(Copyright 2000. The Tattoo. All rights reserved.)

The Tattoo

--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---


August 21, 2000

Lunch: the joy of chicken

By Jen Rajotte

The Tattoo

It's lunch time! We all know that lunch is an important event
in any school day, and lunch in high school is no less
important that anywhere else.

To survive lunch at high school, you first have to know when
lunch is.

Each day, there are four "lunch waves" that start too early
and end too late. Depending on your luck, you could end up
eating any time from the morning hours when you're still
mentally in bed or the late afternoon when you feel like your
stomach is ready to strike unless properly fed.

Once you get the proper time and actually find the lunch
room (it's the big room with all the tables in it, in case you
were wondering), you have to decide exactly what it is you
want to eat.

Some people stick with the traditional bag lunch packed with
the sandwich you throw out and the cookies you eat. 

Others opt for the more risky route and purchase a lunch
from the school. In order to do this successfully, you must
have $2.25 and a bizarre fondness of chicken and chicken
products. Chicken nuggets, chicken patties, grilled chicken,
chicken fingers -- if they can put chicken in it, they do.

Occasionally, there'll be an oddity in the menu. Perhaps pizza
or calzones may pop up once in a while, but there's still the
suspicious smell of poultry.

If you decide not to go the full lunch route, there are other

One line specializes in grinders made especially for you. Go
this route and you're treated with the choice of a variety of
meats and cheeses with vegetables, chips, a dessert and milk
for the same price of $2.25.

If this still doesn't tip your boat, you also have the choice of
the pre-made line. This includes random salads and desserts
and even a choice of hot soup for those wintry cold days.

Of course, there are always the people who survive on the
package of four cookies for 75 cents or a bag of chips for 60
cents. Either way, you always have something to eat.

To avoid conflict when choosing a seat, do not head in the
direction of the gray chairs. This section, reserved for seniors,
is exclusive and will only cause disturbances if a freshman
wanders into the sacred territory.

Most freshmen group together the first few weeks and sit at
random tables. Some lunch waves are far more populated
then others, so you may have to race for your preferred seat.

At Bristol Eastern High School, some choose to dine with a
little more style and head out to the picnic tables in
the courtyard when the weather is permitting. This is dining
with style in high school.

Actually eating lunch is easy. Like anywhere else, you sit
and shovel food into your mouth. It can't get much more
simple than that.

Just try to ignore the random people staring at you through
new wall of glass windows while you stuff your face  if you
pretend they aren't there, they'll just go away.

Unlike many elementary and some middle schools, raising
hands and asking for permission to leave your seat is not
necessary. In fact, if someone were to do so, the response
they would get is a laugh in their face. I wouldn't go that
route unless you're looking for a bruised ego instead of

After finishing the meal, many people stay seated and finish
the homework due for the next period that they "forgot" to

Others choose to gather in the surrounding hallways. But
beware --- someone with a walkie-talkie is on guard,
watching to make sure people don't leave earlier than the

When the bell finally does ring, the hallways once again
flood with the bodies of other high school students waiting to

Just remember to take your time. After all, who's in a hurry
to get back to class?