Who's Got the Sweet Transformers Lunchbox? This Guy
A couple of weeks ago, I discovered that there is a park only one block from our office. Why is it that I never knew this, despite working in the neighborhood for almost four years? Our street is a dead end, and the park is on the "dead" side -- so I never drove by it before. I recently ran the math, and figured that if I stopped driving home for lunch I could save two tanks of gas a month, or roughly $70. That's one helluva lot of beer.
This was all the motivation I needed to start bringing my lunch with me to work. And so it was that I took boring brown paper bags with a sandwich and chips to work. But I'm not a brown paper bag kind of guy. Not because of the ecological impact of throwing away bags every day, although that's a bad thing, certainly. No, a brown paper bag is predictable. Its boring. Its everything I am not.
On a whim, Wednesday night I stopped by Target on the way home, figuring if there was anywhere I could find a sweet lunchbox, it would be Target.
Bear in mind that I haven't paid attention to lunchboxes since I was in third grade, and haven't looked for them in a store ever. Back in the days of Lil' Max Univers, I had a custom-made lunchbox -- a plain plastic red lunchbox with baseball cards decopage'd to the front. Don't laugh, it was crafty stuff. One of a kind, too.
I didn't even know where to look for lunchboxes. Were they with the toys? With the housewares? Nope. Turns out they're with the camping gear, of all things! It was here that I came to a sad realization: lunchboxes nowadays are exclusively canvas, with plastic cooler lining and zipper pockets. Seriously.
I was hoping for a nice metal lunchbox, but I'd settle for anything that wasn't a brown paper bag. There were multiple colors of Igloo lunchboxes for around $4, and those were OK, with their retro '80s stripe patterns that looked ironic although they weren't trying to be. Further down the aisle, however, were the childrens lunchboxes, which is what I was looking for. Spider Man, Speed Racer, Batman, that kind of stuff. All of those were potentially holding the magical Max Univers Lunchbox Lottery ticket. Not holding the ticket? The pink one that said -- honest to hard hats -- Sweet Tink.
Side note: On Cliff Glypha's bachelor party weekend in Minneapolis, the suitcase we made him use was very much like this lunchbox. And over the weekend, Glypha had a birthday and one of his college buddies from Minny wrote on his Facebook page, "I wish you a sweet tink of a birthday." This, of course, slayed me. Genius.
I laughed out loud when I saw this lunchbox. Had no intention of buying it, but I tell you, if I was shopping for a lunchbox for Cliff Glypha, that's the one I would buy him. Maybe I'll buy it and fill it with Chili Cheese Fritos and give it to him for his birthday. Shh...don't tell him, it will spoil the secret. Don't worry, he won't read this. So keep the secret, yo?
Back to the story I was telling before I got sidetracked. I could have bought any number of Retro 80s Stripe lunchboxes for around four dollars. Or I could pick from a wild selection of children's cartoon character lunchboxes for around 10 dollars. Or I could go in the middle of the cost spectrum and buy a lunchbox decorated with a grid-pattern that made it look Tron-esque.
Then I spied it. My new lunchbox. A Transformers Autobots lunchbox with a shiny foil logo on the front. $10.29, and worth every penny.
Of course, the really funny thing is that I'm not even a huge Transformers fan. Only had one Transformer as a kid, scarcely watched the cartoon, and only went to the movie to see the fanboys in homemade costumes waiting in line. But I know how sweet that thing will look in the refrigerator at work amidst all of the boring brown paper bags and predictably corporate Igloo 80s Retro Stripe lunchboxes.
If I were to take a Sharpie and write MAX across the front of a paper bag, I couldn't make it any more obvious which lunchbox is mine.