Lunch Shaped Box

Hey, wait, I got a new complaint… I’m sorry, I just had to put that in.

It’s been a while since I last ate off a lunch box was a full decade ago.  Back when the portrait of Erap Estrada hung at the front wall of I-Gardenia, we all had to eat some form of packed lunch.  “Lunch” is too heavily loaded with gourmet connotations; I don’t care how much your mother loves you, but she won’t slave over a hot stove at 3 in the morning preparing cordon bleu. Lunch, for many students, involves some form of torta:

  • Tortang talong
  • Tortang Ma-Ling
  • Tortang corned beef
  • Tortang giniling
  • Tortang hotdog

Under threat of being taunted as the child of a pauper, you’d disguise this unappealing hunk of fried egg on top of a block of cold rice to be something more gourmet, something more sosy that would appeal to your desire to be friends with your wealthy classmates.  The word is, of course, “omelette.”  Tortang talong becomes an “aubergine omelette,” which it’s not.  Ma-Ling, whether made with the flesh of pigs or chickens or horses or rats, would be made much more “class” if you called it “SPAM” or “Hormel.”  It’s either you throw your lunch away at the trash can, give it away to some poor wretch on the streets.  Or you explain your predicament to your mom, who spent 10 minutes slaving at the stove preparing your lunch.

I felt the same way with Nutribun when I was a kid.  Apparently, a moron decided that a potato-flavored bun can add some weight on your bones.  I don’t know about the next kid who had a Nutribun, but I have nothing to remember it buy except a bad taste in my mouth.  Worse is when you have to take a Nutribun and two glasses of Sustagen from the two giant plastic-faced mascots of Susie and Gino.

I was reading last week’s papers when I came across a news item where, in a conference in Baguio sponsored by Innabuyog-Gabriela, mothers in Abra and Kalinga are complaining about the unpalatable nutritional monstrosity called the “Vitameal.”  Vitameal is apparently a nutritional supplement/cereal drink made from healthy nutritious legumes.  Mothers and teachers are all up in arms over this more nutritious alternative to Yakult.

In case you don’t know what legumes are, think of beans.  Think of a cereal drink made of beans.  You think Marian Rivera will still be “byoo-ti-pul” after drinking that?

Which is why I like to add “nutrition” to my growing list of advocacies, if only because I grew so concerned about my back pain being related to an extra pound I carry as a paunch.  I’m gonna go lie down.

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