fiction

Too Much Tuna Fish

Charlie TunaMonday was tuna fish salad on white bread. Tuesday was tuna fish salad on rye. Wednesday was tuna fish salad on a hot dog roll. Thursday was tuna fish salad on whole wheat. Friday was tuna fish salad on a Kaiser roll. Somewhere in there Hellmann’s Sandwich Spread (you know, the one with bits of pickle and pimientos in it) was substituted for regular mayonnaise, but believe me when I tell you, that’s a lot of tuna fish salad in one week.

No tomato, no lettuce. No egg or celery mixed into the salad. Just a can of tuna mixed with mayonnaise (or the aforementioned sandwich spread) on a different type of bread.

Of course my mother loved/loves me. But when it comes to food, she lacks imagination. If you don’t have a passion for food, it’s difficult to be inspired when making school lunches for your children.

There were a few ringers thrown in every now and then to keep me on my toes. There was your classic PB & J made with Skippy Crunchy and Welch’s grape jelly on white bread, and cream cheese and jelly on white bread.

cafeteriaI don’t remember anyone doing lunch trades when I was in high school, and even it they did, who would want to trade for the most pedestrian tuna fish salad imaginable? No one. As I got older, I had enough pocket money to buy a cafeteria lunch, or at least two or three yeast rolls with butter. This was also about the time I discovered Nabs – those peanut butter filled crackers that came in vending machines. They used to be made by Nabisco (maybe that’s why they were called Nabs?) and there was a round cracker with PB or a radioactive orange colored square cheese cracker. Apparently they met all the daily requirements of the food pyramid and you could live on them if a nuclear war destroyed half the planet.

It should come as no surprise that after this forced feeding experience, I didn’t have much passion for food either. Finally, I learned about a rehab program for recovering tuna fish salad prisoners. After a lot of talk therapy, I can actually look at a can of tuna on a grocery store shelf. Soon, I hope to be able to be in a room with someone eating a tuna salad sandwich, although I won’t mind if I am never able to actually eat one myself. Nabs are now made by the Lance snack company and called ToastChee, and I have eaten them recently and vouch for the fact that they still can be eaten after five years as long as you don’t break the cellophane seal.

Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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