Alfalfa sprouts look like hair. They may be “roughage” and have “more nutritional value than any kind of lettuce,” but they are also cause for unparalleled ridicule in grade school. Any grade. Every grade.
Finger-pointing, guffawing, shrill yelping, “your mom packed you a hair sandwich!” That’s what alfalfa sprouts bring to the table. It’s a hardship any smart child will endure only once.
I’m smart. After it happened the first time, every sandwich thereafter was taken through a private and rigorous emotional security check point before being admitted to the cafeteria.
The number of sandwiches I flushed or shoved to the bottom of the trash can in the girls’ bathroom is criminal. Except I was eight, and global hunger wasn’t on my radar yet. Horrible, hippie-hating brats were on my radar, and just one sprout left behind was enough to ruin the rest of my life. All I wanted to do was get to recess hassle-free so I could get right to the monkey bars and swings.
That’s where I practiced all the tricks I learned over the summer while traveling with my dad on the circus. All childhood suffering was literally suspended in mid-air during those 30 minute sets of freedom.
Even if I was starving.