Saturday, December 22, 2007

Eau de Sauerkraut

As I was sitting in my office yesterday afternoon, the smell of sauerkraut wafted in. OK, it may not be the worst thing I've ever smelled, but it certainly doesn't smell like Thanksgiving or roses either. Anyway, this stink reminded me of lunchtimes at my first job .....

Years ago when I worked for Pru, there was a woman and her daughter (I'll call them Flo and Helga) who had some odd lunchtime habits. They were both really gross -- always slovenly, ungroomed, and piggish. They were the kind of people who wore dirty sweat pants to work. Anyway, they often brought crabs for lunch. Not crab cakes or something containing picked crab meat -- crabs. They brought newspaper, spread it over a table in the lunch room, and then sat down with their mallets and cracked away. Who the hell eats crabs at work???? Yes, Maryland IS for crabs .... but work isn't. When they weren't eating crabs, Momma Flo would bring a crock pot of chili and plug it in under her desk. She and Helga would scarf the whole thing for lunch. The biggest problem with that was the location of my desk -- it backed up to Momma Flo's. About an hour after lunch ended I can honestly say that sitting behind this woman was the worst spot in the entire building! The back of my head got bomb-blasted every afternoon ... it's a wonder my hair didn't turn green or fall out. In fact, those were the days when we could smoke in the office, and I would suggest she light one up just to "clear" the air of the stench. She usually had one desk fire per week.

There was another lady who worked at Pru that had a lunch-hour pasttime I've never seen before or since. She was a tall portly woman in her late 40s who looked like a cross between Pippi Longstocking and Ronald McDonald. She had bright red fuzzy hair that she wore in braids ... not a french braid or corn rows, but the kind of braids you see on 3 year olds -- one on each side of the head. She always wore a flowy dress that had big flowers on it and a collar that looked like one of my mom's dining room table cloths. Anyway, she'd eat her lunch, then put on her roller skates and skate around the parking lot in circles for the balance of her lunch hour.

I miss the crazy lunchtimes at Pru. The stinky smell today made me wonder if Flo and Helga found their way to Philly. I doubt it ... hope not ... I don't really miss them that much.


Los said...

One time down in Brigantine, Davers and I decided we'd go to the Casinos to make some extra money to rent a boat to fish ... Davers had this "Can't lose" plan - we lost all our money in about 1/2 hour. The next day, Davers got macroni salad and a hoagie from Wawa, and made a macaroni salad hoagie for lunch ... quite disgusting.

Lisa said...

Los -- I'm surprised it didn't end up in the carpet with the corn chowder! ew!