September 5, 2009 | Narrative
The College Hill Dining Dictionary
As you prepare for four-plus years of writing the same paper on the relative agencies of women and womyn in colonial and/or post-colonial and/or neo-colonial (or neo-post-colonial) Wisconsin, always remember that the closer to deadline you turn something in, the lower the chance it gets edited in any substantive manner. Also, remember that the box of Cheez-It and two bottles of seltzer your mom left with you (or bag of unsalted almonds and vegan cruelty-free seaweed shake mix, if you’re that kind of freshman) are going to disappear real soon—and we may be, to paraphrase the Legion trailer, the only chance you have for survival. Thus with great aplomb and massive anticipation, we present you some excerpts from our forthcoming book, The College Hill Dining Dictionary: Pretentious Bastard Edition.
Aplomb (n.) – What you must have to comfortably approach ordering a falafel for the first time at East Side Pockets. To walk up to this counter (nay, this fortress) and sheepishly vacillate between hot peppers and pickles, when the obvious answer is both, is to commit a faux pas of such epic and yet such typical proportion as mentioning some bullshit elective you took junior year while answering a question in your first-year seminar on the politics of American federal holidays (POLS0820Q: seriously?). You will order a chicken-falafel combo wrap with everything except feta and extra hot sauce, and you will be happy.
Effete (adj.) – Often used to describe dainty, ineffectual and self-absorbed amateur collegiate food critics, this term is better applied to the denizens of Blue State Coffee. Which isn’t to say it isn’t delicious, if a bit overpriced. Their iced chai, like your first go with Alpha-Grapefruit Cleansing Lotion from Mario Badescu, is sublime, and their practice of gerrymandering their prices so that tax brings the total to an even amount is admirable. If you’re in the mood to get distracted from your work blaring punk-folk, we recommend the north Thayer installation; if you prefer the Moby station on Pandora, try the one in the bookstore.
Exfoliate (v.) – What you must do after a meal at the perennially mean and smelly Sakura. We guarantee that before the semester is over at least one of your “friends” will come up with the genius idea (no, really, it’ll be fun) of sake-bombing at this great sushi place on Wickenden Street. This is a real red pill/blue pill moment: You could, in the great moment of your freshman year, decline the invitation, buy a $7.99 bottle of green wine, venture to the roof of an academic building and woo the most beautiful girl you’ve ever met*; or you could accept the invitation and spend the remainder of the evening scrubbing yourself in the shower and crying about why you didn’t go to Middlebury.
Nonplussed (adj.) – Best describes the underlying philosophy behind Sawaddee, the always closed, oddly-located, unassertive, miniaturized but tasty and BYOB Thai establishment on middle Hope Street. The service is aloof at best, the prices are no more or less than reasonable, and the awkward dates going on around you will make for a schadenfreude-laden dining experience.
Peacock (v.) – What one does when eating at an outside table at Paragon or Andrea’s. Your aggressive sunglass wearing and close-quarters people watching will scream, “I have enough money to afford this and the poor judgment to spend it” while betraying the nature and quality of your soul.
Stupid (adj.) – Anyone who spends good money on a sandwich from Au Bon Pain.
*Who you’ll later discover is dating someone exactly like you but slightly shorter.