Shameful | Mark’s Remarks

It has taken me this long to get the nerve to tell you the story that follows. In fact, I kept it a secret for a while. Gradually, I told a few non-judgmental, trusted friends about it. They encouraged me to write about it because readers would find it humorous. I know they all laughed at me. So, here goes.

Over the holidays, we have a few gatherings here and there.  Always fun, always enjoyable, and always tasty. Whether it’s the stuff my wife makes or the food guests bring, you’re sure to eat well at our house over the holidays.

Needless to say, we have great leftovers. It’s great when you have a variety of lunch time warm-ups available in the fridge. I like leftovers.

Still, Michelle is more health conscious than I, and we have been talking about gradually kicking the sugar habit. Our dear friend just told us about her victory over the white stuff, something another friend calls “poison.” Indeed, our dear friend and many others have talked about how aches and pains go away, about better sleep, better focus.

The fridge in our garage is the holding tank for extra food.  One only needed to traipse out there and open the door to feel hunger pangs subside. Inside were horribly delicious things like black forest cheesecake, lemon meringue pie, meats, cheeses, dinner rolls, various side dishes and leftover pizza.

Yes, some of these things were still fresh from our New Year’s Day gathering, so Michelle started devising ways to rid the house of the extra goodies. School was starting back up tomorrow. Could I take a couple of these pies to school and put them in the teacher’s lounge? I mean, everything ever put in the teachers’ lounge gets eaten.  Right?

Sure. I can take it to school.

The next morning, she handed me that delicious looking lemon pie with only two pieces cut out of it. It was something I knew would be gone by 10 a.m. if I were to put it in the teachers’ lounge. So, I stuck it in the little fridge I have in my classroom.  I’d be sure to get one more  piece if I put it down there after lunch.

Now, I have four minutes between classes. It’s a time to re-group, greet kids in the hallway, get a drink of water or hotfoot it to the bathroom as fast as possible. Once in a while, I get an extra good slug of coffee or even eat a cracker or two between classes.

That pie was calling my name. Surely I could just take a couple of bites here and there. I grabbed a plastic spoon and carefully peeled the covering off the pie. I dug a couple of grand bites and shoved them in my mouth, carefully keeping my back turned so none of my students would see me. I shaved off the ends of the jagged scoops to make it look like a neat cut. At the end of class, I did it again. By the end of the day, the pie still looked ready for display in the teacher’s lounge.

But I kept it in my classroom.

The next day, I continued my sinful scooping between classes. I didn’t start right away, and I didn’t even take a bite between every class. However, by the end of the day this time, I had a little over two pieces of pie left in the tin. I should probably go and put it in the lounge fridge. Maybe the night custodians would find it and save me from my misery.

You can already guess how this story ends. I never made it to the lounge. Before I knew it, there were only a few crumbs and some dried up slabs of meringue in that sad little pie tin.  My brief period of gluttony and shame had come to an end.

But it had been so delicious.

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Mark Tullis

Mark is a 25-year veteran teacher teaching in Columbia. Originally from Fairfield, Mark is married with four children. He enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with his family, and has been involved in various aspects of professional and community theater for many years and enjoys appearing in local productions. Mark has also written a "slice of life" style column for the Republic-Times since 2007.
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