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The Lunch Shovel

October 26, 2010

You might not know it, but this is a shovel. It loads up with food and then shovels it in. Usually, I reserve “shovel” in the verb form for delicious things. Things so tasty I can’t get them into my face fast enough unless I activate Shovel Action. Things like this, for instance:

Or this (it’s a waffle ice cream sandwich after all, served at the peak of summer in a crowded carnival surrounded by steamy air and smoking-hot pavement, it’s a race against melting, and nothing short of shoveling will do):

This needs to be shoveled (before the sprig of smoking thyme is extinguished by the ice):

…and this does, too (before someone spies you eating Elizabeth Quijada’s lemon curd shortbread in a secluded grove of Tompkins Square Park, notes you have removed your shoes for added comfort, and rolls you for your treat:

I use my shoveling powers for good (cramming in treats, cramming in my morning latté, cramming in something that is just so fucking great it makes me too impatient to take it slow). There is a time to savour, and there is a time to shovel.

I resist using my shoveling powers for evil (eating while walking, eating while talking, eating while commuting, eating while focused on something that makes me impatient about eating and eager to save time). But today, after a hurried morning and a hectic meeting and a harried schedule that stretched hours too long into the afternoon with no downtime, I used my shoveling powers for the worst thing of all:

Yes. I shoveled my lunch into my mouth while bent over a case file, while typing with one hand, swapping emails and making last-minute revisions, and when I needed to pick something up and my fingers were greasy, I wiped them on the underside of my chair. Then, I removed the shovel attachment from my arm, screwed on the sweeper brush, swept the crumbs from my skirt and swept a bit of pesto-stained crust from my shoe, then headed to another meeting. That poor slice of leftover tomato tart barely touched down in my belly before I took off.

So disgusting, wasting a portion of this by engaging in some hasty workplace shoveling! Oh, the shame…

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