Charlie Hatton About This
About Me
Email Me

Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

All Quotes


Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

What Can Brown-Bag Do for You?

I thought I had all my tough problems in life whittled down to avoiding the ‘Big Five’.

(The Big Five is what I collectively call the handful of deterrents of any real significance to me any more. I figured if I just managed to keep myself from getting fired, divorced, arrested, injured or dead, everything else would pretty much work itself out.)

I was wrong. I forgot about bag lunches.

“Anything I prepare should be two-bagged, at least, to hide its shame from polite society, deep-fried in a desperate attempt to salvage some hint of flavor, and only eaten in the dark. Or preferably, not at all.”

Actually, I nearly completely forgot about bag lunches. It’s been twenty years since I packed myself a homemade lunch. It’s not that I’m ‘too good’ for a brown sack meal. I’m just awful at making food. Anything I prepare should be two-bagged, at least, to hide its shame from polite society, deep-fried in a desperate attempt to salvage some hint of flavor, and only eaten in the dark. Or preferably, not at all.

And why would I do that to myself at lunchtime? Eating lunch in the office isn’t depressing enough without poisoning myself, to boot? Why don’t I just slam my arm in a car door and call it dessert?

So, I don’t do bag lunches. I’ll eat at a food court, or off a food truck, or from the food floor before I subject myself to my own brown-bagged culinary misdeeds. Most of the bag lunches I’ve ever had were made by my mom, back when I was in grade school — right before I graduated to my SpiderMan lunchbox. And that’s how I planned to keep it.


Today I attended an event. It’s not important what sort of event — you fill in whatever you want it to have been. A party, a class, an intervention, a kidnapping, an orgy, court-appointed community service — hell, make it a combination of all of those, if you like. And you can figure out what the hell that would look like. Choose your own adventure, kids. Imagination is fun.

The important thing is that this event lasted most of the morning today, and into the afternoon. And the instructions — or invitation or syllabus or label on the fuzzy handcuffs, whichever you like — plainly said:

Bring a bag lunch.

Damn. There goes another streak out the window. This is “never licked a flagpole in winter” all over again.

More important, I soon realized, is that it’s been so long, I don’t really know how to pack a bag lunch. Not for an adult, anyway. The last bag lunches I can remember, from way back in the Cenezoic Era, were when I was eight or ten years old. I mean, back then I was eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with my sippy cup milk and blister packs of banana pudding. I had to think hard about how to translate that into something that a mature adult in big-boy pants might eat — especially in front of a group of gathered strangers / fellow students / hookers / concerned friends / desperate felons.

I mean, I had to think really hard.

Really, really hard.


So there I am this morning, making my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and pouring milk into my sippy cup and wondering whether anyone even makes banana pudding any more. Or whether I should go without dessert — or pack a beer instead.

I went with just a plain old banana. From what I remembered, I used to drop those damned bag lunches fourteen times before second period. So the banana would basically be pudding, by the time I got around to eating it.

Of course, the cliche third grader Smuckers ‘n’ Jif fare would have been bad enough — if only I’d stopped there. But Mom’s bag lunches always came with a little note stuffed inside. I just thought that was part of the deal. And my wife was already up and out of the house. So I wrote my own note. To myself. In my brown bag lunch.

Only, I didn’t know what to write. Mom’s little notes were always fun to find, with her sweet words of encouragement, like:

You can do it, my special little man!‘ or

Go get ’em, kiddo!‘ or

If you half-ass another Social Studies test, mister, then so help me god don’t even bother coming home.

(It’s possible Dad snuck the occasional message in the bag on his way to work. Either that, or Mom’s PMS was way more of a problem than I remember.)

None of that really seemed to fit my situation today, but I still wanted to send lunchtime-me a little pick-me-up, in case I needed a verbal pat on the back. And a lot could happen in those next few morning hours. Quite a lot. Could be a real circus, depending on what wacky trip you people sent me on up there. So I offered myself the most helpful catch-all I could think of:

Hope you’ve still got clean underpants!

