Under the Wire

Maybe not even a hot one


For me, it all started when I was in the sixth grade. You would think I had finally outgrown it but that hasn’t happened. What hasn’t happened? My ability to wind up at the end of any and all lines. No matter why it is there, if there is a line with ten or one hundred people in it, I’m going to be the last one.

Back in my school days I attended a small two room school with 10 to 12 students. At those numbers being at the end of the line was no big deal. Besides, I was big for my age so moving up a few slots was no problem . Then it all changed, forever. As a sixth grader, I was transferred to a much bigger school that housed grades six through 12. There were about one hundred of us total. Every day at noon, the bell rang and everyone headed for the lunch line. The first few weeks I sauntered to the cafeteria to find a line of monsters, half a dozen years older and twice as big as me, already in line. While there was always plenty of food for all, the quality dropped from first served to last served, me. The green beans were cold and the black, hard, end of the meatloaf wasn’t much better.

Don’t even ask about the mashed potatoes. They should have been served in a cup they were so runny.

I began refining my approach to the situation by running to the line unless a teacher caught me running and sent me back to my room. Growing didn’t hurt any, either. However, everyone else also seemed to be getting bigger and faster so it was still “end of the line city” for me. Now, years later I seem to still be the last one in line.

In the course of the past few months the government has been throwing money at us, “stimulus funds” I am told. Eventually, agriculture began getting some, finally, even the cow/calf operators like me. I rushed to get an application in, confident my money loosing talents would give me some sort of priority. Guess what? Yep, “End of the line, boy.” Every day my email box is full of news about recipients of big bucks. Me? Not yet. I’m now too old to do what my sixth grader, me, did. No jumping up and down and shouting from the end of the line, “Hey, save some for me!”

I guess it is burnt end of the meatloaf time again. Oh, well, At least some are getting the good green stuff, dollars in this case. Me, it’s OK. I am used to cold meatloaf butt. I now also know the meaning of “There’s no such thing as free lunch.”

Maybe not even a hot one!


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