I went to a very tiny college with only one dining hall. The staff was considerably small, and there was one single staff member in charge of desserts. As opposed to the image one would usually have of a lady in charge of desserts (jolly, rosy-cheeked, maybe with flour up to her elbows), our ice cream lady hated sugar, the world, and college students, and would show her dislike by barking insults at any student who went near her dessert table. For a while there was a petition going around to fire her, but eventually people decided it wasn’t worth the effort. For all I know, she’s still there, lumbering around and scaring the living daylights out of anyone with the audacity to come looking for cupcakes or chocolate chips. This is blog post I wrote while I was in college, about a typical interaction with Dessert Lady.
I peered anxiously into the caverns of my college dining hall, to where my prize was said to lie. There! I sighted it. It darted in and out of my vision, through gaps between the herds of hungry college students. Ice cream bar. And with it, my prize. The Food of the Gods. Chocolate Chips. Guarded by a beast so foul, so large and so terrible that even the bravest warriors dared not venture near it. But I sought it. For in its molten form, this miraculous substance would cure my abysmal affliction. Indeed! Only this forbidden potion could satiate the screaming pains of my sugar addiction, the accursed plague that had been haunting my palate since the first ray of morning sun. I crept toward the ice cream bar, ever wary of the beast that had claimed lives of one thousand score addicts before myself. The way was clear, and I made a brazen dash for the frozen altar and the promise of my anticipated cure.
There it lay before me. An endless trough, brimming with the Food of the Gods. CHOCOLATE CHIPS. I paused for only a moment, to suck in my breath at the sight of this tantalizing wonder. Then my spoon plunged into its chocolaty depths, and began shoveling the plundered bounty into my bowl with unmitigated desperation mingled with glee… chocolate…CHOCOLATE… NOOOOOOMMMMM—!
I froze. The trough was cast in an ominous shadow of doom. I felt a terrifying presence loom behind me, tasting the air with its silent forked tongue. I felt the ground shake under bulging feet, and the very air began to vibrate as the cavernous lungs of the beast sucked in a great, stinking breath. The room thundered, as she let out a booming roar: “Fee, Fie, Fo, Fum!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH ALL THAT CHOCOLATE??? !!!!”
Heavens forfend! My legs were moving before my mind even formed a thought. With all the stony courage I could summon, (a trait passed down my noble family tree for innumerable generations), I darted past her, ducking under her club-like elbow, my prize clutched tightly against my chest. The beast bellowed her fury. The food around me quaked in fear. And I ran, ran as I had never run before.
At a safe distance, I stole a glance back. The beast stood in the doorway, her beady eyes crackling with the fires of hell as she pushed back the sleeves over her bulging arms. This horrific image will haunt my dreams for many years to come. But no matter. I had emerged victorious, victorious! I kissed my sweet, sweet, beholden chocolate, and placed it into a microwave oven to begin its miraculous alchemy.
Yet I know the beast waits. She waits, lurking in the deepest recesses of my nightmares for me to make a move too bold. She’s biding her time. I mustn’t let it trouble me, but I know the fateful day of her revenge is inching closer, every moment.