cover image for book has plate of spaghetti with eyeballs in it set against a dark background and the words Graveyard School Don't Eat the Mystery Meat!

Title: Don’t Eat The Mystery Meat!

Author: Tom B. Stone, a.k.a. Nola Thacker, a.k.a. D.E. Athkins

Cover Artist: Barry Jackson

Summary: School lunch has always been gross, but lately it’s worse than ever. The salad is soggy; the spaghetti is rubbery. No one knows what the meatballs are made of! When pets start mysteriously disappearing around town, sixth-graders Stacey and Park think they’ve stumbled onto something. The new lunchroom attendant is awfully weird… What exactly has she been cooking up?

Initial Thoughts

This was the last book I needed to complete the set for Graveyard School. It felt weird, finally owning this book, which is why I probably took so long to finally read it. It blew away my expectations, though, not thinking it would go down the route it did.

As a head’s up, I recently discovered Todd Strasser was NOT the writer of this series. Instead, the creative genius belongs to Nola Thacker, who some of you might know as Point Horror authoress D.E. Athkins.

[Wing: I’m really intrigued by these author shenanigans, I must say.]

Recap

Once upon a time, in the faraway land of Grove Hill, Stacey Carter and Park Addams discussed between them whether or not their beloved principal Dr. Morthouse had a silver fang in her mouth. It’s the first day of the sixth grade, and Stacey is unhappy because now she can’t earn as much money as she did during the summer (walking dogs, watching pets, watering plants for people on vacation) or spend her free time relaxing. Park wishes he could be outside playing baseball. The kids of Graveyard School have been called for a special assembly, where Dr. Morthouse and Vice Principal Lucre announce some good news. It turns out lunchroom superintendent Mr. Todd has retired, which IS good news because the kids all hated his cooking. Unfortunately, the happiness is dulled when they introduce the new cook, the unnaturally thin, fish-eyed, and ghost-like Ms. Gladys Stoker. Lucre grandly announces this new chef came very qualified, and even studied in, *Le Gasp* Paris! Morthouse and Lucre are the only ones who applaud Ms. Stoker’s appearance on stage. She doesn’t seem to notice, acting like the entire building is cheering her name.

“Thank you,” said Ms. Stoker. She had a gravelly voice that went up at the end of each sentence. “Thank you all. I’m delighted with this challenging new job. This year, I can promise you, we will take new directions in nutrition and flavor. We will take your tastebuds where they have never been before. You will be served rare delicacies, special treats. Together, we are going to revitalize your vitamins and pump up your protein!”

“What a Froot Loop,” said Stacey.

Stoker concludes her State of the Union address by adding she will make it her effort to keep the cost of preparing the food far lower than it has ever been before. Morthouse and Lucre applaud so hard you’d think they’re going to start crying tears of joy. Stacey, however, has probably remembered the old saying about never trusting a skinny chef, and can’t see this ending well at ALL.

At lunch that very day, Alexander “Jaws” Bennett is eagerly waiting to get on line for lunch. Perfect Polly Hannah points out he’s always hungry, which causes Jaws to sigh. Ever since his parents started serving *shudder* health food, he’s hungrier than he ever was before. Not only that, but he’s lost a lot of weight and he’s definitely not happy about it. Park reminds Jaws he’s claimed he could eat anything. Jaws realized he’s got limits, but is happily looking forward to today’s menu item du jour:

MEAT LOAF SURPRISE WITH MASHED POTATO CRUST

After Polly complains about Jaws wasting food, Jaws foists the nutritious bagged lunch his parents gave him onto her tray so he can help himself to the Meat Loaf Surprise. Polly is beyond disgusted at the slimy green stuff in the bag, which Jaws describes as “Leftover carrot-lentil loaf with pureed spinach sauce on forty-grain bread with high protein spread.” What the fuck. [Wing: That sounds terrifying. I’ll take the meat loaf surprise, damn.] The Meat Loaf Surprise doesn’t look any more appetizing, with Stacey and Maria Medina wondering just what kind of meat is in said loaf or focusing on how much the broccoli tastes better (much to their indignation). Jaws is ecstatic though, declaring he’s saving all his money for the school lunches. Maria insists she’s not being picky, that there’s something genuinely off about the meat loaf.

