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I traded my lunch on the way to work

Yesterday morning Winter made her fashionably late debut in Ottawa. I slept in because I was awake much of the night, thinking about Paddy. The phone woke me at 7:22: it was Ken offering me a ride to work. I got ready fast, threw some of my leftover homemade pizza in a baggie for lunch, and took Sam out for a quick roll through the park.

Ken had a yogurt container full of his mom’s homemade Irish Stew, which he offered me in exchange for my leftover pizza. We traded.

When I was a kid, my mom made my lunch sandwiches with that wretched meat byproduct loaf with macaroni embedded it it. Nobody would ever trade anything for that, so I’d throw out the byproduct loaf and just eat the bread. Knowing Ken’s mom, I bet she gave him a picnic basket full of homemade goodies every day, leaving him with a very different problem than mine: he would have had many potential trading partners, but since he had the best lunch, he could never trade up.

At any rate, I was pleased with the exchange of pizza for Irish stew, since this was my first lunch trade ever.

Later in the morning I got an email from Homeless Dave X, thanking me for the pizza, but saying he didn’t think his system could handle pizza. Hmmm. So I guess Ken traded my pizza for something from Dave, but what could it be? Dave X pretty much lives on peanut butter sandwiches and lightly freckled bananas, and there’s no way he’d trade those for pizza. Maybe Ken just gave my pizza to Dave X. In that case, what did Ken have for lunch? And what did Dave X do with my pizza? Did he trade it to somebody else for something else? Did it work its way through the homeless population, getting traded for more and more interesting things along the way?

I hope a hungry homeless person ate it and liked it. The Irish Stew was delicious.

P.S. Oh, and here’s a treat for you. I tried to find a photo of the wretched byproduct loaf from my childhood, without actually going out and buying some and taking a picture of it. No luck. But I stumbled across something even more revolting than byproduct loaf, and felt compelled to share it with you. Sorry.


6 comments to I traded my lunch on the way to work

  • David, thanks for looking for my mystery meat – it didn’t come out of a can like your luncheon meat, it came in slices like your olive loaf. But there were pieces of flat macaroni embedded in it – and possibly bits of olive too.

  • Deb

    It is macaroni and cheese loaf and it happens to be Billy’s favorite lunch meat. He was always asking me to buy it.

    Macaroni & Cheese Loaf – Baked – Bulk
    “A blend of beef and pork along with our unique spices to create a base mix. To this mix we add diced cheese and macaroni noodles form it into a loaf, smoke it using natural hardwoods for a unique Koegel taste. This product is a vacuum packed loaf weighing approximately six pounds and is meant for the deli to slice.”
    Ingredients: “Beef and Pork, Water, Pasteurized Process Cheese (Cheddar Cheese (milk, cheese culture, salt, enzymes.), water, sodium phosphate, salt, sorbic acid (preservative), apo-carontenal (color).), Macaroni (semolina, niacin, ferrous sulfate (iron), thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin.), Nonfat Dry Milk, Corn Syrup, Salt, Red Sweet Peppers (bell peppers, water, citric acid.), Spices, Dextrose, Dehydrated Onions, Sodium Erythorbate, Spice Extractives, Garlic Powder, Sodium Nitrite.”

  • Deb, that’s way more than I ever wanted to know about that crap. But I have to say, I wish I’d gone to school with Billy – we could have had a mutually-beneficial lunch-trading arrangement going on.

  • john

    Strangely enough, I was googling to find an example of this culinary treat () when I tripped over your thread.

    Loved that description so much I had to see if there was a better picture of this product’s loveliness.

    Different manufacturer, but here you go…

  • Thanks John…I feel sick now.

    I am curious…what inspired you to google it? Just reminiscing about scary childhood memories?