In a normal year, Peirce Dining Hall is an underappreciated hub of Kenyon social life. This year, it is the only rock in the peopleless ocean we call a college campus, and for that I am forever grateful. The fact that all this wonderful food is cooked seven days a week specifically for us is something that I’m not about to take for granted, and I want to show my Peirce Hall fandom in any way I can; any way except one.
It is with great shame that I recall countless times looking across a bin of heaping cauliflower at the Peirce worker. “Would you like veggies?” they ask.
“No thank you,” I reply, and run away before they can taunt me by offering dino nuggets and crustless PBJs.
In a normal year, this too would not be an issue. I would zip on past and grab as many hot dogs as would fit on my plate, gulping the glizzies and nothing more. But for everyone’s safety, the Peirce staff have adopted a more rigorous role, akin to the elementary school lunch lady (bless her heart). They now serve out the food by request of the hungry students, and if you have specifications, you must look them in the eye and speak with firm voice. It is with this self-sureness that I admit to eating like a five-year-old whose parents aren’t home.
Yes, I remember learning about “sometimes foods” on Sesame Street. “Cookies are a sometimes food,” Elmo tells Cookie Monster. “Fruit and veggies are always food!” Shut up Elmo, you got no esophagus. I’ll eat what I please, and that means no vegetables under any circumstances.
The Peirce workers are kind, far too kind. They work hard to prepare vegetables that are locally sourced in Ohio, helping both the environment and our digestive systems. A selection of squash, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, carrots, and cucumbers, all have made their way under the title “Vegetables” on the menu. I have rejected each and every one of them, and I will continue to live with the shame. I sit here now in a pool of sweat, not just because of fear, but because of the exorbitant amount of red meat coursing through my flesh. Yes, I think this is the life for me.
Oh, but sometimes I’ll try the broccoli. Sometimes.