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Lunchtime. The break of the day. Just the word in itself is relaxing. Filling up that empty pit of a stomach, chatting to friends about nothing too important, all the while building up the courage to face the second half of the day. Heck, I would wager to bet that you’re reading this article during lunchtime.

If I'm right, and you are eating lunch at BHS while reading this, I believe this turns into an interactive column. That's right, interactive! You won't just be forcing your eyes to get to the end of and jump off of each paragraph; you'll actually look up and witness events that this article will predict!

First of all, take your eyes up from the paper and look at the entrance to the regular hot lunch line. This is the door furthest from the tables and chairs. You probably see a big clump of people right in front of the doorway that goes into the actual food-serving room. Why is that clump there? Apparently everyone in line likes seeing other people getting their food. Yeah, it sure is fun to watch the person ahead of you get their chicken sandwich before you get it yourself!

Now move your eyes to that same doorway again, and look at the line of people itself. There are bound to be a few kids just budging in line around there. It's an easy place to jump in, since you just come down the stairs and bing! you're at the front of the line.

My real question is another "why:" why do people budge in line? School is one of the few places in a person's life where it's totally normal to cut in front of other people in line. Think about it; if you're at McDonalds, are you cutting in front of people ahead of you? What about if you're waiting to go to the bathroom? Or how about a line at the movie theater?

Do you really see people just say, "Yoink!" and hop in the middle of the line at these places? No! If one were to do that, the offender would be pleasantly reminded that it's not polite to cut in line, and preferably by the method of a punch to the stomach.

Unfortunately, the same painful reminders of budging in line are not present at school. I suppose this is because all the kids in the school must "know each other," and we all feel it's okay if someone goes in front of us, since we're all really close because we go to the same school! At least, that's what we feel if we're either lower classmen or not as intimidating as the person who budges in front of us.

Now, if I may direct your attention away from the lines, and over towards the tables. Nothing of too much interest here, right? Well... if I were to be predictable, I should've just said, "Wrong!" However, I've gotta admit, there isn't too much going on at the tables. Sure, there are hundreds of conversations all going on about all sorts of different topics. True, there are real-life dramas playing out in some of the people's lives. And yes, there may even be a few people doing a few amazing things. But probably nothing beyond, say, getting a new high score on some game on their graphing calculator, or studying for a test they just remembered they have next period. The biggest job probably resides in the jobs of the cooks. The last time I checked, feeding hundreds of empty-stomached teenagers wasn't an easy task.

Another glance at the lunch tables will obviously show you that we have a lot of kids eating lunch. Since we have such a high concentration of people in the commons area during lunch, it seems that we should do something more with it. Maybe a big mass mind concentration? If we could get everyone to concentrate on, say, all the little salt packets to just burst open, I think we could get it to work. Or at least we could all feel really foolish for listening to me.

Hey, how about entertainment for the lunchroom? Seriously, put up a stage, and some would go up and show off some talent. Several people would want to give a try at stand-up comedy. Even a few brave souls would attempt singing karaoke in front of the lunchroom. I think it would be a good performer-audience relationship, since the entire audience would already have food ready to propel in the general direction of the stage in the case of a very bad performer.

So have you gotten much out of my look at lunchtime? Whether you have or not, you must admit one thing: if you're not sure about your entertaining skills, stay offstage during beef ravioli day...

Questions? Thoughts? Concerns? Dinner and a movie? Contact us.
Karl Becker, the author of all these articles, uses New Tricks for his writings.

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... Lunchtime. The break of the day. Just the wo...

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