Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Hooplah: Breakfast Thoughts 3 - Return of the Bagel

It was with much dismay that I found out I had diabetes, but that subtle bitterness was tempered by the knowledge that I did not have muscular dystrophy (thank you, Wikipedia, for scaring the crap out me with that diagnosis...).

Before March 07 (from maybe August 06), I had been enjoying the caloric intake of a team of marathon runners. My co-workers added up calories an average day, when I had a sandwich for lunch and not something deep-fried or drizzled in cheese or both; the number was well past 5,000. Yet I was losing weight.

Oh, diabetes, you tricksy devil.

But the point is, I was able to have huge breakfasts back then - several breakfast sandwiches, big omelettes and toast and bacon, and the old reliable couple of bagels liberally spread with regular cream cheese. Man! And what luck that I had a cafeteria with enormous, fluffy-on-the-inside/just-firm-enough-on-the-outside bagels. Manna from heaven, or somesuch.

Alas for a good'll come to an end, too. After the...Diagnosis, I switched to foods less loaded with carbs, but kept bagels in the "special occasion" rotation, for the day I absolutely had to have something other than wheat toast and turkey sausage .

Lo, calamity struck once again!

Though I may live to a century or more, I will never understand the cafeteria on the 30th floor of my building. In their infinite wisdom, they choose the weirdest foods for the specialty table (yeah, I really want my international dining experience to be...Israel?), and often items of so-so quality. It was the latter that ruined my dining experience one morning. They put a lot of thought into their menu selections, which puzzles me even more. I know they don't just ask the help what they'd like to eat (though we do have "south of the border"-infused selections far more often than you'd think; and yes, I mean Mexican. Did you know they work in buildings now?), nor do they poll the mentally-challenged. No one likes breakfasts where the menu has to describe in excruciating detail that the meat-like substance in the egg hash isn't meat, but isn't tofu or soy-product, rather made of some other commodity that they swear is edible! And it's got a Spanish-sounding name!

I digress.

The new bagels they put out were made of plastic. Hard and shiny industrial Chinese-grade plastic. It's because of my love for foods I shouldn't have that I put a card in the suggestion box. How often do you see these things taken seriously? Not very, I thought. For a while I didn't even know where the box and cards were, though I did see posted suggestions from colleagues on a big board by the registers. Usually, there are two or three items per card, and one bubbly answer about how the second one (more napkins) is possibly by the others (hygenic workers and a friendly staff) aren't within their power.

But a few weeks ago, I saw the note I'd written posted on the "suggestions accomplished" board and noticed the next morning that they'd returned to the old bagel vendor. Big, soft real bagels again...and they added asiago cheese as a variety, so I got that going for me. I've been bold since then, requesting - almost demanding, in my horrible chicken-scratch penmanship - more diet fountain drinks for diabetics...because we're people, too.

And we carry needles.


Not really that exciting, was it? I sort of rambled on about bagels and diabetes for a few hundred words before an expected ending. Who didn't see that coming, the predicted victory over the modern day lunchroom bully, the corporate foodstuff requisitioner? You in the back? Well, you suck.


Joke of the Day

Q: What is the hardest part about roller-blading with your shirt off?

A: (highlight to read) Telling your parents you're gay.

(Special thanks to Kevin J. Smith for that one, from his personal stock.)


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