Polly once again chides them for wasting food, so Stacey and Maria give Polly their plates and suggest she can bring them home to her dog Sweetie Pie. Polly goes A: She’s my mom’s dog, and B: She’s missing. Polly’s not particularly upset, because it’s clear she hated the dog and the way her mom treated it like a baby. [Wing: This story better not be going where I think it is going, or I am going to set something on fire!] Jaws asks for Polly’s extra meat loaf, and Polly gives it all to him when suddenly Jaws’ eyes bug out of his head and he collapses on the floor! Polly’s shrill screams echo throughout the lunch room as kids gather around Jaws’ body on the floor, and Stacey is the only one who can perform the Heimlich Maneuver on him when… GOTCHA! Jaws was just messing with them. Park says it was a good joke, but the girls are pissed. Stacey warns Jaws that if he tries shit like that too often, no one will help if something bad does happen to him. But Jaws doesn’t care, because what could ever happen to him…

After lunch, Stacey is stopped by Ms. Stoker for feedback on the meat loaf. Stacey, not wanting to lie, simply tells her everything was eaten. Stoker is pleased, and motions to a newly set up suggestion box so she can receive further input. Stoker claims she’s VERY interested in how the students feel.

Ms. Stoker reached toward Stacey with her other hand, two fingers poised like a vise, as if she were about to take a pinch of Stacey’s arm. But at the last second she seemed to think better of it. She drew back. “Very interested,” she repeated.

Stacey, feeling creeped out, does try to ask Stoker what was in the meat loaf, but Stoker seems to find this hilarious. She reiterates the “surprise” in the Meat Loaf Surprise, so if she told anyone it wouldn’t be a surprise would it? Stacey has no idea what the joke is when Stoker asks about Jaws. Stacey explains people call him “Jaws” because he’ll eat anything, even roadkill. Stacey laughs. Stoker doesn’t, finding the mention of roadkill interesting. Stoker than asks if Jaws is sick from how thin he looks. When Stacey tells Stoker that Jaws lost weight because his parents started feeding him stuff like tofu, Stoker’s revulsion makes you think she’s about to call Social Services and report Mr. and Mrs. Bennett. Stoker comments that it does look like Jaws used to be quite… healthy. Stacey comments maybe Jaws will gain some weight from the cafeteria food, which makes Stoker bust a gut laughing at the idea.

When school ends, Park and Stacey leave together and talk about the disappearance of Sweetie Pie. Park suggests Polly got rid of the dog herself. Stacey considers this, remembering the one day she tried to walk Sweetie Pie for Mrs. Hannah and how thoroughly nasty and obnoxious the dog acted. With her mother’s devotion to that dog, Stacey wonders what Polly would’ve done to get it out of her life. But it seems Sweetie Pie’s not the only missing pet. While Stacey takes her bulldog Morris to the park with Maria, they notice a flier for a missing parrot, mention the first graders lost their ant farm, and another dog owner recalls a second dog disappearing. And it may have been kidnapping, because both dogs were in locked yards and the yards were still locked when their owners realized they were gone. [Wing: NO, SERIOUSLY, THIS BETTER NOT BE GOING WHERE I THINK IT IS GOING. Also, here’s why Monster Dog stays inside when we’re not home.] Stacey and Maria run into Park, who explains he’s seen more fliers for missing pets around town. The kids discuss possibilities, like a dognapping ring, or that Sweetie Pie ran away because Polly was too much. Park proposes he’ll figure out who’s responsible for the missing pets, but Stacey and Maria don’t take him seriously. And none of them seem to realize someone is watching them leave the park. Someone hiding in the bushes…

A couple of days pass, and the cafeteria food steadily gets worse. Now there’s

CANNIBAL STEW WITH CARROT FINGERS AND POTATO EYES

It’s even worse than the

TURTLE SOUP (With noodles shaped like turtles)

Stacey and Park stop Mr. Lucre and ask him just what Cannibal Stew is supposed to mean. But Mr. Lucre thinks it’s ingenious and original. Stacey’s not moved, repeating her question of what’s actually IN the stew. [Wing: Ingenious and original? Mr Lucre, you don’t get out much, do you?]

