A little piece of hell


The other day, Wednesday to be precise, I had to go pick up some bagels. Part of my duties as secretary to the Student Association is to set up "bagel days", the healthier descendant of doughnut days. These are lunch-hour session where a professional organization or other group come and tell students a little about themselves. I advertise, introduce and provide bagels. Providing bagels can be tricky here in Edmonton since bagels don't seem to be as popular as they are elsewhere. Which means that I had to do a whole lot of calling around while keeping in mind that I would have to actually get these bagels without the aid of a car. That tossed out the really cheap place on the southside, but tentatively kept in the place on the west end. This place, Bon Ton Bakery, would give me a discount if I bought 10 or more "units", which means 10 or more dozens in bagelry. After vainly trying to find a more convenient location, I gave in and ordered from them. However, the cost difference wasn't great enough without the discount. So, I ordered 10 dozen bagels. Two shy of a gross.

Now, the hard part came in the transportation. I had only 1.5 hours between classes on Wednesday to pick them up. Given the bus situation, I had to leave school at 12.15, arrive around 12.30 and be back to the bus stop by 12.45 in order to make it back in time for class. I'll say upfront: that was accomplished. It was a bit dicey, given the huge puddles I had to wade through on the sidewalk because Edmontonians apparently don't understand effecitive use of gradients. And, to make it more pleasant, the puddles had ice on the bottom since it was just above freezing. I bought the bagels and crammed them into a shallow box that was probably four feet long.

In case you're wondering, 120 bagels isn't very light. It's not opppresively heavy, either but I wouldn't want to carry it far. Looking every bit the fool, I schlepped these bagels back to the bus stop. Now, here's where it gets very, very painful. I'm fasting for Lent. I also, as it turns out, adore bagels. So, here I was starving holding 120 bagels (of which a grand total of about 80 would be needed), and waiting for a bus. To make matters worse, the bagels smelled even more delicious than typical. I set them down on a bench and stop apart from them so as to not be tempted. But I had to endure the bus ride back with them on my lap.

I told Petra the idea of carrying 120 bagels on the bus made me weep. It did not, as it turns out. The logistics were smooth. However, having "bagels, bagels everywhere and not a one to eat" was (almost) tear-worthy. I have, in some small degree, learned the pain of Tantalus.


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