effort ever, according to my childhood, was the Cheese Zombie. My favorite childhood hot lunch was paired with a reconstituted, milky tomato soup. Thank you, Mom, for making sure that I had a hot lunch ticket on Cheese Zombie days.
Lunch lady. Ordinary. Plump. Hair net meticulously crowned. Drawn eyebrows. Large chest in a below-the-knee cafeteria dress. Varicose veins above sensible shoes. Apron. She is white, of course. 99.5% of the people at my elementary were white. I was barely aware that people came in an amazing array of flavors. White kids. White lunch ladies. White bread.
The Cheese Zombie was steeped in delicious carby, fatty mystery. That singular hybrid of easy starch and fat required less chewing than food ought. Dip that Zombie into sweet, hot tomato soup. For a few moments your childhood troubles melted away.
Worry over lessons. Worry over playground politics. Worry over what you might encounter on the walk home. Worry over what would be at home once you got there. All of it melted away in the gooey, warm, buttery sensation of a Cheese Zombie and tomato soup.
No wonder I have food issues and a love affair with Cheese Zombies. 🙂