When the Ulterior Epicure remembered a childhood metal lunchbox featuring the cast and crew of The Dukes of Hazzard, it seemed to raise a good point about whether we have let the practical demands of bringing our lunch to work take away some of the joy we once felt sitting down at cafeteria tables and snapping open our decorated boxes.
It makes sense that, once we started packing our own lunches, it's anticlimatic to open a lunchbox. Without the element of surprise -- namely the possibility of a treasured dessert -- there is only the certain reality of leftovers. And if you're bringing your own lunch to save money, it can transform the mid-day meal in the same way having to shovel your own driveway changes the way you look at the first snow of the season.
I still remember the finest lunchbox I ever owned. The exterior was nothing special -- just a bright red plastic outline with a plain yellow face. But what made this lunchbox unique was that it had a built-in AM/FM radio. With a small wire antenna, it required the skills of a ham radio operator to get a clear signal, but this lunchbox was my iPhone in fourth grade.
It didn't make sandwiches taste better, but it made me look forward to lunch time, just because I could take it out of my locker. As with all things that are too bright for this world, it was destroyed within the week -- the result of contact with an errant foot during a kickball game on the playground.
So when was the last time that a piece of Tupperware or neoprene sack got you fired up about eating at your desk? We need to find joy in our lunch hour again and that starts with the containers we bring to work. Well, that, and a sandwich with the corners cut off.
[Image via Flickr: chanchan222]