Wednesday, June 30, 2021

My Morning in Meats

Yesterday, I wrote this Facebook post:

"And in today's Adventures in Being an Administrator: a man showed up, asked for me by name, and said he was here for the biohazardous waste. We had been expecting a pick up, so I showed him to the storage containers. Later, when he gave me the signed manifest and I put it in the binder, I realized he was from a different company.

There's a logical possibility: we're in the process of changing companies, and he's from the new company.

But because it's South Florida, where things can get strange, my brain blazes with other possibilities. It's too bad that I have no interest in writing a crime novel or a mystery or horror."

I did not record the strange interchange that came next.  I got a phone call from a colleague in Ft. Lauderdale, the man in charge of facilities, in charge of ordering supplies of all sorts, the man with connections to our new owners.  He asked if anyone on our campus was participating in the hot dog eating contest.

I explained that I was a little hazy on the details.  Were we supposed to eat hot dogs and report our time and amount of hot dogs?  Was the school buying the hot dogs?

I didn't ask my larger questions:  who came up with this idea for a school that offers primarily programs in the health care fields?  Who wants to eat hot dogs anyway?

The man asked if I would ask around my campus and see if I could find 2 people who might be interested.  He'd get back to me with details.  I didn't hear from him again yesterday.  

I did, however, have a strangely hilarious conversation with one colleague.  When I said that I had been sent to ask if she was interested in a hot dog eating contest, she gave me an inquisitive look.  We talk of our daydreams of organic tea shops that have delicious scones, not our dreams of barbecues.  She said, "Would it be vegan hot dogs?"

We asked ourselves how we would cook them.  I said that I only liked grilled hot dogs, but I certainly didn't want to be the one grilling hot dogs outside in this heat.  I remembered a hot dog day we did for students, the difficulty of hot dogs in crock pots, the uneasy balance between chilled and scorched.  And oh, the smell, the horrible smell of warm, cheap hot dogs.

I thought of all the people on my campus.  The competition is designed for employees, and not a one of us on my campus has any business eating lots of processed meat.  We are almost all female, almost all of us over the age of 40, many of us with health issues or headed that way . . . of course, that last part could describe almost any adult in the U.S.

Honestly, nobody has any business eating a lot of hot dogs in a short period of time.  Now if we had a watermelon or peach eating contest . . . 

Later, I thought about what a strange morning it was--first the biohazardous waste guy shows up to pick up the rotting corpses of last term (safely stored, according to the law, of course) and later I'm asked about hot dogs and the lack of enthusiasm for a contest to shovel a lot of them down our throats.