My Lovely Wife and I had a conversation about a turkey sandwich the other day.
Our Daughter had to stay after school for marching band practice and we were debating whether to pack her a turkey sandwich for lunch and a peanut butter sandwich for dinner, or peanut butter for lunch and turkey for dinner. Our daughter wanted the latter, but it caused My Lovely Wife some concern.
She was afraid, you see, of what might happen to that turkey sandwich as it sat all day in Senor Awesome's car in the 85-degree North Carolina sunshine. The fact it would be stored in a cooler with an ice pack didn't make her any happier.
By My Lovely Wife's way of thinking, somewhere between noon and 6:00pm, that innocent turkey and cheese sandwich could transform into a ZipLock bag full of raging salmonella capable of causing explosive diarhea, projectile vomiting, internal bleeding, collapsed lung, shingles, and twelve other symptoms never before documented by the Center for Disease Control.
I foolishly thought it would be okay. After all, when I was her age we didn't worry so much about these things.
I can't begin to count the times my tuna fish sandwich -- wrapped in wax paper and placed lovingly in a brown paper bag by my Mother -- would sit in my non-temperature-controlled high school locker until lunch time rolled around. By then, you could smell the mayonnaise halfway down the hallway and it had soaked through both layers of paper and greased up the cover of my social studies textbook. I could have sworn off tuna fish for the rest of my life, but my textbooks, notebooks, jackets and gym clothes would continue to carry that lingering Chicken of the Sea odor for the rest of the school year.
That's just the way it was. If you brought your lunch to school you ended up eating a room temperature sandwich, regardless of how much dairy product or meat or seafood went into the making of it. Tuna, bologna, peanut butter, cheese -- we didn't worry about food poisoning. We simply unwrapped it and ate it. Had we known to be more worried about contaminated food, it's very likely I would have tried faking a bout of E. Coli or campylobacter to go home early on days when there was a math test scheduled.
So, it isn't that I don't love Our Daughter. It isn't that I don't want to keep her protected from random food borne illnesses. It's just that I have a difficult time believing two slices of Boars Head smoked turkey breast and one slice of picante provolone sitting for a day in an insulated cooler with an ice pack the size of a brick could pose her any danger.
Under those conditions, my tuna fish sandwich could have lasted for days...
© 2012 Mark Feggeler