March 10, 2005

Taste Matters

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I honestly don’t think that when Ezra Cornell uttered the words, “I would found an institution where any person could find instruction in any study” (I’m looking at my shot glass), he meant them literally. He was actually talking about a place where his nerdy little buddies named Willis, Honace, Abner and the one that smelled, Fish, could go to learn some hippie liberal arts and then engage in some tomfoolery as well as a wince of debauchery in an opium den, now called the Eco House. But in the middle of an opium binge, A.D. White took a break from his prostitutes and thought it would be okay to let everyone join in on the fun. So now, not only can you get your real Ivy League degree, you can also get a fake one, sometimes for only half the price. To further ugglify the university, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (and communication, teaching, ghetto business and other majors not associated with farming and whatever the hell life sciences are) began to build Kennedy Hall. The Aggies were clearly trying to “one up” the Arts College, which with Uris Hall had won the “why the fuck did we allow anything to be built during the ’70s?” award.

Slowly, Trillium became the nexus of the state school universe. What better place to eat before or after your PAM 128, AEM 221 or ILR 240 class? Nonetheless, it is the most diverse eatery on campus. Compared with the other places, Trillium most embodies Ezra Cornell’s motto because people from nearly every school come each day to sit at separate tables and talk shit about different sororities. Thus, Trillium became the better-looking, cooler students’ answer to the Ivy Room and reigned supreme among the campus’s a la carte facilities.

Continuously successful, Trillium sometimes attracts some of the few remaining senior members of sororities. Says Becca Berger ’05, “Don’t tell anyone I’m here. It’s my little little’s first day using her new conditioner, and I’m going right back to CTB. I think my scooped out California bagel with Veggielite and Nova might be ready.” I wanted to find out the truth about Trillium. But since people all over the world read my column and know who I am, I had to blend in. So I threw on my New Balances, somewhat expensive jeans with a slight fade and maybe a rip or two, my North Face backpack, and my black or dark blue, maybe sometimes white North Face or EMS fleece. I brought a beat-up, obscure college or minor league baseball hat with me, just in case I wanted to wear it kind of backwards but kind of sideways and kind of on my head but ever so slightly off. Okay, I just dressed like every guy that’s ever gone to our school.

I had a history class, I think, but instead, I went to the Ag Quad and sat in on Visual Communication of International Finance for cruel Amish cabbage and squash farmers — COMMAEMANISCIAMEANAMISH 337. It was actually earth-shatteringly interesting. I started to rethink my career path, but then realized that I would be late for lunch. So I stood up, checked out the girls, and stared at every guy like I was going to kick his ass. That normally would have made me look cool, but class wasn’t over, so I sat back down and waited. Finally, I was out and on my way across the quad. Something then hit me. As I looked around, I noticed that there was an unusual amount of people from other schools around me. It then became abundantly clear — this was something I always believed, but could not confirm — that every single human being at Cornell is actually an AEM major.

Anyway, I then walked to the front entrance. I could already see the long lines inside. I knew this would be a long wait, so I pretended to call my friend “Ken.” I loudly said how funny it was that I was going to eat at Trill (or the more popular and much more white, Jewish, thugged-out Trizzle — Hava Nagizzle) because I had hooked up with like, every girl in there. No one else really found that funny. Next, I had to find something to eat. It all looked so good — I couldn’t decide which tasteless, salty, deep-fried cube or sphere of meat I wanted to wash down with a refreshing banana/chili cheese fries flavored Aquafina. It looked so appetizing that I actually had to sample as much as I could. So I stood on the sandwich line for about a day, only to receive a slice of meat and some lettuce-flavored something on a piece of bread, divided in two — for only five bucks. Then, I checked out the authentic, Southern barbeque, where the guy actually had his mobile home, morbidly obese wife, ten children and shotgun behind the counter. I could have walked away from the pulled pork and fried butter, but I would have been shot and possibly barbequed. I then stumbled upon perhaps the worst salad bar ever. They have two salad bowl sizes, “this is so small” and “just get the bigger one for another two dollars you cheap bastard.” Of course, I took the smaller size. For the near $70,000 your parents spend on you every day, you can find some sympathy in that alcohol and smoke-filled heart of yours. But if you only pay half price, go crazy!

I only paid 47 dollars for a sandwich, chips and a bottle of flavored water. I’m glad to see my money is really going toward fresh, quality ingredients and flavored water, rather than another “research facility” that Cornell wants to build, but in reality will become the Ivy League’s largest indoor/outdoor game of strip poker and host to many broadcasts of E!’s Wild On Particle Acceleration. To find my seat, I entered the jungle that is Trillium. Under the skylight, I tried to casually sit, but realized that I was going solo. To remedy this, one should normally pick up one’s phone, dial his or her own pretend friend “Ken” and pretend to look for said friend among the crowd. I stood at the front of the room, looked around and then looked pissed that my “friend” was nowhere to be found. I needed to find a seat, but I was going to have to park myself next to some unsuspecting females. Coincidently, I think it might have been Bid Day’s two week anniversary because the whole middle section was black hair and high, squeaky voices. If you didn’t blink, you could make out what looked like senior guys sniffing freshmen like wild howler monkeys.

I saw a gap at one of the tables and sat next to a girl who was double majoring in TXA and advanced undergraduate shopping. She and her “girls” were discussing the night’s events. Rachel really wanted to go to the “Huge Black Guys and Skinny White Girls” mixer with Lambda Lambda Lambda, but Becca would have none of it because her love interest, Jeff Silvermanstein, a seventh year, was having something on Linden. “He thinks you got fat,” I yelled in a girl voice. “What?!??!?” All of a sudden, words turned to actions and Samantha threw a piece of her low-carb Pria bar at Becca. A food fight broke out with lettuce leaves and hair thingies flying all over the place. I knew I had to do the mature thing by going outside and laughing at the chaos I had created. Aferwards, I turned and headed to Statler for a second lunch …

Archived article by Jon Rich
Sun Staff Writer