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ISSUE 121 VOL 14 PUBLISHED 3/14/2008

Food queues frustrate

By Natalie Neal
Contributing Writer


Friday, March 14, 2008

Have you ever found yourself stuck in the ever-winding Caf line and felt a strange feeling of agitation threatening to boil over into a violent rage? Do you ever feel overly exasperated that twenty people lay between you and that grilled cheese of golden goodness? You might be experiencing what is known as Caf-line rage. Don't despair; with these handy dandy tips and tricks to channel your rage into creative outlets, you will be through the line before you know it.

For starters, try striking up an awkward conversation with someone around you. Better yet, move up a few spaces in line and thank the new person next to you for saving your spot. Trade ID cards with that person and see if Maureen, the friendly Caf lady who "knows" everyone's name, notices.

Remember back to your first-year religion class and recite the Ten Commandments. For further effect, point at specific people for each commandment. If you can't even remember what you did last weekend, much less what you learned in your first-year religion class, shout the 50 states song in alphabetical order. See how fast you can say them using the wall clock as your stopwatch.

Another option would be to count the number of times people say certain words such as "everything," "like," "awesome" and "gnarly." You may also try smiling suggestively at someone from the opposite sex that you do not know and see how they react.

Otherwise, you can burst out laughing and say to the quizzical onlookers that you just got a joke from your first class. If they continue to look at you in a peculiar manner, ask them why the chicken crossed the road.Inform them that it was to avoid the "Home" line.

Enjoy the rare opportunity to simply exist during your busy day. Breathe in for five counts, then breathe out for 10 counts. Do this until you are light headed & by that time you should be through the line. If you can't do it for that amount of time, make it your personal goal to achieve the endurance to sustain the breathing intensity.

Ponder these words from the Babylonian Talmud: "Eat a third and drink a third and leave the remaining third of your stomach empty. Then, when you get angry, there will be sufficient room for your rage."

Feeling especially mischievous? Wipe your hands on the person in front of you and tell them you forgot to wash your hands. Once you get into the Caf and you have to wait in the individual food lines, use the automatic hand sanitizer liberally and ask that same person if they want the excess foam. Challenge your new friend to a thumb war.

Say you have gotten through the initial line, and past the Caf workers who swipe your card. First off, congratulate yourself for getting this far. To survive the inner bustle, avoid the long lines and set out to make your own creations. For those of you who have never connected with their inner chef, dabble in the novice recipes such as fruit salads, your own Mac & Cheese or combining the display red peppers with ranch dressing. If you are feeling adventurous, take the line least cued and go to the "Grains" station & even though you might not be able to pronounce the name of the food or its source of origin, it can be quite tasty. Ask the Caf worker serving you the food if you can get a smile with that.

Solve world hunger. I dare you. If that task seems too daunting, share with someone your hidden talent. If you don't have one, try balancing their spoon on your nose. If they looked shocked, you can bet that they are in awe of your extraordinary abilities.

Start bargaining for food items with other Caf goers who are further up in line. Stay away from people trying to trade their mystery meat soup. If you are standing alone, say, "excuse me" numerous times at random intervals. If someone inquires about your need to be excused, just advise him/her to steer clear of the beans.

If you want to make a lasting impression, spontaneously sprint into the Caf without being clothes-lined by the Caf workers. Proceed to dip your head into the ketchup and scream that you have an open sore. See how many people remain in line after that.

As the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once stated, "a sure way to irritate people and to put evil thoughts into their heads is to keep them waiting a long time. This makes them immoral." Keep those evil thoughts and that pent up frustration from your failed organic chemistry test at bay and follow these foolproof methods to suppress Caf-line rage.


Natalie Neal '10 is from Edina, Minn. She majors in English and media studies.


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