The Dreaded Sack Lunch

Tonight my wife, her sister Angie and I were sitting up late, talking about old times and we about busted a gut comparing notes about the way things used to be. I think I have talked about this before on my blog, but I always come back to the sack lunch. Some of you folks can probably relate to this. So you have the sack lunch. You’ve got the dry peanut butter and jelly that has soaked through the bread sandwiches in your little ziploc baggie. You’ve got the sweaty apple that soaks through the bag by lunch time, sometimes falling out. Usually my mom would put in something like “Swiss Cake Rolls” or “Little Debbie” snack cakes. If I was really lucky, I’d get a little baggie of green olives. Of course, by midday, there was condensation on the inside of each little baggie. Before the bag lunches, of course, I had my trusty Dukes of Hazzard lunch box and thermos. That was cool. One time in second or third grade I was riding the bus to school from out in the country where we lived at the time, and I remember our bus driver slamming on the brakes before broadsiding this other car that pulled out in front of it. I remember some kid getting out of the car, running across the street holding his head screaming, a lot of glass on the road, but especially I remember that I smashed my lunch because I was holding it between myself and the seat in front of me. That really bummed me out.

In high school, I think my mom finally wised up that I wouldn’t eat peanut butter and jelly (I do now by the way–love Skippy peanut butter). So she got those little packets of lunch meats from Aldi’s. I would get about one, maybe two thin slices of turkey or ham on a bun, with some lettuce. I really enjoyed it when I got a can of pop to take to school. Now, of course you can’t have carbonated beverages at school. Life really must suck for students today. Honestly. There are so many more rules and regulations imposed upon them than there ever were for us. We have, ironically, become such a legalistic society here.

Another thing I remembered about school growing up was that no one ever carried backpacks (except maybe to school, but once you got to school, you weren’t caught dead carrying a back back). Girls carried their books (even if it was like 10 of them) in front of them on their chests. Guys carried theirs at their side. That’s the way it was. Anyway, it was a fun trip down memory lane tonight.


About Rev. Paul L. Beisel

Graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, IN in 2001 (M Div.) and 2004 (S.T.M.); LC-MS Pastor and Adjunct Instructor for John Wood Community College; Husband of Amy and father of Susan, Elizabeth, Martin, and Theodore.
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3 Responses to The Dreaded Sack Lunch

  1. David says:

    You were lucky to have a “Dukes of Hazzard” lunch box.

    I had a simple red lunch box like you see ironworkers in NYC carrying. You know, the one with the tartan colored Thermos?

    Yeah, I was a total nerd.

    My mom always packed corn chips. Loved ’em. Then there was corned beef or turkey sandwiches. An apple or the occasional Little Debbie snack cake was de rigeur.

  2. Bad Ice says:

    Hey Paul,

    I went to country school…and I kid you not…we killed gophers at recess. We stood around gopher holes with bats and a bucket of water. Dumped the water down the hole and..well, you ever see that gopher game at arcades where you bop the gopher on the head. It was kind of like that.


  3. Luke says:

    Skippy peanut butter? Man, Paul, everyone knows that “choosier moms choose Jif,” just like my own mom.

    Almost always had the brown bag lunch, until public high school, where we had hot lunch. Bag of grapes or an apple and Little Debbie snacks were automatic. No chips: never liked them when they got cold from being next to a juice box or soda can, let alone if they got soggy.

    One year at school, we could use a microwave in the cafeteria. Then we could bring the little cans of Chef-Boy-R-Dee or Hormel entrees for lunch. Now that was high culture living!

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