Wednesday, 4 November 2009

The Lunch Hour

Without a doubt the quickest hour of the working day. What to eat? Where to get it? How much to spend? . . . The possibilities are far from endless and as exciting as watching paint dry . . . in a paint pot . . . with 3D glasses.

There are options, limited ones, but options nonetheless.

If your day’s not too busy you’ve probably been weighing up these options from about 09:15 or so. You’ve just finished a bowl of Kellogg’s Special K (or a real breakfast if you’re one of the few people left not on a diet), and you’re staring at a monitor thinking, ‘what should I have for lunch today?’

It’s quite an important decision as it could affect how your afternoon rounds off. How do I feel? What did I have yesterday? Do I need a shit?

There’s always the safe bet, a sandwich. The marvel we know as sliced bread was created solely for this purpose. I can’t help but drool wondering how large sandwiches were before sliced bread was invented. The good old days when a chicken sandwich may have actually contained whole bones! Now you buy it, you open it and then wallow in self-pity. This is what my life has become, sandwiches on the bench in between the high street’s two longest serving crazies as they argue Brown v Cameron.

…worse still if you’ve been to Subway. Then you feel like a kid in a carnival trying to knock down three cans with one ball.

An alternative is the usually cost effective grease box – not as in soliciting, although there are similarities. Junk food, the nation’s favourite mass pastime after X Factor (there aren’t figures to back that up). It’s cheap, bad for you and ready to go. We feel good whilst eating our oil drenched chips and deep fried jumbo sausages, but the comedown is horrendous and it’s so hard to shake off the shame. Society is filled with wannabe health freaks that couldn’t tell a tomato from a pomegranate. ‘Do you know how many calories are in the chips alone?’ Nope, but I’m guessing not as much as your muffin tops.

Payday, lotto winnings (not enough to quit your job) or a colleague’s birthday can set up the best lunch of all. The sit down meal. We’d all love to eat out of the gold plated trough five days a week – and could probably afford to if we walked 14miles instead of taking the train – but it’s just not feasible. So when the opportunity does arise the concern isn’t why we’re eating out, but where we’re eating.

…’Oh, happy birthday by the way.’

As the month draws to an end and funds begin to run low, out comes the Tupperware. As sure an indicator of poverty as putting £5 worth of fuel in your car . . . and paying with coins . . . lots and lots of coins. Of course some people purposely cook for lunch, their meals contain meat, veg and some sort of side – it’s balanced. However, it’s most likely the dregs of last nights’ meal crammed into a plastic pack and your granary roll isn’t fooling anyone. Once done with the microwave are you greeted with, ‘Hmmm, that smells delicious’ or ‘Erm, that smells in-ter-res-ting?’

Seeing as you can (and most people do) spend most of the day eating at your desk anyway, it’s unlikely that the appeal of the lunch hour is food. We are of course at times hungry enough to eat a horse, though rarely given the opportunity to test the theory. The appeal of the lunch hour is knowing that for at least 60 minutes you’re free from the hassles of your job that make you wonder why you don’t just turn the alarm off each morning and stay in bed instead of pressing snooze. What’s a snooze really, other than a soon be reason as to why you were late and will as a result work through your lunch break?

A to the . . .

1 comment:

James said...

Ping Pong! 7-0 today, and an apple at my desk is good enough for me