COLUMN: Believe it or not, I called dibs on all the pita and hummus in the Food Court


Rob Le Cates

Will Padgett is a first year graduate student studying English and can be reached at 217-581-2812.

Will Padgett, Columinst

Believe it or not, I called dibs on all the pita and hummus in the Food Court (so stop eating it).

Your eyes aren’t deceiving you, I actually did call dibs on all the little pita and hummus packages available to purchase at the university food court. Now, you may be wondering why I was able to call such a comprehensive and long-lasting dibs, surely there are limits to one man’s ability to define a dibs after all.

Well, unfortunately for all of you, I am well within my rights. You see, I am actually the great-great-great grandson of Eugene V. Debs who invented the dibs system (don’t you dare do your own research into that, just blindly trust me).

This means that my dibs carry just a little more weight than your average person’s dibs. I’d say that I’m sorry and relinquish this great power of mine, but I know that you all wouldn’t do the same.

With that out of the way, let’s get back to the point of this little chat between you and I: I’m going to have to ask you to stop eating all my pita and hummus.

Sure, the Food Court puts it out so it looks like it’s available to everyone but that’s simply not the case. I wanted the food court to give off the impression that anyone could just waltz in and buy the package no problem when they knew full well that this wasn’t true.

Originally, whenever someone went to buy said pita and hummus, the cashier would stall the individual while pressing a button that activates a special receiver located in the base of my skull.

This would alert me to the presence of a fellow hummus enjoyer who would then be permanently banned from ever stepping foot on campus again. Was the punishment harsh?

Sure it was, but they violated my dibs so what do you expect?

I bet you’re wondering why I would specifically ask the food court to display an item for sale whose subsequent purchase would result in an immediate expulsion.

The answer is simple: I’m a vain and petty man with nothing better to do than jealously covet a single item like Gollum and the One Ring.

There are plenty of other delicious food items for you to purchase at the food court, so why not just skip the hummus and buy yourself a nice tuna salad instead? Oh, you don’t like tuna salad? Well I don’t like people eating things I called dibs on so I guess we both lose, huh.

I’m sure by now you’ve got a craving for a particular combination of items available at a very reasonable price after thinking “This guy is nuts. Can that hummus really be that good?” It is that good, that’s why I don’t want you to have any; once you taste the closest thing to an edible heaven you won’t want anything else.

You don’t want to end up like me after all: a raving lunatic who now obsesses over little pieces of bread and smashed chickpeas enough to write about it in the daily paper.

It’s a sad life whose misery is only alleviated by, you guessed it, the pita and hummus in the food court. You wouldn’t deprive a broken wretch like myself of the one thing that breaks the endless waves of sadness and tummy rumblings, would you? I didn’t think so.

I hope that you all learned your lesson from this column and are now decidedly on the side of giving up something you want to a complete stranger to whom you have no obligation. I now expect there to always be pita and hummus in the food court from this day forward.

If there isn’t, I just want you all to know that I will absolutely do nothing about it and will likely not write about this again unless I’m really strapped for ideas.

Will Padgett is an English graduate student. He can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.