By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Illustration by Smell of Steve Inc.Last week, an Orange County Register editorial blasted the California state Senate for passing a bill forbidding the sale of junk food and soda on public school campuses. The Register called the bill "hare-brained," said the state had become "the ultimate nanny, depriving . . . students of legitimate choices," and added that the ban would cost schools "tens of thousands of dollars in soft-drink fees—fees used to fund extracurricular activities and programs that students enjoy."
That last bit read a little weak since Register folk are the same douches who supported Proposition 13 and always speak out against school funding. Still, their core argument is correct. Snacks and sodas are not the problem. It's how they are used. Like sex, guns and cigarettes, if kids are educated about them, they can be valuable tools in the learning process.
To that end, we offer this simple outline for a program we call Success Through Snacking.
Remember kids (and parents): knowledge is power—and so tasty!
Home room. Still buzzed from the NesQuik-and-Pop Rock speedball you chase down with a bottle of Yoo-hoo every morning, you arrive in an overcrowded classroom, the result of the Register coming out against that school-construction bond. Tension is high as you share a desk with the kid who breathes through his mouth and keeps adding names to a list he keeps in his Trapper Keeper. Comfort food is what you need. Luckily, you stopped by the cafeteria and got a ham-and-cheese Hot Pocket that you bathe in three fingers of picante/jalapeŮo/nacho-cheese slur. Mmmm, the best part of waking up.
First period. American history. There will be no reading since the Christian Coalition-controlled school board has deemed all text books too liberal. So, it's board-approved film strips again, perhaps Madam President: The Chester A. Arthur Story or something from the Ruby Ridge: Clinton, the FBI and the Spread of One-World Governmentseries. You want that just-cognizant state of mind, and you'll get it with that bag of Funyuns accompanied by a dipping pail of Heinz Homestyle Savory Beef Gravy. Sidecar it with a can of Sprite, and there's enough sugar to keep you conscious without any caffeine to harsh your mellow.
Second period. Geometry. Time to kick it into gear. Geometry is tough enough, but your teacher is a 21-year-old emergency-credential case who sucks on the back of his hand and keeps asking, "Does this look right to you guys?" You're going to need to be alert, fast. There's just time to woof down a can of Pepsi chunky-style (Cocoa Puffs added). Don't worry about the teacher; he'll assume your hopped-up ramblings mean his nighttime reading of Pedagogy of the Oppressed is paying big dividends.
Third period. Sex education. Need to calm down. Not because of subject matter—the school board won't let them actually teach anything about sex—so it's more film strips, most likely Gynecology: The Filthiest Profession or Why Billy Hates to Tinkle. It's dangerous to come down off that geometry horse too fast, though, so you open a Jell-O Pudding pack and cut it with Hidden Valley Original Ranch to take the edge off.
Lunch. After all that snacking, it's time for a real meal. Something with vegetables. A potato is nutritious. Yes, that'll do. A baked potato dressed in Heinz Homestyle Rich Mushroom with a few dollops of Kraft Pimento Cream Cheese Spread to provide you with much of your daily requirement of both glop and gunk.
Fourth period. English. You're not allowed to read anything that contains sex or violence or questions authority. Looks like you'll be continuing your survey of the collected works of the Thomas Brothers—remember, you've got that big paper due on "The 55 Freeway: Christ Figure or Jesus F*****G Christ on a Cracker?" Time to power up again, but you've just had a big meal. No problem. You power down a Mountain Dew/Jolt Cola shooter with an Aqua Java back.
Fifth period. Biology. The board forbids teaching evolution, cell reproduction and photosynthesis. You know what that means: more dissections. No money for lab-quality animals, of course. The Register editorial said that was "patently wasteful, especially when there are plenty of perfectly good dead varmints lying around." For the past week, you've been cutting into a possum with its left hind leg missing and coffee grounds imbedded in its flattened face. You know what? Let's hold off eating just this once.
Sixth Period. Physical education. You feel yourself coming down. Not good. Not with your NRA close-range small-arms midterm today. With little time to eat, you mainline a few lines of Pixie Stix. Killer! After class, you celebrate your Jack Ruby rating with a Red Bull/Mr. Pibb Big Gulp cocktail sucked through red licorice with the ends bitten off. Time to go home. You're hungry. It'll be nice to get a real meal that'll stick to your bones. Here's hoping Mom remembered the Tater Tots.