My plan was to pour a small “tasting” amount of the beverage into my glass, but there was this stubborn plug of fruit pulp in the neck of the bottle that was blocking the flow. The mixture was frustratingly resistant to gravity until suddenly, when I had it practically upside-down, it wasn’t. That's the moment I found myself standing in a large puddle of creamy watermelon juice that extended over to the dripping buffet counter and also coated my arms like runny oven mitts.
Post-spill. I got a nice full glass.
I wish this event didn’t throw me into a foaming wave of pasty pink flashbacks, but unsurprisingly, it does. During my four years of undergrad, I developed a somewhat regrettable relationship with the cafeteria frozen yogurt machine. I’m the first person to encourage a dessert course, whether it’s after breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack, so it should come as no surprise that I was a frequent visitor to the frozen goodie station of our dining hall.
One weekday after an early lunch, I strode over to the dessert counter, blindly reached for a sugar cone (which I could have done in my sleep), and held it in my left hand under the Columbo yogurt nozzle (flavor of the day: raspberry) while I pulled the white lever with my right hand. Instantly, the device began gushing pink, frothy, room-temperature liquid in a 4-foot circle around my feet… all in view of 400 or so peers who I would spend the next month trying not to look in the eye.
To challenge any generous assumption that I’m a fast and thorough learner, an identical event happened on a second occasion, this time leading to strawberry- flavored results. I eventually did get the message: Don’t try to satisfy a fro-yo fix before 1 o’clock; DON'T DO IT. Because if I do decide to pull that lever and try my luck, I’ll just have to waste another Rhetorical Theory class showering syrup the color of Pepto-Bismol off of my legs, and I doubt that Dr. Chase is inclined to accept that excuse more than twice. At least not without laughing in my face first.
Despite many years scattered with a multitude of bittersweet accidents, I want to encourage each of you to keep on filling that sugar cone. However, if you’re standing in line and you feel even a shred of doubt, just go ahead and let someone else pull that lever, because while you can clean up the sugary stink, there’s simply no sponge in the world that can scrub away the shame.