Diary

Early Lunch

24 May 2007 | Diary

As any office drones who read this blog are fully aware, most companies offer to their staff a choice of ‘early’ lunch slot and ‘late’ lunch slot: the former occurring at noon and the latter at 1pm.

Whenever I’m engaged day-job work, I almost always opt for the ‘late lunch’ option since I’m a fan of the ‘pacing yourself’ model of surviving the tedious office day. Aside from this reason, I also have an idea about ‘delayed gratification’: the longer you can wait out some horrible discomfort (in this case, crippling hunger) the more pleasurable the ultimate reward will be. It’s true.

Today, however, I experimented with the art of the early lunch. suggested to me over a beer in a seedy but cosy pub the other night that the ‘pace yourself’ model is fallacious. The hungry hour between noon and 1pm, he argues, will be uncomfortable and slow while an early lunch can only result in a more pleasant, motivated and speedy afternoon.

I wasn’t 100% convinced. While I saw the logic to his hypothesis, I also see the logic to most of Carl Pilkinton‘s ideas. (“Issac Newton did not contribute much to human civilization as discovering gravity did not affect us as it had always been there. Had everyone been floating about then he would rightfully deserve the amount of credit he receives.”) The best manias are universally convincing.

The findings of the early lunch experiment are conclusive: it is better.

The first advantage concerns what I now call a ‘Reverse Auschwitz Soup Line Effect’. In the History Channel’s favourite death camp, a top-notch survival skill was to assume a position at the back of the soup line. The chunks of meat in the soup would apparently always sink to the bottom of the soup vat and consequently the first thirty or so bowls of soup doled out would be pure liquid. The prisoners who realised this kept it quiet and ate meat each day (though I doubt very much that it was Kosher). The prisoners who failed to notice this all died.

In the modern urban lunchtime eatery, the exact opposite is true – hence the ‘Reverse Auschwitz Soup Line Effect’. This has gone largely unnoticed due to the lack of television documentaries about sandwich bars – something I hope one day to rectify when I’m instated as the rightful king of everything. I advise all officially afflicted people out there not to wait out the early lunch slot but to rush out as soon as the clock strikes midday and to laugh arrogantly at those poor, foolish colleagues who instad choose to gawp at their spreadsheets with rumbling tummies.

Today, I was the first person in line at the sandwich shop and I was rewarded with a tuna roll overflowing with tunafish and salad. Normally, it the tuna is spread pretty meagerly as though it were a patte.

Of course, this could be avoided if the sandwich lady would just dole out the tuna in respectable and consistent quantities. I suspect involvement of The Wanko himself somewhere along the lines. He owns this town.

The second advantage is that Neil’s reasoning is spot on. No longer do I feel sluggish and suicidal. I can concentrate! The hours will certainly zoom by.

In other news, look out for a Wringham article in the forthcoming edition of the excellent Meat magazine. Available in Borders bookshops and some other places. Also two online interviews: one with the infamous Jo Bloggs and one with the bonkers Cap_Scaleman. Hurrah!



Leave a Reply