Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How to Chow Down...Nicely

Every year on Performance Day, I spend a good deal of time running around arranging food for the kids.

I've ordered pizzas and planned their delivery. I've shopped at Costco for water, fruit platters and turkey wraps.

This year, Trader Joe's was kind enough to donate bottles of water, oranges and protein bars, which I stacked on a table at the back of the auditorium for the cast and crew to nibble on throughout the day. Like a professional craft service table, I thought, until I heard:

"Ms. Ryane! Ms. Ryane, hurry! They're eating our food!"

And I looked up to see other small hands grabbing and pocketing the snacks. These hands belonged to fellow students unable to resist the banquet.

"Okay, move along now....So sorry, but this is not for you....Off you go."

As if I didn't have enough to do, I had to be the food cop as well.

After the third performance and after notes had been given, I corralled the boys and girls into lines in front of their respective bathroom doors.

"All right, here's how this is going to go: You'll go into the bathroom, one after another, and wash your hands. Then you'll make a line down front and we'll walk, in an orderly fashion, to the library for dinner. You'll behave as polite young men and women about to enjoy an elegant meal."

As the children entered the library, their eyes widened and their jaws dropped. Silence reigned as they stood perfectly lined up.

This year, a mother from our parents' group graciously agreed to help The Shakespeare Club. Erica runs Bonne Bouffe Catering and happens to be especially experienced at feeding large groups of children.

Round tables were laden with bowls of pasta, baskets of chicken salad, ham sandwiches in freshly baked brioche, crisp julienned vegetables alongside creamy dips and green salads. Erica had grilled corn on the cob and then cut it into small pieces for small hands. There were platters of purple grapes tumbling over slices of watermelon and cantaloupe and sweet red strawberries.

Further along were the desserts: individual bread puddings and small chocolate mousses topped with raspberries and blueberries.

Gentlemen in white chef's coats stood at attention, waiting to serve the thespians.

The actors looked around, over and under, and finally up at me.

"For us, Ms. Ryane?"

"All for you."

They methodically filled plates, found places to sit and all was perfect until Garth snapped his fingers and called out:

"Garcon! Garcon, over here!"

"Shhh, Garth, no. Absolutely not. Nicely. We will behave as polite people do and we will be grateful. We will not be ordering folks about."

"Okay, Ms. Ryane."

And so we dined. On good food, beautifully presented as if we were all somebodies.

My name is banquo. I have six children. I have six children becaus I had six wives. But I broke up with them. I also have one wife named teriqsha. My kids names are Jacson, ricky, markes, Janet, Juleit, and ashaly. I have three boys and 3 girls.

Where I live in a Big Manchen. My friends would be Macbeth, Duncan, and Macduff. What I would eat is sweet bread an fruits. What I believe is that my sons will once be Kings. What I want is to be King. What I am afraid of is dieing. Am scard of Malcom. What I am loyal to is Shakespeer. Who I am loyal to is Mark.
—Garth, 4th grade

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