Sally in the Zen

Confessions of a Befuddled Zen Buddhist

Spring Break

“Guess who’s on vacation this week?”  Zen Mum smirked smirked at me from the sofa where she and Zen Master were lounging.  “Guess who don’t have to work this week?”

Then both she and Zen Master jumped to their feet and started twitching and shaking body parts that really shouldn’t be moving at all. 

This officially marks the kids out of school for Spring Break.

Kids = Zen Master and Zen Mum.

Who else would I be talking about?

Who needs kids when I have two of them thumping and bouncing in front of me?

At least I don’t have to worry about them too too much.

I don’t have to worry that they will be binge-drinking or chain-smoking with their friends. 

I can’t tell you what a load off my mind that is.

I don’t have to worry that they will charge up the credit cards with frivolous purchases or zoom around Baltimore, street-racing in their Rav4.

Nope, don’t have to worry about that this year.

And I really don’t have to worry that they will abuse the Internet and post strange pictures of themselves on the Web.

Can’t tell you what a relief that is!

They’re pretty reliable, trustworthy kids, all in all.

Wouldn’t trade them in for the world.

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Burger Boy

“How was your day?”  I asked Zen Mum during dinner one recent evening. 

“Same old, same old.”  Zen Mum mumbled with her mouth full of food.  This is her standard line when it comes to work.  Not much variety working in the cafeteria of a public school.

Except this one day long time ago when I had to rush to pick her up because it was rumored that a gang fight was going to break out immediately after the final bell.

“How about you?”  I turned to Zen Master.  “How was your day?”

Zen Master is the only man in his school kitchen and the bunch of ladies that he sees everyday usually keeps him on his toes.  Because his strong work ethics dictate his doing good work in the most efficient and effective way, he’s quite industrious all around the kitchen.  He would zoom around the cafeteria, set up his station, serve food to the kids, clean up his station, zip all around the kitchen and help others out.  Lately he’s been helping out a couple of ladies ready the chicken patty sandwiches and cheeseburgers.  There would be hundreds of sandwiches and burgers that needed to be put together.

But his standard line would be:  Same Sh**.

Except this night.

As I directed my question to him, he immediately scowled into his rice bowl. 

“What happened today?”

“I was helping out with the burgers today.”  He said as he poked his chopsticks into a piece of chicken. 

“Yeah, so?”

“Do you know what they call me now?”  He stuffed the chicken into his mouth and chewed and chewed.

I knew it was a rhetorical question so I didn’t say anything but continued to look at him.

I was still waiting for him to swallow that darn piece of chicken.

When he finally did, he declared with indignation, “Burger Boy!”

“They call you Burger Boy?”  I asked blankly.  “The cafeteria ladies call you Burger Boy?”

He glared at me, his cheeks hot with embarrassment and irritation.

I’m sorry but I need to confess something.

I was on the floor, crying, hot tears streaming down my face, I was laughing so hard. 

I almost wet my pants, it was so funny!

“It’s not funny!”  Zen Master shouted at me, which just made me holler louder.  He looked at Zen Mum.  “She’s laughing at me!”

I wiped the tears off my face with my fingers.  “I’m not laughing at you, Zen Master.  I’m laughing with you.” 

Then I paused for a second as he continued to cast his evil eye at me.  “Nope, nope, sorry, I’m laughing at you this time.  Burger boy.”  And I burst out laughing in his face again.

He didn’t speak to me for the rest of the dinner.

Sorry, but it was worth it.

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Back to School

Well, summer vacation is officially over.  It was back to school for the kids this week. 

Kids = Zen Master and Zen Mum.

It was a good summer but it’s really nice to have them back to work again, having something to do.  Zen Master had been so bored that he painted the entire house.  Last summer he puttered on the kitchen.  Zen Mum played Mahjong Titans on my laptop for hours on end.

They were going stir crazy over the summer. 

Which was making me go stir crazy.

If you’re wondering what they do, they work part-time in school cafeterias at different schools, but in the same district. 

I asked Zen Mum:  “So how does it feel to be back at school?”

“Same old, same old.”

I asked Zen Master:  “So how does it feel to be back at school?”

“Okay, what’s the big deal?”

And life is back to normal in our household. 

Thank goodness.

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