Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Temptations in College


In college, I knew this guy named Eric. He was trying to stay on my good side my junior year, for after ten months of dating, he was getting ready to propose. In a move to make sure I would be receptive to his query, he offered to bring me lunch once or twice a week (until he started working and then I experienced a 'full stop').

The reason for the offer was that I had two classes back to back, from late morning through lunch. The professor of the noon session recognized we would be hungry and extended the invitation for us to eat in class. Unless I brought a suitable lunch with me in the morning, I had no time between classes to grab a bite.

Eric, however, had more of a break and found himself near the Memorial Union minutes before my second class. He would periodically bring me a delectable cheeseburger with fries. When compared with a sandwich turned room temperature, McDonald's wins with no contest. After rousing morning discussions and a couple brisk walks, I delighted in this shady hallway exchange with my beau. A certain paper bag would change hands. The smell wafting up tantalized me with that ever-recognizable smell, and my love for Eric was reinforced.

Then I would withdraw into the classroom and savor the grease as we delved into the history of the English language. Maybe you've had these greasy rendezvous as well. Some cheap burgers and fries cross your path and you salivate all over and growl at anyone coming between you and satiating your gluttony.

Only when my feeding frenzy had devoured every last salt crystal would I gather up my food wrappers and commence learning.

In this class, our seats were arranged in a U-shape. One day, a student I'll call 'Bindu' spoke to me before class, confessing, "You made me eat a burger."

I barely knew Bindu, but as you can tell from the good Indian name I gave her, she was a Hindu. She had successfully lasted about twenty years without beef, nary a complaint, and then she crossed paths with me.

According to her, I savored my burgers to such an extent that she had to see what they were all about and what she'd been missing all these years.

Not just anyone can say they have shaken the tenets of another's faith without even saying a single word. I must admit, there's some pride creeping up even now.

So as Mark Twain says, "Sacred cows make the best hamburger." I hope she properly enjoyed it.

1 comment:

Charity said...

I shared your anecdote with Reed Enger. He was much impressed with you're religious manipulations.