March 11, 1999

There wasn't time for breakfast this morning ... so I had a cow.

(Actually: first I had an orange. Then I had the cow. Chronology is everything.)

Usually I have time to stand at the kitchen sink and inhale a quick bowl of Alpha Bits. Or to toss an English muffin into the Happy Panda Face toaster. Or, in a real pinch, to slap together a peanut butter sandwich and swallow it dry during the commute to work. But this particular morning there wasn't a millisecond to spare.

I don't know why. I didn't oversleep: I woke up even earlier than usual, at least an hour ahead of the 5:30 alarm. I was showered, shampooed and fully caffeinated by 6:30, right on schedule. By 7 a.m. I was sporting eighteen little rubber rollers and $78.56 worth of Maybelline. All systems go.

But somehow, somewhere between 7 a.m. and the time I leave for work, I lost precious momentum. The next thing I knew, I was flying out the door of The Castle with shoes in one hand and library books in the other hand  ...  and absolutely zero *food substances* of any kind in either hand.

My stomach protested all the way through the Posey Tube and down Broadway. By the time I reached the elevator, fullscale rioting had broken out. There was only one thing left to do.

It was time to break out The Emergency Orange.

I've had this orange stashed away in the middle desk drawer since the dawn of time. (OK. Since the beginning of the week.) Originally it was intended to be Monday's lunch *dessert,* but that day the visiting CPA firm brought bagels and cream cheese for the entire office. Who wants fruit when you can have free baked goods? So I stuck the orange in the back of the drawer and more or less forgot about it ... until this morning.
I couldn’t have been more delighted to open the drawer and see that orange if it had been Eggs Benedict and a triple tall almond latte.

I immediately grabbed my scissors and began hacking away at the ancient hide.
Six minutes and two Band-Aid *Fingertip* Adhesive Strips later ... breakfast was served.

I ravenously crammed the mangled, drippy sections of orange into my mouth between ringing phones. It was no bowl of Alpha Bits ... but it took some of the screaming edge off my hunger. I could concentrate on work now.

Or ... not.

(Catherine, the Perky Exec Assistant: "I think you've got something ... uhh ... on your blouse.")

You know what? I didn't even have to look. I already knew what I would see: me, in my natty little blue jacket and pristine white blouse (fresh from the dry cleaners) ...

... and orange juice, dribbled all up and down the front. 


This was the point at which I had a cow. Or at least I started to. Granted, it wasn't as embarrassing as the time I sat on the Hostess Cherry Pie in my powder-blue Homecoming gown. But still. Why didn't I just slap a big Post-It note onto my chest, saying "Yep! These are my breasts! And yep! I spilled food on 'em!"  I'm sure the UPS guy would get a kick out of it, if nothing else.

But then it hit me. If my biggest problem right now is the fact that my orange is too juicy ... I must be living right. I buttoned up the blue jacket and went back to answering phones.

(But just in case: tomorrow I'm bringing a banana to work.)



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