My Lunch (Quarter of an) Hour

5thAug. × ’09

My contract states that I get a full hour for lunch. Sixty minutes in which to do whatever I choose. If I want to take my lunch to the park and read a book – I can. If I want to go to the gym and take a class that has a martial arts fusion of Thai kick-boxing and jazz tap called ‘gaibo‘ – I can. If I choose to lie next to the train tracks in an opium induced haze after shooting an eight ball of heroin into my eyeball – that too is an option. Instead, I like to cruise the net. And why not? Nothing accompanies last night’s risotto better than vomiting kittens or people injuring themselves with home made fireworks.

The problem with this choice is that sitting at your computer apparently means people can walk up, scrape the lettuce of polite small talk off the conversation sandwich and simply sink their teeth into the ham of annoying questions. There is an unwritten rule of the office that you don’t bother anyone eating at their desk. The sales people that do adhere to this law do so by only the narrowest of margins. They lie in wait, crouched beneath the cubicle walls, ears straining for the signal that the hunt is on. That rallying bugle is the plastic burp of Tupperware closing.

Steve, the sales guy who is either a monstrous prick or suffers from some as yet undiagnosed form of autism, doesn’t feel the need to adhere to this unwritten law. Last Friday Steve approached Mike, my partner in malign, and launched into a number of eye-rolling questions. Mike politely told Steve that he was on his lunch break. Steve apologised and told him that it could wait. By “it could wait” Steve meant “he could wait“. So he sat himself on the edge of Mike’s desk, crossed his arms and watched him eat. There was at least forty minutes left of Mike’s lunch hour and what felt like an entire lifetime of aggressive silence. Mike decided to plough ahead with his lunch, ignoring the sandwich gargoyle perched beside him. Neither was going to back down. It was like a game of chicken where at least one person was trying to actually eat chicken.

Fortunately for Mike, our boss took pity and told Steve not to bother us when we’re eating food. This simple concept gave Mike a seemingly brilliant idea. If he is seen to be eating, he won’t be bothered. Yesterday Mike ate four sandwiches, two large cookies and a number of other mushy meals doled out of Tupperware. It seems to work too. The sales team keep swooping in and pulling out at the last moment. It’s like watching guys in a bar attempt to hit on a girl and suddenly noticing the pillar she’s leaning on has a face, gold chains and a tattoo saying “I want to make rape to you

Sadly, as ingenious as the plan seemed, there was one slight flaw. That being Mike is unable to poo out the contents of his now extended lunch hour at the rate he was ingesting. When I ventured to look over our partition, I was greeted by what could have been the bloated corpse of my colleague after being freshly fished out of a local river. Mike looked as though he was going to talk, but something solid got in the way of his words.

An onomatopoeia, by definition, is a word spelt the same as the way it sounds when spoken aloud. Mike can now be credited with inventing a new term for when a person says the name of an item that is followed out of his mouth by the actual object spoken. In this case it was ‘shit‘.

We’ve called it Vomomatopoeia.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted August 5, 2009 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

    My recommendation – lots of broccoli. It provides gusts of cubicle-clearing wind after lunch.

  2. Posted August 5, 2009 at 4:56 PM | Permalink

    On second thought, get one of those remote-controlled fart machines and tape it under your chair. That works BEFORE lunch too!

  3. windexglow
    Posted August 30, 2009 at 8:23 PM | Permalink

    Is this dead? Used to be something I looked forward to.

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