A.J. Goes To the DUC

Last Wednesday I went to the DUC. I’m too old to go to the DUC. I went because I was promised free steak. I ate the steak. It was good. In order to eat the steak, I had to go to a Food Advisory Committee of Emory (FACE) meeting. As it turns out, the people in charge of the DUC know how much you hate it. They also want to fix it. But, since they don’t eat DUC “food,” they don’t know what’s wrong.

The steak, pasta primavera, and seared vegetables were delicious. It was Emory Catering. I suggested we simply serve food like that. Problem solved, you’re welcome. This suggestion was dismissed because you can’t cook food that good for more than 50 or so people. When Jesus divided the loaves and fishes, everyone ate, but it would have gotten 3 stars on Yelp.

Students at Emory enjoy whining. But they whine like students at a top 20 college. They have lists. Sometimes flow-charts. There were no powerpoints this time.

College freshman Michael Sacks began the FACE meeting. His housemate from Texas showed up for the food but didn’t eat the steak. He must be ashamed of his heritage. I’m from California and I can do yoga. Some people lack pride in their state. Others lack pride in their cafeteria. I was proud to be among those who care so much about the cafeteria, that they will criticize it to its face. These are constructive criticisms. They are for the greater good. They are for progress. They are for freedom.

A major complaint was that the cups are too far from the soda fountain. Also there should be more cheese pizza. One of the DUC managers mentioned that those changes were already in progress. I said a little prayer of thanks to Sodexo.

The DUC manager also noted, in a nervous, somewhat flighty voice, as if hoping to appease a gluttonous emperor on a gold and crimson recliner, an emperor he neither respected nor adored, that, “the salad bar will now offer kale, hicuma, and edemame. We know you like variety.” We, the voracious students of Emory, do appreciate variety. For the record, Kale is lettuce. Kale does everything regular lettuce does, but slightly better. Like a 5 year old in a cape, Kale is super lettuce. Hicuma sounds like a slave from The Crucible.

According to a cereal survey, Honey Nut Cheerios and Honey Bunches of Oats will join the cereal menu. I remember wishing that Emory students might be more like Winnie the Pooh. I wished they would adopt his uncomplaining, mellow attitude. I got my wish, except instead of low maintenance, they adopted Pooh’s affection for honey. Sodexo, giveth, Sodexo taketh away.

Two gingers showed up late to the meeting. I could not tell if they were met with disapproving glares because of their tardiness or gingerness. I cannot believe gingers were enfranchised before women.

Michael Sacks, who conducted the meeting like a game show host for something inane like Celebrity Jeopardy, asked for feedback on the new DUC hours. The Sean Connery to Sack’s Trebek said, “There wasn’t enough publicity. I didn’t know the hours changed.”

Sacks replied, “Really?”

Connery said, “Well, maybe if you’d put more signs in the DUC, that would have helped.”

“You mean, besides the signs in the entrance that are 8 feet high?”

This was the same guy who said the cups were too far from the soda fountain. In his defense, 10-foot signs are easy to ignore because they are so tall. He also complained that there were not enough pencils with which to write more complaints. Also the bowls are not close enough to the cereal. Further, why isn’t granola available everyday? Also the temperature isn’t quite room temperature.

I began to play a game where I got points every time a complaint would qualify as a “#firstworldproblem.” I won.

Connery, the complainer, then pointed out that the fruit selection was inconsistent. Again, the flighty voiced DUC manager explained, this time, as if to an irrational, borderline violent emperor dulled by years of incest, that “you can’t grow fruit during winter in America, but you can grow fruit in South America because it’s not winter there. So now that it’s almost winter here, we have to supply our fruit from a different location, because winter is too cold to grow fruit in America.”

This is why we can’t have nice things.

After the meeting I waited in line for a tee shirt. It says “Stop Whining about Emory Dining.” I liked the font.

This week, I learned a very valuable lesson: Sodexo has your back.

— By A.J. Artis


  1. Jenna 6 years ago

    A.J., I love your articles.

    “This is why we can’t have nice things.”

    1. A.J. 6 years ago

      Thank you for your kind words. I had no idea people read the wheel.

  2. A.J. 6 years ago

    Also, Michael Sacks is a sophomore.