“It’s beef stew, of course. You youngsters are so squeamish! You must get over this squeamishness if you expect to do well in life! Look at me! I admit, I was a squeamish young man once, but I put it aside in the name of a higher calling! Educating young minds! Civilizing young persons! And, with the aid of outstanding artists such as Ms. Stoker, nourishing young bodies as well!”

Stacey and Park literally have no way to respond to this, and quite frankly I can’t think of anything either except to CHANGE SCHOOL DISTRICTS. Lucre hustles Stacey and Park into the cafeteria, eagerly suggesting they all be members of “The Clean Plate Club.” Park is five seconds from assaulting Lucre before Stacey calls him off. No one is happy with the Cannibal Stew, not even Polly, who’s cutting her meal into smaller and smaller bits so she either doesn’t have to taste it or can just make it seem like she ate. Jaws loves it though, declaring the stew to be his favorite of Stoker’s entrees. Jaws is pretty much the only person in the Stoker Fan Club besides Lucre. Park acts like he’s eaten worse food, explaining whenever his older sister is on some fad diet she cooks for the family and the food’s always awful. [Wing: Why in the world would the parents let that happen?] The kids realize they’re in a no win situation. They can’t use the suggestion box, figuring it’s a trap to single out kids who might cause trouble and if they don’t sign their suggestions no one would listen. Park realizes they have to go with the Nuclear Option. Maria declares she’d rather die first, but Stacey asks what else the kids can do. So even though they’re in sixth grade, Park, Stacey, and Maria have no choice but to… bring their lunch from home! *DUN DUN DUUUUUUN* [Wing: Dying.]

See, apparently the only reason anyone ate the cafeteria food before is because of some unspoken decree that after a certain grade it’s too kiddy to bring lunch from home (unless your parents make you). And I’m like guys, chill. I brought my lunch from home all the time in grade school, and look at me nooooooo-moving on. [Wing: I remember it being a pretty big deal to buy food in the cafeteria during middle school, though that stigma faded some by junior high and high school. Though the high school food was better, so really, most people ate it anyway.] That night, Stacey and Maria wait until their families are asleep to assemble the forbidden meals. Stacey wants to avoid her older brother’s teasing, and Maria doesn’t want to shatter whatever expectations her little sister has. Maria has to retain her air of sophistication, you see. While Park has dinner with his family (Beef Stroganoff made with nonfat yogurt instead of sour cream, prepared by big sis Susie), [Wing: If that was Greek yogurt instead of nonfat, I could get behind this, because Greek yogurt has enough bite to work in place of sour cream.] Park grouses about the meal, which even his parents are having trouble with but are trying to be polite. Park brings up Stoker’s cooking, and compares her to the witch from Hansel and Gretel. This causes a spark in Park’s brain, as he suddenly feels as though there’s a connection between Hansel and Gretel, Stoker, and the missing pets. Gee, I wonder what it could be…

[Wing: First of all, at least Hansel and Gretel got to eat delicious candies before that whole fiasco. Second, I REPEAT, THIS BETTER NOT BE GOING WHERE IT IS OBVIOUSLY GOING, MY GOD.]

At lunchtime, Stacey and Maria are prepared to hang Park right there in the cafeteria when they see Park did not bring food from home, trying to shield their brown bags like dirty secrets as Park attempts to tell them he had a good reason for purchasing the

MYSTERY CASSEROLE

Park tries to be diffuse the situation with Maria and Stacey, who feel slightly better because at least the food they have are colors food is supposed to be. Then Park notices something in the casserole. Something that Jaws immediately swipes with his spoon and eats. Something Park tries to deny was there. A little eyeball.

[Wing: Oh god. Why, Jaws? WHY?]

Park explains to Stacey ala Jeff Goldblum in “Independence Day” his thought process and how he came to the sickening conclusion about Stoker.

