The sprinkles situation
Aidan O'Malley | Friday, September 24, 2021
Over the past two years and — *checks watch* — one month, I have written quite literally thousands of words in the pages of The Observer. As if that wasn’t unhinged enough, I wrote most of them with no expectation that anyone I know or love would read them. Yes, journalism is a public service, but the act of writing is actually quite selfish. Of course, if you happen to have dipped your toe into my Observer oeuvre, I thank you for it. But I don’t write to be read — I write because I have to.
All of that is to say that this article, right here, published on the 24th of September in the Year of Our Lord 2021, is different. This is — without a hint of hyperbole, without an inkling of irony, without a DROP of dramatization — the single most important 600 words I have ever worded 600 times. It is my most critical contribution to The Observer yet, written not for me, but for you. I don’t consider myself a hero, though what I do is certainly brave. I think of myself more like a philosopher — like Aristotle, or Socrates — pondering life’s great mysteries … What is truth? What is justice?
And where the f*ck are the rainbow sprinkles in North Dining Hall?
For those uninitiated, both North and South Dining Hall come equipped with state-of-the-art soft-serve machines. One lever provides rich, creamy vanilla, another sweet, satisfying chocolate and the one in the middle mixes the two, swirling them together so finely you would think you had broken into a Dairy Queen. One time, I saw a guy take a plate and pour a pyramid. It was glorious.
Of course, for the 2020-2021 school year, these genius contraptions lay dormant, crying out to be used as masked students shuffled past. But this fall is a new dawn, and as the soft-serve machines whirred to life, I was there, bowl and spoon in hand.
But I didn’t receive a warm welcome. To my horror, there were no rainbow sprinkles.
Historically, there has been not too far from the soft serve a variety of condiments. Students could choose from a collection of nuts and berries, chocolate chips, caramel and cocoa glaze — and of course, my sprinkles. But my sprinkles were nowhere to be seen!
My fight-or-flight response was instantly triggered. I started to panic. What should I do? Should I get my ice cream, without rainbow sprinkles? God no, I’m not a caveman! Should I ask to speak with the manager? Should I call my representative? It simply never occurred to me that there wouldn’t be rainbow sprinkles.
“They must have just forgotten,” I assured myself. “Surely tomorrow the sprinkles will return.” But 24 hours later, they were still missing — and 48 hours later, too. Four weeks into the semester, and there are still no rainbow sprinkles.
So, I blinked. A good friend of mine — a fellow ice cream connoisseur and sprinkle enthusiast — agreed to foot half the bill for oh, shall we say, an investment. To put it bluntly, we bought sprinkles online; more specifically, these ones. They are quite good and gluten-free.
Oh, but the SHAME I feel when I bring them to the dining hall! The LOOKS I receive when I pull out of my backpack 14 whole ounces of candy-colored deliciousness!! I cannot continue living like this.
Thus, I call on Campus Dining — nay, Fr. Jenkins — to correct this affront immediately. Bring back rainbow sprinkles to North Dining Hall! The person has spoken.
And you want to know the worst part? The other day, I met up with some friends at South Dining Hall.
Guess what was there.