Mystery Meat

  • Storyboards for an original tale about a lunch lady who uncovers a sinister plot in the cafeteria kitchen. See below for full story. 
    Fall 2016
  • In a mundane cardboard suburban town, a disgruntled lunch lady named Pam Spam spends her days serving Chunks to ungrateful schoolchildren. The Chunks are made out of a specially crafted, government-issued paste that is meant to keep the children placid and dully obedient, like cattle. Pam does not prepare the food, she just serves it. She does not realize she is an instrument in this sinister plot until one day she catches a glimpse of the food being prepared by the cooks behind the vaccum-sealed doors of the kitchen. She realizes that the fumes from the food have been making her own mind placid and dully obedient, too. 

    Pam decides that she needs to do something to save the children. In order to sharpen her mind and come up with a plan, she decides to start wearing a very long snorkel to work so that she can breath the outside air through the roof vent of the cafeteria and not have to worry about the food fumes numbing her cognitive abilities. A bird flying over the school drops a worm that falls into Pam’s snorkel and into her mouth. She chokes on the worm, lifts her snorkel, and spits it out. The worm wriggles away across the cafeteria floor. 

    The worm turns out to be a bookworm, and it is hungry for books. It scooches down the hallways of the school, tummy grumbling, but cannot find anything to satisfy its cravings because the school has removed all books due to the danger of the children learning to think for themselves. Frantically, the worm starts crawling into the ears of the children sitting catatonically in class. One child feels the worm wrapping around his brain and sticks a pencil in his ear to get rid of the odd sensation. The worm cowers on the other side of his skull in fright, to prevent itself from being impaled by the pencil point. The child still feels funny, so he sticks a pencil in the other ear, missing the worm’s tender stomach by a hair’s breadth. Finally, the child sticks two pencils into both ears at once, goring the bookworm. The bookworm explodes, and all the knowledge it has stored up from years of consuming books leaks out into the boy’s head, suddenly enlightening him. 

    The boy starts a revolution with his newfound knowledge, spreading it to other children throughout the school until they are aware of the plot that their authorities have been devising to keep them down. The children stampede the cafeteria and overturn the vat. All this time, Pam has been struggling to come up with a plan, not even realizing that she inadvertently was already the catalyst for major change. The children pour out the vat of Chunks, which gushes throughout the school and dissintegrates the entire building with its toxicity. A chemical reaction to all of this direct poison exposure transforms worms, which crawl up from the ooze and begin to inch around. 

    Pam, who was saved from annihilation by clinging to the dangling lifeline of her snorkel pipe, collects the worms into a basket and takes them away from the steaming cesspool of the old school building. She brings them home and releases them into her backyard. She creates a vegetable garden so the worm children can live a wholesome life in the soil, and brings them a fresh stack of books each day so they can tunnel through them and devour knowledge.