Stoker + Hansel and Gretel + Missing pets =

Polly didn’t make the dog disappear. There is no dognapping ring. Ms. Stoker’s been keeping her promise about keeping the cost of food low because she’s feeding the kids pet food, as in FOOD made from PETS.

Stacey thinks Park is having a nervous breakdown and is about to start smacking some sense into his head, but Park points out the train of events. Stoker arrives, the food sucks, pets disappear, and the more they disappear the more the food sucks. Among the animals that are also missing include gerbils, snakes, and even GOLDFISH. Stacey realizes Park’s being serious, and Park intends to collect a sample of Stoker’s cooking and get it analyzed somewhere. [Wing: This is a pretty decent plan right up until the part where he has no idea how to get it analyzed.] Stacey still thinks Park’s losing it [Wing: Good to know this book’s rolling with the ableism.] and leaves him to do it himself. Unfortunately he can’t sneak into the kitchen because Stoker’s watching him, and Park fears she thinks he’s suspicious. Stacey, despite not joining Park, does some investigating herself. She asks Stoker about the Meat Loaf Surprise (which Stoker claims was a rousing success for an experimental attempt to try something new) and the Cannibal Stew. Stoker claims the secret ingredient for the stew is “Eye of newt and toe of frog.” Stacey blanches. Stoker explains it’s from Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

“You get your recipes from Shakespeare?”

“Of course. After all, Shakespeare got his ideas from other writers too. But the important thing to remember is not that you borrowed an idea but what you did with the idea. That’s where creative genius comes in.” Ms. Stoker lowered her eyes modestly.

“Shakespeare?” repeated Stacey.

Ms. Stoker smiled. It was a Dr. Morthouse-caliber smile, and Stacey stepped back involuntarily.

Ms. Stoker sweetly decides to prepare the Meat Loaf Surprise again, just for Stacey, because she loves to keep her students happy. Stacey, hon, take it from Oda Mae Brown:

image from the movie Ghost with Oda Mae Brown saying "you in danger girl"

The school day ends and Park waits until the halls are clear, not wanting to run into the dreaded Mr. “Basement Bart” Bartholomew as he does his investigating. Park sneaks into the school kitchen, being more than a bit unnerved by how much Stoker’s knives resemble saws and how the oven looks big enough to roast a small child. Looking in the walk-in fridge, he doesn’t found anything odd. Looking in the freezer, he almost screams at the sight of all the bloody meat when suddenly he hears someone humming “Eye of newt and toe of frog.” Realizing Stoker’s coming, Park tries to hide. But he hides too well, because now he’s locked inside the fridge. Park begins to pace in an effort keep warm when the door opens again, and his rescuer is none other than Basement Bart, dressed in his usual army fatigues and black sunglasses. Park shows his appreciation by getting da fuck out of there before Bart can grab him. Park heads to Stacey’s house, where she takes out a book on Shakespeare and tells him there are more missing pet fliers at the grocery store. The body count now includes a newt collection, a frog, and an ANACONDA. THE WOMAN FUCKING STOLE AN HONEST TO GOD ANACONDA FROM SOMEONE’S HOUSE. [Wing: As much as I hate where this story is going, that is some serious pet theft badassery, damn.] Stacey looked up Macbeth and realized Stoker wasn’t using hyperbole. Now Park and Stacey have to figure out what they’re going to do about her.

The next morning Park and Stacey grill Polly on when she last saw Sweetie Pie, but Polly’s not listening. For some reason the kids are waiting outside the school longer than usual. Park asks Polly more questions, and she drops the bombshell: Jaws is missing. Sometime between early morning and when the bus arrived at his house, he disappeared. Park tries to make a joke about how Jaws left his lunch at the bus stop, but Polly ignores it declaring the police were called. Polly’s saying her mom thinks they should’ve listened to her when she reported her dog missing, because Mrs. Hannah is now all “Hide yer kids, hide yer dogs cuz they kidnapping everybody.”

