Thursday, December 6, 2007

"Lunch Lady Land"

Last Thursday, I was in Northern Minnesota, in the heart of the Iron Range, in tiny Aurora, a community of about 1,700 residents, speaking to the secondary students at Mesabi East High School. We did an assembly and then I spent the rest of the day in four classrooms. In one of the classrooms, a student came in with his electric guitar and small amplifier. He asked if he could sing a song for me. He wanted to play "The Lunch Lady Land" song. It was the song he played in their annual talent show.

I said, "Sure, let's hear it."

He started to sing this song and it practically brought me to tears because the lyrics were so funny! In fact, he had to stop a couple of times, because, he too, was laughing as he sang.

When he finished, he told me it was an old Adam Sandler song from Sandler's days on Saturday Night Live.

When, I got home, I looked on YouTube and found the music video with Chris Farley playing the part of the Lunch Lady. It's from 1993 and I think you'll agree with me it's very funny. I think it's especially funny if you have memories like I do of your days in school eating school lunches.

Check it out and see if you agree with me:

I think the main reason this struck me as being so funny is because several years ago I gave a two-hour keynote address to the Minnesota School Food Service Association's annual conference; then, spent about two hours in the exhibit area testing the food vendors wares, and talking to many lunch ladies. It remains my all-time favorite conference, and I believe always will!

There were about 800 women and maybe twelve men in the audience who were the most unassuming, compassionate, caring group of people I have ever addressed! It was a great group of people who loved what they do and love to take care of your children.

The people who run the hot lunch programs around the country are one of the most maligned group you can imagine. And, from my experience, they take it all in stride. Yet, with all of the complaining we do about how bad our lunches are, I rarely get a bad school lunch whenever I visit a school! In fact, that day in Aurora, I had a GREAT lunch and the lunch ladies took wonderful care of me! They always do.

If you're still in school, remember to thank the lunch ladies every now and then. I thank them after every meal they serve me.

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