Bagging the early lunch

I WILL always be grateful to the Crayola Company. They helped me overcome a major problem. They cured me of eating my lunch before school started. Every morning with surprising consistency, I'd get on the bus, go to the very back, scrunch down in my seat, and guiltily devour my apple and sandwich. Amazingly, I did leave the napkin and bag for later. Not to give the wrong impression, those lunches were hardly appealing. Whipped off on the morning's production line they consisted of the thinnest smear of peanut butter under a congealed lump of jelly between two pieces of wheat bread. Occasionally, lest I forget to appreciate even that, I'd be surprised by a sandwich made of two pieces of bread, and nothing inside. Needless to say, these were the cause of much peer teasing.

I justified this bizarre ritual by arguing (to no one but myself, of course) that I was merely denying the apple the time needed to crush the sandwich, and the sandwich the pleasure of getting soggy. But it took a great deal of work to hide its negative side effect. It meant a six-hour wait before the next meal came around, and that's not easy when you're a starving teen-ager.

On one particular morning, though, I got on the bus oblivious to the abnormal weight and overused appearance of the bag swinging in my hand. Slumped in my seat, I opened my lunch. To my utter dismay, a pile of dirty crayons stared back at me. I had grabbed my little sister's art supplies in my rush to get out the door!

Mortified, I scrunched even further down in my seat. Then the situation's absurdity hit me. I could picture my sister trying to draw with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. I laughed hysterically for about five minutes. And that was the end of those bus-ride lunches. Although I never could admit to such an undignified habit, I continue to chuckle long and hard over its circumstance of reform.

Perhaps Crayola has done more for me than I thought, because now I can even wait until 1:00 before lunching. But whenever I see a box of those beloved crayons, my heart warms to the memory of that juvenile affliction, and my unusual salvation.

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