SEDALIA, MO – Negotiations in the cold lunch trade between Sedalia Elementary second graders Timmy Penderson and Bobby Franks have reached an impasse, with neither side showing any sign of weakening.
The talks, which have already stretched into an exhausting fifth minute and threatened to divide the students in this small-town cafeteria/gymnasium/auditorium, have become increasingly heated as an 11:33 a.m. deadline — the beginning of recess — looms.
According to a source close to the situation, the critical issue holding up the proposed swap — Penderson’s PB & J and three double-stuffed Oreos for Franks’s chocolate milk, pepperoni pizza Lunchable, and a candy to be named later — appears to be Penderson’s insistence that he be allowed to lick the filling off of one of the Oreos before the trade is finalized.
Hillary Jones, a fifth grader representing Franks, said in a hastily-organized press conference near the salad bar/tumbling mats/stage that Penderson’s staunch refusal to drop the Oreo proviso is a dealbreaker.
“Obviously, no child — no adult, for that matter — is going to agree to trade for an Oreo that has no filling. It’s a non-negotiable for my client,” Jones said. “This is a clear attempt by Timmy to have his cookie and lick it, too. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go dump my tray.”
However, in a prepared statement released to the media, Penderson defended his proposal.
“[Bobby] would still be getting three Oreos, even if one doesn’t have filling,” explained Penderson.
“And I know this: at 3:15, when he’s sitting on the bus riding home, hungry, the two halves of that no-filling Oreo in his lunchbox are going to be a godsend. He’ll thank me for this, believe me.”
When asked for comment on the Penderson-Franks stalemate, Principal Woodward, a 33-year veteran of lunch trades, said, “All I know is that, in three minutes, the lil’ bastards are going outside.”
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