When I was young my father often spoke of a place he called “The real world.” It sounded like a horrible place for many reasons: Money apparently did not grow on trees in the real world; shit, of all shapes and sizes, happened on a regular basis; and all of the Chinese people there were planning to eat my lunch.
I know this because my father would tell me nearly ever chance he got, starting in the fourth grade, “You better apply yourself in school or when you get into the real world, the Chinese are going to eat your lunch.”
I was never quite sure why the Chinese wanted to eat my lunch. As far back as I can remember my mother would make me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on whole grain wheat bread. The bread was similar to soil in the Great Plains states after a long drought. It was so dry, in fact, that by the time lunch came around, the bread would absorb all of the jelly and 95 percent of the peanut butter. What I was left with was a sandwich that required a half-gallon of hormone-ridden milk to get down. Throw in some unsalted tortilla chips, an apple, and there you have it- that was my lunch. Continue reading