Park and Stacey know Stoker did it, but have no proof and know no one will take them seriously. Their only course is to find out more about Stoker, like where she lives. For probably the first time in its history, a Graveyard School student goes to Dr. Morthouse’s office without being told. Park sees the Doc, who thinks he wants to talk to someone about Jaws disappearing, and she’s kind of right, but Park asks where Ms. Stoker studied cooking and who recommended her. Stacey tries the same thing with Mr. Lucre, who can’t praise Stoker enough, AND is having dinner with her that evening. A “business” dinner he claims. Their search fruitless, Park and Stacey brainstorm their next move when Stoker shows up demanding to know why they brought lunch instead of buying it. The two kids hastily try placating the woman by saying their parents made them bring leftovers instead of throwing them out. Stoker seems to buy it, but her answer does not make them happy.

She glared at Park, then at Stacey. Then almost at once she switched off her frown, replacing it with a huge and frightening smile.

“Waste not, want not!” She exclaimed, raising her finger. “As I learned in my beloved alma matter. You would know what my alma matter is, wouldn’t you Parker?”

“What do you mean?” asked Parker weakly.

“My alma matter. Where I went to school. Didn’t you ask Dr. Morthouse about it just this morning? All about me?”

“Not exactly,” said Park.

“Ah. A misunderstanding, perhaps.” Ms. Stoker paused.

Neither Park nor Stacey could think of anything to say. Still smiling her frightening smile, Ms. Stoker went on, “I’m so glad we had a chance to talk, then. To clear up our misunderstandings. Perhaps we will talk more. Later.”

Park and Stacey are understandably scared because they know Stoker knows. Park thinks the next course of action to finding out more about Stoker is to follow her home, and to do that they’ll follow her from her date with Lucre. Stacey points out the easier thing to do is look up her address like a normal person, but they can’t find that or her phone number. Oh Stacey, did you really think it’d be that simple? [Wing: For one thing, Stacey, this probably should have been done before you started sneaking around and asking questions.]

Anyway, the kids get to the restaurant Lucre mentioned and stake out the place. Lucre and Stoker arrive in separate cars, Lucre a used Chevy, Stoker in a goddamned hearse. [Wing: I … kind of love Stoker. I can’t help it.] The only thing more frightening than Stoker’s car is seeing her together with Lucre. It’s like Martin Mull going out with a female version of Slenderman. Park wants to gag hearing the two adults talk about how “satisfying” their relationship has been so far, and then Stoker asks questions about Park and Stacey. Park convinces Stacey to hide in Stoker’s car, and as if on cue the sky starts to thunder and lightning. [Wing: Park, are you trying to get Stacey turned into [Meat] Surprise?] Hours pass before the kids hear Lucre and Stoker return, with Lucre offering to share his umbrella and Stoker giggling like a school girl before they start, you know, making their relationship more “satisfying.” Addressing each other by their first name, the unholy union departs and Stoker drives off blasting the soundtrack to “Sweeney Todd” in her car and unaware of her unexpected guests. [Wing: No, seriously, I am growing really fond of Stoker. STOP IT, AUTHOR.]

The car comes to a stop, and Park and Stacey wait a few minutes until they know Stoker’s gone. Out of the car, the kids don’t recognize where they are and believe they’re on the outskirts of town. Stoker’s house is exactly the kind of house you think it is for a horror novel. Old AND dark. Park tells Stacey they should split up to survey the house, but Stacey immediately points out that’s how people die in horror movies. [Wing: Genre-savvy kids are the best kids.] Park points out they know Stoker’s inside. Stacey begrudgingly checks one side of the house, and can see Stoker inside her kitchen fixing stew. Her basement door has a padlock, and next to the stew pot is a giant ass butcher knife. Smiling her worst smile of all, Stoker heads to the basement door with a bowl of stew, announcing her arrival down the basement stairs with “Your favorite.” Stacey goes to look for Park, and Park informs her he’s found Jaws. AND the missing pets. Through a grimy basement window, the kids see one half of the room is filled with animal cages and terrariums (half of which are now empty), and Jaws, sitting at a table in front of an enormous entertainment system and eating a big bowl of Cannibal Stew.

“This is great,” they heard Jaws say. He patted his stomach. “My pants fit again.”

“I know,” said Ms. Stoker.