It seemed fitting. And it was the least I could do, after bagging a lunch built for a nine-year-old.

Though I have to admit — the sandwiches were delicious. And as far as I could tell, I did still have clean underpants at lunchtime. That note was pretty helpful, after all.

Maybe I should rethink this whole bag lunch strategy. Next time I have a Saturday seminar / day trip / stakeout / golf outing / hostage situation, I am totally whipping up the PB & Js. Thanks, me-Mom!

Permalink  |  No Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HomeAboutArchiveBestShopEmail © 2003-15 Charlie Hatton All Rights Reserved
Me on Film 'n' Stage:
  Drinkstorm Studios

Me on Science (silly):
  Secondhand SCIENCE

Me on Science (real):
  Meta Science News

Me on ZuG (RIP):
  Zolton's FB Pranks
  Zolton Does Amazon

Favorite Posts:
30 Facts: Alton Brown
A Commute Dreary
A Hallmark Moment
Blue's Clues Explained
Eight Your 5-Hole?
El Classo de Espanol
Good News for Goofballs
Grammar, Charlie-Style
Grammar, Revisitated
How I Feel About Hippos
How I Feel About Pinatas
How I Feel About Pirates
Life Is Like...
Life Is Also Like...
Smartass 101
Twelve Simple Rules
Unreal Reality Shows
V-Day for Dummies
Wheel of Misfortune
Zolton, Interview Demon

Me, Elsewhere

Standup Comedy Clips

Selected Clips:
  09/10/05: Com. Studio
  04/30/05: Goodfellaz
  04/09/05: Com. Studio
  01/28/05: Com. Studio
  12/11/04: Emerald Isle
  09/06/04: Connection

Boston Comedy Clubs

 My 100 Things Posts

Selected Things:
  #6: My Stitches
  #7: My Name
  #11: My Spelling Bee
  #35: My Spring Break
  #36: My Skydives
  #53: My Memory
  #55: My Quote
  #78: My Pencil
  #91: My Family
  #100: My Poor Knee

More Features:

List of Lists
33 Faces of Me
Punchline Fever
Simpsons Quotes
Quantum Terminology

...Bleeding Obvious
By Ken Levine
Defective Yeti
Divorced Dad of Two
Gallivanting Monkey
Junk Drawer
Life... Weirder
Little. Red. Boat.
Mighty Geek
Scott's Tip of the Day
Something Authorly
Unlikely Explanations

Full Archive

Category Archives:

(Stupid) Computers
A Doofus Is Me
Articles 'n' Zines
Audience Participation
Awkward Conversations
Bits About Blogging
Bitter Old Man Rants
Blasts from My Past
Cars 'n' Drivers
Dog Drivel
Foodstuff Fluff
Fun with Words!
Grooming Gaffes
Just Life
Loopy Lists
Making Fun of Jerks
Marketing Weenies
Married and a Moron
Miscellaneous Nonsense
Potty Talk / Yes, I'm a Pig
Sleep, and Lack Thereof
Tales from the Stage
Tasty Beverages
The Happy Homeowner
TV & Movies & Games, O My!
Vacations 'n' Holidays
Weird for the Sake of Weird
Whither the Weather
Wicked Pissah Bahstan
Wide World o' Sports
Work, Work, Work

Alas Smith and Jones
Berkeley Breathed
Bill Hicks
Dave Barry
Dexter's Laboratory
Douglas Adams
Evening at the Improv
Fawlty Towers
George Alec Effinger
Jake Johannsen
Married... With Children
Monty Python
Nick Bakay
Peter King
Ren and Stimpy
Rob Neyer
Sluggy Freelance
The Simpsons
The State

Plugs, Shameless
100 Best Humor Blogs | Healthy Moms Magazine



Feeds and More
Subscribe via FeedBurner


RSS 2.0
Site Hosting:
Solid Solutions

Powered by:

Title Banner Photo:
Shirley Harshenin

Creative Commons License
  This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License

Performancing Metrics

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Valid XHTML 1.0

Valid CSS!

© 2003-15 Charlie Hatton
All Rights Reserved