Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Way way back then, maybe in 1965, many office buildings had a small snack bar in the basement so that people could get a quick lunch without running out to a restaurant There was one such snack bar next door to where I worked. I liked to go there whenever I did not bring my own lunch in. It was a small hole in the corner of the basement floor. A long counter with stools with this full cheeked, full everything lady behind the counter. We would perch on the stools, ask for our chicken sandwich or grill cheese, make friends with the other people hanging around and watch the snack lady prepare the food.

Sometimes it was a long wait because other people had called an order in and she was preparing that so that she could send her husband off with the delivery to the upper floors in the building. Mrs. Soandso from the Trust Company upstairs was often there. She had very dark straight hair, a pale face and was very skinny - I always thought that she would be a perfect fit as scarecrow in a vegetable patch. Mrs. Soandso would always say to the snack lady “Don’t forget, my toast must be burned for my liver to accept it”.
One day Eileen and  I were sitting at the counter enjoying our sandwiches while watching the snack lady clean the milk bottles. In those days milk containers were glass bottles. And, while swirling the brush around inside the bottle under running water, the snack lady said “milk bottles have to be washed with cold water. If you use hot water the film of milk will curdle and you won’t be able to clean the bottle properly”.

Now, why do we remember small nonsense advise so well? Ever since then, each time I wash a glass or cup or any other container that held milk with ‘cold water’.    

No comments: