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Treatise on marshmallows

Observer Editorial Board | Thursday, November 17, 2011

It’s over, just like that. We 2,000 seniors have walked into Notre Dame Stadium 26 times as students and, after this weekend, will never do so again. Those 27 Saturdays will go down as the greatest 27 Saturdays of our lives.

And they’re gone.

Really, there is only one aspect of Saturday’s finality we can look forward to without a heavy tinge of sadness — Marshmallows, they aren’t just for hot chocolate anymore. They are for pelting your friends, acquaintances and complete strangers.

We thus proceed to the first inquiry. Stadium ushers, state police and all figures of authority insist throwing marshmallows is foolish for the following reasons:

Objection 1. It would seem when marshmallows are combined with pennies, they become lethal projectiles.

Obj. 2. Further, it would seem when marshmallows are combined with rain and middling temperatures, they become an adhesive akin to three tons of super glue-covered duct tape.

Obj. 3. It would seem bringing outside food or drink into Notre Dame Stadium is not only frowned upon, but also illegal.

On the contrary, the student section belongs to the students and the traditions they uphold. And to tradition belong good times and winning, as have been maintained before. Therefore, the student section belongs to good times and winning.

I answer that, tradition is an objective matter, determined by the masses, privy to change as the masses see fit. Though tradition is an evolving matter, some traditions are not meant to ever depart. Winning is one such tradition. Another is the art of the marshmallow throw. As long as the student body enjoys throwing little balls of corn syrup, sugar and artificial flavoring, they shall be allowed to do so.

Reply to Objection 1: The students throwing the marshmallows attend Notre Dame, and, for the most part, Notre Dame students are an intelligent group. They are not prone to wasting money. When they do, it is on three pairs of differently-colored UGG boots or drink specials at Kildare’s or Brothers, not by shoving laundry money into marshmallows. Furthermore, Notre Dame students are not a vengeful grouping of citizens. To think these 2,000 seniors would intentionally, knowingly, consciously inflict harm on those who endured the last four years alongside them is wholly foolish thinking. These students stood beside each other through 10 home losses, including defeats at the hands of Syracuse, USC, Navy, Connecticut, Tulsa, South Florida and USC again. These students sat beside each other watching another 10 losses on the road, including follies at the feet of USC, Michigan, the “Little Giants” of Michigan State and Navy. These students are not intending to hurt each other. Rather, these students are intending to celebrate four years together, in a childish, light-hearted manner.

Reply to Obj. 2: Forecasts predict only a few showers. Even if the clouds were to open a la the South Florida hurricane, a cement-to-shoe goo would only add to the carefree nature of this tradition.

Reply to Obj. 3: The North Face makes bulky jackets for a reason, as do Columbia and Patagonia. Their reason is to protect you from the harsh cold of northern Indiana winters. Adding bags of marshmallows to the jacket’s original layers will only add to the insulation value of the garment, as well as hide said marshmallows from any intrusive ushers.

Conclusion: After four years of mediocrity, after four years of lasting memories, after four years of good times, it is time for the 2,000 seniors to celebrate together. It is time for the 2,000 seniors to act like the snow is falling while the Irish lose to Syracuse, and throw some snow-colored marshmallows.

It is time for a marshmallow fight. Students, seniors and mates of the Class of 2012, let us insist on throwing marshmallows. It is foolish for all these reasons, and it is right for all these reasons.