Nah, I Think I’ll Just Skip Lunch Today If That’s Okay With You 

When I lived with my brother and his wife when I was seven years old, they lived next door to the elementary school where I was enrolled. Being so close, I came home for lunch every day. And, as part of my daily ‘chores’, it was my job to clear the table, wash and dry the dishes, and put everything away before returning to the classroom.

One fall day, I drew the short straw and arrived home to a lunch of left-overs that I didn’t particularly like [okay, I hated them]. However, my sister-in-law insisted that I clean my plate.

Time-wise, I was under the gun because I still had to clean the table, do the dishes, and get myself back to school within the hour.

Hey, There’s No Need To Cry Over Spoiled Milk

My apologies in advance as I intend no offense to anyone reading this who happens to enjoys soft cheeses, but I need to go on record as saying that I absolutely detest cottage cheese. Ugh!

As long as I am clothed and in my right mind, I never plan to knowingly put anything in my mouth or get anything near my olfactory senses that even resembles cottage cheese. It looks like that disgusting curdled residue that one would find in a baby bottle that’s been left under a car seat for several days in 100+ degree temperatures. Nasty! Nasty! Nasty! Cottage cheese is of the devil, I tell ya!

Speaking Of The Devil

Well, my precious sister-in-law—sporting her perfectly coiffed/heavily lacquered Jackie-Onassis waterhead-hairdo, had put a large dollop of that white lumpy emesis-looking foreign matter on my lunch plate that day.

No matter how hard I tried, I simply could NOT get those repulsive curdles of nastiness down my throat. Nonetheless, I kept trying.

I did my best to try to face the music and be a responsible mini-adult and swallow them anyway. Besides, I was under pressure. The hoity-toity Miss Manners was standing right beside me—tapping her toe impatiently. What was I to do? … I had to get back to school.

I was making great strides in the growing up process—or so I thought. I was well on my way to learning that sometimes it’s best to just lean into things and do what we don’t necessarily want to do.

So, deciding to take the bull by the horns. I had to get that nasty task over with. I took a heroic gulp of air and summoned all my will. I was determined that I was going to quickly swallow that mess of spoiled milk before my taste buds and sense of smell got wind of what I was trying to pull.

 The Best Laid Plans Of Mice & Men …

Epic fail. Rather than ending my dilemma quickly, the offensive concoction triggered the trip wire attached to my overly-sensitive gag reflex. Without my consent and without my knowing, my sensitive alimentary canal proceeded to send my entire lunch back up my throat, suddenly and forcefully vomiting it onto my sister-in-law’s impeccably polished wood floors!

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What happened next was not pretty.

Spare The Rod, Spoil The Child … Er, I Mean Detainee

After I cleaned up my emesis from the floor and finished putting away the dishes, Miss Manners marched me over to the kitchen sink and had me pull down my undergarments. She then bent me over the sink and spanked me severely with a metal spatula on my bare backside.

And not with just any spatula. The metal spatula she spanked me with was the kind with the decorative holes in it—as pictured above. As a result, I went back to school wearing some very painful, red, raised, burning red welts—each in the outline of the flower cutouts in the metal. The welts stayed with me for a number of days before they finally receded and went away.

That was long before tattoos and inking became mainstream. So, in some weird way, I guess I’d be safe to say that I was a trailblazer. I’m pretty sure that no one else in the second grade at Horace Mann Elementary was sporting designer markings like mine that year.

By the way … I did say mention that I HATE cottage cheese, didn’t I? 😝