  3. Haoyu Li 6 years ago


    1. A.J. 6 years ago

      Thank you for your very kind words.

  4. lisa 6 years ago

    priceless. bravo a.j. best wheel article i’ve ever read.

    1. A.J. 6 years ago

      Thank your very much for you kind words.

  5. Abraham Lincoln 6 years ago

    Preach it, brother.

  6. Tara 6 years ago

    This article was written at the third grade level at best. Is this seriously the work of an Emory student?

    1. Rude! 5 years ago

      Hey there, Tara,

      I’m sorry that you live such a pathetic and unfulfilling life that you must resort to posting insulting comments on student-written articles on a college newspaper website. Must really feel great to knock someone else down, huh?

      I didn’t write this article, but if I did, I would be proud of it. It’s well written. It’s not going to win a Nobel Prize for literature; it’s a humor piece for the Wheel. And you know what? It’s really funny. It did its job, and it did it well.

      Please try not to be such a miserable damper on other people’s enjoyment of this article. Your comment was rude and you should be ashamed of yourself.

    2. A.J. 5 years ago

      Dear Rude!,
      Thank you for defending me. That was touching. I will take it from here.

      To Ms. Tara,

      I don’t know which of your deep insecurities caused you to lash out at
      an articles in a newspaper that no one reads, but I suggest you look
      inward and try to solve your own issues before you comment on the
      website of a newspaper that no one reads.

      But, if you honestly feel this was written by a 3rd grader, then you
      have a very high regard for third graders’ vocabulary and command of
      American literature. I don’t think you recognize that the clipped,
      staccato sentences, the conscious use of fragments, and the plain
      diction are derived from Twain and Vonnegut. Both of these
      men, humorists in their own way, contribute to the style you so
      presumptuously penned as “third grade level at best.” Had you any
      familiarity with these texts, especially Vonnegut, you’d immediately
      recognize the imitation. By no means do I consider myself on the same
      level as these greats, but I cannot pretend they have not
      influenced how I write.

      Furthermore the humor comes not from a condescending, superior being
      mocking the fools from his perch high above them, rather it comes from
      the comments of someone just as dumb as everyone else. And, Miss, we
      are all dumb. Though I don’t know why I’m telling you this, since you’ve
      already demonstrated it.

      The apparently facile observations, and the seemingly unconnected
      sentences that stand next to each other are not mistakes. They are a
      way to mock without explicit judgement. It should sound simple because
      the simple voice makes the stronger statement.

      And, If I were to write at a “college” level, as your comment suggest
      would be an improvement, I would again give off a superior tone. It
      would suggest that I know more than these people and that they should
      be mocked because they are “dumber” than me. But who am I to judge?
      That would not be funny. Are you sensing a theme here?

      So, now that I’ve explained the style, voice and tone of the article,
      all of which were consciously included, does that answer your questions
      about the identity of the writer? I do indeed go to Emory. I can tell
      your comment was written by an Emory student because it has the
      familiar ring of unnecessary condescension that also accompanies
      complaints of a virtually unlimited food supply.

      I expect you to miss the point of my response, so I will spell it out
      very clearly here. Calling people dumb, or attempting to mock them for
      some fault or deficiency is not very funny. The really funny stuff is
      people being people. And you can’t make fun of people for being people
      by assuming the superior position of a judge. Because that would make
      you an idiot and worthy of mockery.

      Now, if you think you could have made a meeting about the Food
      Advisory Committee half as funny as this, please try. I don’t think
      you can. I have a feeling people don’t find you very funny. I have a
      feeling people find you exhausting. Or, if you are a troll, then I
      wonder why you cannot troll me above the third-grade level.

  7. Duc Hater 5 years ago

    reading this was by far the highlight of my day.

    1. A.J. 5 years ago

      Thank you for your kind words. I had no idea people read the Wheel.

      I’m sorry that you hate the DUC so much you have used it to identify yourself. I truly hope that you will some day find a way to release your anger. If you feel so much hatred that it consumes your whole identity, might I suggest attending a FACE meeting. Find FACE on facebook. They really do want you to stop hating the DUC. Personally, I would feel bad knowing someone is carrying around so much hate in their heart.

      I do appreciate your kind words.

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