Michael Johnson from Honolulu writes:
"I loved lunchboxes when I was a .. uh ... kid. I liked the metal ones, with a nice clasp that closed with a click. I remember two in particular. One was the flat, oblong kind, about the size of a dictionary. Mine was painted or somehow coated in a red plaid pattern, which probably was my mother's influence, although I might have picked it out. This was in the era of Davy Crockett lunchboxes, so it had to have been a bit unusual, but I don't remember any angst over it. It had a matching thermos that fit inside, leaving very little room for food beyond a sandwich and apple.
"The other was the humpy kind, just like a real workman's lunchbox. The matching thermos fit in the lid, and that box had some capacity. I don't remember the color, but I'm pretty sure it had no pictures or patterns. I was very proud of that lunchbox, but I wrecked the whole deal on the second or third time I carried it. It's one of those moments frozen forever. I was eating lunch, seated at one of the tables set up on the little stage in our cafeteria cum assembly hall. Maybe that was the cold lunch area, while the hot-lunchers took the tables on the main floor. I don't remember. But I was telling a story and waved my arm to make some point. I had forgotten about the thermos, which was open and about three quarters full of milk. I knocked that baby right out into the middle of the room, and as I watched it go, it left a contrail of milk all the way until it hit with that definite smash that you only get with glass.
"Instantly, I pretended to have done it on purpose.
"My mother, a Great Depression baby, refused to replace the thermos, and I never enjoyed that lunchbox again. The empty hump was a daily reminder of my humiliation."