“What’s for dessert?” Jaws said.

“Clean your plate and you’ll see,” Ms. Stoker promised.

“No problem,” said Jaws.

Ms. Stoker smiled.

Both Stacey and Park recoiled involuntarily.

Wow. So this just dovetailed straight into SVU territory, didn’t it?

Park and Stacey hurry to try and get inside and rescue Jaws before Ms. Stoker returns with a “surprise” for Jaws. They find the cellar doors, but the padlock is huge and rusty. The kids improvise and remove the hinges to the door with a pocket knife and swiss army knife respectively (they were smart enough to come prepared, at least). Park and Stacey are about to head down into the cellar when Ms. Stoker RUNS DOWN THE BACK STAIRS SCREAMING HER LUNGS OUT AND BRANDISHING THE GIANT ASS BUTCHER KNIFE! Stacey and Park try to split up, but Stacey ends up falling down the stairs and blacks out. [Wing: Oh, look, Dove’s missing out on a concussion? walk it off moment.] When she comes to, Jaws is standing above her, and explains she only just fell down a few seconds ago. Getting her bearings, Stacey tells Jaws they have to find Park and get the fuck out of there. But Jaws says he didn’t get dessert. Stacey, and I, are like “Dude what the fuck?” Stacey has to spell it out for Jaws that he was KIDNAPPED, but Jaws seems to think Stoker is helping him teach his parents a lesson for trying to make him eat health food.

Turns out Stoker enticed Jaws into her car with pizza and they “came up” with this plan to “hide him” at her house for a few days. Stacey tells him the fucking door is padlocked. Jaws says he never checked. DUDE. Even as Stacey tells Jaws to look at the fucking animal cages behind him, he refuses to believe Stoker is fattening him up for her next recipe. Jaws only agrees to leave with Stacey after loading his pockets with video games from Stoker’s entertainment system. Stacey initially fears the worst for Park before he finds the two, when Stoker lurches out of the woods after them. The kids run for what seems like forever, Jaws complaining and stubbornly asserting Stoker wouldn’t hurt them. Things seem calm, and then two high beams shower the kids in light as Stoker’s car bursts through the trees after them, the sound of her bloodthirsty laughter bursting from the car’s open windows. The kids try to flee as the car corners them in the woods, only Stoker loses control and crashes against a tree. Not bothering to check if she’s still alive, the kids follow a nearby stream towards civilization. [Wing: OH COME ON. Stacey was damn genre savvy a short time ago, but now she’s down with just running off without making sure their monster is dead? DAMN IT, AUTHOR. CONTINUITY. All I want is continuity. (That is such a lie, I want much more than that.)]

Park, Stacey, and Jaws make it back to town by early dawn. The kids think no one will believe what’s happened, but luckily they still have the single food sample Park kept as evidence. Jaws insists he had a good thing going until his friends selfishly rescued him because they were jealous. [Wing: My god, Jaws might be my favorite.] This is too much for Stacey, who falls into hysterical laughter at the whole situation. Park joins in the laughter, but not Jaws. Jaws says he’ll come up with an excuse for what happened so the others won’t get in trouble. Park can’t believe he feels hungry, which makes Stacey laugh harder. Jaws gets home and decides to make breakfast for himself. Stacey gets five minutes of sleep. Park is in the process of making a sandwich when he realizes his sister ate the one sample of Stoker’s cooking he managed to save, and loses his appetite.

At school, all anyone can talk about is what a hero Jaws is. Apparently he told everyone he saw one of the missing dogs, followed it into the woods, and got lost. Uh-huh. Meanwhile, Ms. Stoker has retired for “health” reasons. Dr. Morthouse breaks the bad news at another assembly.

“I’m sorry to give you some very bad news. Ms. Stoker has been forced, for reasons of health, to resign her post as lunchroom superintendent. I’m sure all of you will join me in unanimous regret over our losing such an excellent and thrifty cook.”

The silence that met this remark was profound.

