Joe Lavin

July 25, 2006

Reviews of Leftover Food From Meetings I Did Not Attend

July Administrator's Meeting

This disappointing meeting left behind only a scattered pile of fruit and salad. To this reviewer, there is nothing quite as demoralizing as hearing rumors of cookies and brownies, only to discover nothing left but a few grapes, some melon, one strawberry, and some limp lettuce. My sources tell me that earlier there were cookies and that I should have been quicker in getting to the food, but that hardly matters now. I have no option but to give this meeting an unsatisfactory review. 1 Star.

Technology Planning Committee

Like most worldly food reviewers, I appreciate the finer foods, but sometime there is nothing as satisfying as good pizza. The choice of Meat Lover's Supreme was an inspired choice for this meeting of the Technology Planning Committee and made it a meeting I didn't attend to remember.

Here is one nice touch. Unlike most leftover food, these pizza boxes were unopened, and the slices were piping hot. In my experience, this is a rarity in leftover food, and one that should clearly be duplicated. The room was completely empty too, allowing this reviewer a chance to truly savor the food, until unfortunately I was interrupted by several very rude people muttering something about how someone had ate all their food before their meeting had even started. They must have been talking about some other meeting, and frankly I don't know why they saw fit to interrupt my food reviewing duties to tell me. Nevertheless, their surly demeanor could not take away from the high quality of this pizza. 4 Stars.

The Nano-Kinetics of Advanced Spectroscopy in Every Day Life Conference

I am not entirely sure exactly what was in my Au Bon Pain sandwich, much as I have no idea what the meeting it came from was about. I believe the sandwich contained turkey, and yet I cannot be positive. Had I paid for the sandwich, this would be a serious strike against it. However, with free food, one cannot be so picky. The soda and chips were at least tasty. 2 Stars.

The Secret Sandwich Surprise

It has long been a tradition in our office for certain people -- no one knows who -- to bring in so-called secret sandwiches for staff. It is just one of the many perks of working here. These sandwiches are often kept in brown paper bags and placed in refrigerators across the department, so that anyone may have lunch on a first-come-first-serve basis. It is an unspoken rule -- I certainly have never heard anyone mention it -- but why else would the sandwiches be there?

This quaint tradition is marred only slightly by the poor sportsmanship of some people (you know who you are). Just because you are too late to get a sandwich doesn't mean you should complain. Last week, one person even had the audacity to claim that I was eating his sandwich, as if you could reserve a secret sandwich ahead of time. You know, I wasn't born yesterday.

While the results are often uneven -- last week's days-old salami sandwich comes to mind -- overall I have been quite satisfied with the secret sandwiches. And the added surprise factor helps to push them over the top. 3 Stars.

Summer Faculty Meeting

Bravo for yet another delicious faculty meeting! The leftover roast duck was simply decadent and the Lobster Newburgh mouth-watering. Admittedly, the caviar was a little salty for my taste, though the flaming cherry jubilee more than made up for that.

Kudos especially to staff for the excellent presentation! The hand-crafted ice sculpture of the department chair was exquisite in its detail. The rose petals on the floor in front of the buffet table added an undeniable je ne sais quoi to the proceedings. And it was especially touching that the harp player in the corner didn't pick up and leave just as soon as unruly staff entered in search of food.

There was one safety issue I am obliged to point out, however. The rose petals, when combined with the water from the melting ice sculpture, did create some treacherous footing around the buffet table. This reviewer almost slipped while trying to beat the accounting staff to the last swordfish kebab. Nevertheless, that was the only noticeable flaw. This was one meeting whose conclusion was well worth waiting in the hallway for when I could have been working. 5 Stars.

©2006 Joe Lavin

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