The Cold Roast Beef Sandwich

The cold roast beef sandwich might be popular with some, but not with this girl.  This sandwich often made its way into my “Welcome Back Kotter” metal lunch pail.  My dear mother was a good steward of every bit of food in the refrigerator.  Spying last nights roast beef, she lovingly made me a sandwich and put it in my lunch pail.  This sandwich started out cold, but then slowly from 7:30 am on, made it’s way up to room temperature. And room temperature roast beef is just gross.  What child in their right mind wants to eat room temperature roast beef?  I sure didn’t!

I remember sitting at my desk and opening my lunch pail.  Dejected, I stared at the roast beef sandwich.  Waves of nausea began as I smelled the bread, Miracle Whip, and room temperature roast beef mingling together.  I would quickly grab the plastic wrapped offender and walk it to the garage and discretely dispose of it.  This routine went on for a month until my teacher caught on.   Mrs. Dykstra told me I couldn’t throw the sandwich into the garbage.  She also told me that I needed to eat the sandwich. RATS!  Needing to come up with some other plan to get rid of the warm roast beef sandwich, I quickly drank my thermos of milk and hid the sandwich inside.  There… my teacher was none the wiser.  But now, how to get rid of this sandwich between school and home?  Hmmm…..

Plan your work and work your plan

Photo Credit mp1746

Riding home on the bus, I knew I had to think of a way to get rid of that sandwich.  I could not bring it home for fear I would HAVE to eat it as punishment for NOT eating it at lunch.  This can not happen!

As the bus rolled closer to home my mind went over the options.  This required a certain level of thinking that perhaps my yet growing brain was incapable of, but looking back now I think it was logic genius.   The bus rolled up to the four corners in town and the white metal trash can by the grocery store caught my eye.  Yes!  That’s it!  I will put the sandwich in that trash can.

Getting off the bus and I ran ahead of everyone to make sure nobody would see me get rid of the sandwich.  Grabbing my sandwich from the lunch pail, I pushed my hand against the trash can door and pushed.  Then suddenly the store owner appeared and she scolded me and told me that I can’t throw good food away.  Good grief!  Can’t a kid catch a break?  First, it was my teacher and now the grocer.  Feeling defeat, I politely took the almost freed sandwich, apologized and started for home.

All is not lost

Photo Credit Pexels

Slowly I approached home.  Taking a last glance at the house next to the store I saw a rabbit hiding under the evergreen bushes.  I loved animals, so I walked over to see how close I could get to the rabbit.  As I took my last step the rabbit shot out from underneath the bush and ran off.  Then, like lightning bolts from heaven, an idea came to mind.  Winter is coming, so why not throw this rabbit an occasional sandwich? Makes sense.  So carefully I lifted a limb of the evergreen bush and threw the sandwich in, bag and all.  Done!  I get rid of the sandwich and the rabbit will have extra food. Brilliant!

So not what I had planned

My plan seemed flawless.  Weeks and months went by.  Roast beef sandwich after sandwich made its way into the bush. Easily reaching numbers in the twenties. So simple and convenient.  I  sure hoped the rabbit was enjoying the sandwich.  Maybe I should have asked the rabbit if it wanted mustard on the sandwiches?

Fall turned to Winter, and Winter turned to Spring.  Spring means clean up from winter, and that is where my plan began to show its flaws.  One warm spring afternoon I was merrily walking home past the house where I disposed of the sandwiches.  Mrs. Tillema was outside with her rake and a garbage can.  There next to the rake was a pile. A pile of plastic-wrapped roast beef sandwiches!  BUSTED!  A criminal always returns to the scene of the crime.  My feet could not move fast enough.

Know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em

Once home and into the house my mom asked me how school was.  I said it was fine.  Then she asked me if I liked what was in my lunch.  I said that I did.  Then she got right to the point.  “Mrs. Tillema called earlier today and said she had over twenty roast beef sandwiches in her evergreens. Would you know anything about sandwiches being in her evergreens?”  Silence.  I was paralyzed.  I could not think of anything to say to redeem myself.  “Well,” she said, ” I hope Mrs. Tillema won’t find any more sandwiches in her evergreen brushes.”  I just nodded in definite agreement.  Never again did a cold roast beef sandwich grace my lunch pail.

Years later, my mother asked me if I remembered throwing sandwiches into Mrs. Tillema’s evergreens.  We both laughed as she told me how Mrs. Tillema phoned her to come over and look at something, only to be shown a pile of roast beef sandwiches way past their prime.  Together they surmised it had to be me.

Hope that tickled your funny bone!  Wishing you all a wonderful table of family, friends, food, faith and most of all THANKFULNESS. I know I won’t be serving roast beef! Happy Thanksgiving!

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