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A plea for dining hall transparency

| Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My iPhone sounds in the wee hours of the morning, and I automatically snatch my phone to disarm the 7:35 a.m. wakeup alarm before Bush’s early-2000s grunge hit “Glycerine” can reach the vocals.  I rise slowly out of my bunk bed and come to grips with the unreasonable expectations the day demands of somebody who still sleeps in a bunk bed.  Despite the sunshine and fresh autumnal aromas greeting my senses, the youthful enthusiasm of our campus serves only to remind me of an innocence lost and a bygone time of carelessness I once experienced but never appreciated.  I finish the cursory burdens of my life as a student—attending lectures, going to work, working out with a body worthy of a father of at least three—only to return to Fisher in my semi-regular early evening malaise.  To save time, I access the internet to inquire into South’s best attempt at remedying my beleaguered existence.  My eyes scan the page without note, my brainwaves churning at lower frequencies than those of CBS live studio audiences, but then wait.  What is this: “SDH Pizza…Pepperoni Calzone.”

By Golson, is this the night?  Is this the day I rebel against the accelerating disintegration of my mental health with the golden ratio of pepperoni and tomato (or at least tomato-y) sauce?  I jollily inform my roommates of the victual situation, and they dance like Greek schoolboys celebrating the feast of Thetis and Peleus.  I eagerly swipe into South and lead my troop of merry-goers to the pizza bar.  What met my eyes?  Pepperoni pizza, no calzones, along with sundry “Italian” appetizers.  Surely, I loudly assure my followers, there must be a mistake.  I ask the woman behind the bar, a delightful woman who shall remain nameless, when the nascent dough, meat and sauce would emerge from their promising cocoon as beautifully mature calzones, and she just stares at me.  “I’m sorry sweetie, but the powers must have deliberately deceived you for their own sadistic pleasure.  Would you like some Bosco sticks?”

I apologize if I must collect myself at this point, but the rest of my evening is mostly a blur.  I black out for what must have been four hours and wake up in my dorm room reeking of chicken patties and man-tears.  Needless to say, I have not been the same since the incident.

If my story does nothing to move the pity of my fellow students, let it not fall in vain upon the eyes of those powers in the administration responsible for the nourishment of our frail vessels of thought.  I ask you, as a voice crying out in the wilderness, for an increase in civil and transparent discourse with the student body.

You can impose martial law on my dorm with a completely unnecessary police presence on random weekends.  You can rob my fellow tailgaters and me of reasonable seats at football games.  You can even use the nickels and dimes my parents scraped together for my education to build a monstrosity of a stadium expansion in the name of academic progress.

But please, never lie to my face about calzone night again.

David O’Connor


Fisher Hall

Sept. 30

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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  • No


    Glycerine came out in 1994.

  • Anon

    It could be worse. You could live closer to North than to South.

  • mike

    As an old guy with five kids and looking every bit of it, I can only say that your writing was a punch in the gut. The must say that thememory of this kind of raw and naked disillusionment at the hand of caprice is nothing less than an existential nightmare.
    It’s as if, in facing the monolithic edu-industrial complex, one finds that they will not just crush you four straight games in the world series of daily life. No, they have even taken your favorite baseball card and burned it!
    I like the way you write and I am grateful for it.
    Is Bush anything like Led Zeppelin?

    • David O’Connor

      Thanks Mike. Bush is a little more like Hootie and the Blowfish (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOllF3TgAsM), deep raspy ballad-like. As “no.”^ was correct in pointing out, “Glycerine” was created in ’94 but was digitally remastered in the early 2000’s–and that’s the one I have as my alarm. Go Irish, beat agonizing cynicism.

  • Dr. A


    This humor is refreshing.

    Thank you, David.

    “No”, no.

    Go Irish!

  • Tyson’s Chicken Patty Division

    Hey Dave, we are sorry about your experience, and your commentary on our normally delicious chicken patties hurts us deeply. We wanted you to know that we process only the finest of our STEROID-FREE chickens for your dining pleasure. We have obtained your address and are sending 20 boxes of Tyson’s Dinosaur Nuggets for your trouble. Thank you.

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