This weekend I participated in the leftover sweepstakes. This is a competitive sport involving the ability to produce mass amounts of leftovers in an extremely tight time span. In this case 48 hours.
Noah is on the unlimited food plan at the University of Tennessee. When I see the word “unlimited” I think of, well, no actual limits to the food. Let’s look it up in the dictionary. Yes, I believe I am correct. Unlimited: Not limited or restricted in terms of number, quantity, or extent. However, the university’s administration apparently frowns upon the removal of mass quantities of food from the cafeteria.
I believe this is so unfair that the next time I’m in Knoxville, I plan to bring a shopping cart into the cafeteria and load up on behalf of my son. And when some pencil-pushing administrator challenges me after being called by campus security, I will merely hold up my massive UT tuition, room and board bill and say: “It says unlimited food plan. I am merely attempting to get what I am paying for.” And they will let me go. Or send me to jail, with a box of Pop Tarts and a club sandwich clutched in my unyielding hands.
But I digress. So an attempt to supplement the “unlimited meal plan,” Noah’s grandmother and I mount a massive two-pronged offensive every semester. The first prong involves Bunny taking Noah to Sam’s Club because every college student requires a 48-bag box of kettle chips, a case of breakfast bars and a 10-gallon container of beef jerky. The second prong involves periodic mass leftovers to provide that home-cooked touch to Noah’s institutional diet. Bunny and I are warriors at this. Total warriors. In two days, we produced or foraged enough leftovers to completely fill this over-sized shopping bag. And not the shabby stuff. Let’s just make a list: chicken in white wine/lemon sauce with angel hair pasta, filet mignon, Thai chicken wraps with a peanut dipping sauce, pulled pork Cuban sandwiches, chicken and pesto pizza, buttermilk spice and molten chocolate cupcakes and, less sophisticated, Little Smokies because Noah craves them. Bunny also contributed two vat-sized jars of peanut butter the purpose of which I cannot imagine.
It has been well documented that when Noah arrives on the UT campus after a successful leftover campaign, students who have only heard of him by word of mouth line up to follow him to his dorm room. I believe Coach Derek Dooley has offered him a season pass to sit on the sidelines at Neyland Stadium if only he will bring his shopping bag of leftovers with him.
Or so I’ve heard.