No one is more upset than Mr. Lucre, a man devastated from being unable to reach second base. He announces the temporary return of the old superintendent, Mr. Todd, until they can find someone else. But he assures the kids no one will ever replace Ms. Stoker in their plates or their hearts. Again, no one says anything. [Wing: Well, he’s not wrong…]

That afternoon, Park and Stacey discuss the return of some of the missing pets (not included among them is Sweetie Pie) and where Stoker might be now. Stacey wonders if she’ll keep doing what she did before. Park asks why? Stacey shows him a newspaper article her dad was reading that morning. In a neighboring town, a number of pets have been reported missing. The police suspect foul play, but have no suspects at this time.

[Wing: Damn it, how come I like Stoker so much considering what she’s done?!]

Final Thoughts

So there was our first trip to Graveyard School. I went into this not expecting there wouldn’t be anything supernatural in the conflict, or that it’d involve fucking child abduction and trying to run down kids with a hearse. And it leaves you with the satisfying note that Stoker IS STILL OUT THERE. But I honestly could not believe how stupid Jaws was in this book. I liked how Stacey, even for as much as she doesn’t like Sweetie Pie, says you shouldn’t blame the dog itself for being spoiled and mean, it’s the owner’s responsibility not to let them turn out like that. Also, that summary lied! There was absolutely no salad, spaghetti, or meatballs in this book! LIAR!

[Wing: Well, there were eyes at least.]

Activity Section: Two fill-in-the-blank sections, one for Ms. Stoker’s Meat Loaf recipe and how to prepare it, and a creepy school lunch menu. Someone already filled in the blanks for my copy so I’ll include those.

[Wing: Okay, this activity section is pretty great.]

Ms. Stoker’s Recipe for Mystery Meat Loaf

  • 1 pound dog or chicken meat, 1/2 cup of turtle or alligator eyes, 1/2 cup of slugs or snails, 1 tablespoon acid or socks, 1 pinch dirt to spice
  • Mix all ingredients together with a butcher knife. Then bring to a boil in a garbage pail. Stick in a bucket for 30 minutes. Take out, cool, and serve with a side dish of smooth blue vegetables. Enjoy!

Lunch Special Today

  • Eyeball Soup, Mud Salad with choice of Heart or Liver Dressing, Baked Toes Lasagna, Spaghetti with Hair Balls, Pizza with choice of 3 toppings: Blood, Spit, or Skin, Rice and (Abes?), Dessert: Belly Button Flavored Pudding

Trivia:

  • Polly Hannah’s Wardrobe: Pink headband, pink and yellow flowered shirt, yellow skirt, tights, and pink flats.
  • Ms. Stoker’s Menu: Meat Loaf Surprise with Mashed Potato Crust, Turtle Soup, Cannibal Stew with Carrot Fingers and Potato Eyes, Mystery Casserole

8 thoughts on “Recap #70: Don’t Eat The Mystery Meat! by Tom B. Stone, A.K.A. “Nightmare Cafeteria II – Electric Boogaloo”

  1. That was disgusting, but I was definitely expecting human cannibalism rather than pets

    I once read a children’s horror series that had a book about a mysterious new cook at a school who forced all the kids to eat pasta that was crawling with live bugs. I’m sure I threw up after reading it. Before I read the recap I thought it might have been this book, obviously it’s not. Maybe it was “Ghosts of Fear Street” or something?

      1. I feel nauseous again just from thinking about it. I am not brave enough to watch the video!

        (I’m sure “Ghosts of Fear Street” did have a food-related book. I think it was one where a boy starts to eat garbage and worms and other inedible things, and then finds out this is because he is a malfunctioning robot. Or am I thinking of the Goosebumps book where the heroes are robots? I can’t keep track of them all!)

  2. This is the work of Nola Thacker as well? She ghost-wrote the Nightmare Hall recap I just did! She sure was prolific for someone who was essentially a terrible writer.

    1. Well I don’t know about her Point Horror stuff but I love the Graveyard School books. I’m not sure you guys will share my opinion on them, but maybe she had an easier time with preteen books than teen horror.

      1. I can’t speak for anyone else, but so far, I’m enjoying the Graveyard School books. I quite liked the Skeleton on the Skateboard.

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