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Compartment 14B

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Just call me Pigpen.

2003-12-02 - 1:56 p.m.

Apropos of nothing, y'know those people that can eat the messiest of meals without so much as a droplet of sauce going wayward? You know the type, theyíre the ones that can sit down to a spaghetti dinner with impunity? They donít have so much as a qualm about wearing pristine white outfits to it either?

I am not such a creature.

I just had a relatively safe bagel with ham and cheese and am absolutely festooned with sesame seeds. Since these can be brushed off (to join the oatmeal cookie crumbs that were evacuated from my lap this morning Ė I hope they vaccuum my cube soon), this is not even close to the worst food-wearing situation Iíve found myself in recently. Forget mustard on sleeves. Forget the fact that juice from a peach should have no right staining a pale blue sweater.

I was having lunch with a work colleague last week and had grabbed some Chinese at the food court. I favour the noodles-plus-two-items choice, and I eat them with chopsticks. You may think you see this coming but, believe me, you donít. I like a touch of that hot, red Asian sauce on my noodles. Just a small dab. Just enough to give them a bit of a zip. Well, I was expertly manipulating my noodles around my chopsticks and, pausing between sentences, I scooped them into my mouth. Now itís not unusual for a couple of noodles to have ends trapped under the noodle mass still in the polystyrene container. What happens normally is they just slither out and I give them a flip into my mouth with the chopsticks. In this case they resisted for a moment. The noodles stretched taut before letting go with a small recoil like a rubber band. This meant they didnít just harmlessly, though undignified-ly, dangle from my mouth, rather, they acted like a sling shot for the sauce that had been clinging to their ends. Right into my eye.

Eyes donít like soy sauce mixed with hot sauce.

I had to halt my lunch companion mid-conversation with a startled ďAck! Hot sauce! In! Eye!Ē and flee to the washroom to rinse my eye out under the tap.

Once the stinging stopped, I dried off as best I could and returned damply to the table to reassure my colleague that I was OK and no, heh, heh, it was nothing really. Nothing to see here. Just go on about your business like I hadnít just run screeching away, clutching my eye.

*Sheesh* Does this kind of thing happen to anyone else?

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