Why did I eat Fuel-ese?

By Nikki Fisher | 9/22/13 6:44pm


You’re in a 6-9 trying not to fall asleep while your professor lectures about Kant’s categorical imperative when your stomach begins to growl. But this isn’t just any growl; it’s as though a small raptor has spawned within your stomach and is now scree-ing and clawing at your insides in every attempt to escape. This visceral sensation has you hopping emotional extremes between self-pity and
self-loathing. You glance over at the guy sitting next to you, hoping he didn’t hear anything, but
thankfully, he’s texting on his iPhone beneath the table.

You think back through your day, seeking the cause of your malaise when it hits you: you ate Fuel-ese
for dinner (the informal term for food from the “Jump Asian Express” in Fuel). You’d eaten there
before as a freshman and, therefore, should have anticipated the inevitable and unyielding discomfort
following the saucy, quasi-chicken dinner. But you were in a rush and it’s practically natural law that
thou shalt not not get to class on time if thou eats at Bleecker Street with half an hour or less to spare
(Post hoc, you think it might have been worth walking into class late on the first day with a Pesto
Panini).

Abandoning all hope of understanding Kant, you scan through your other options: maybe you should
have tried those handcrafted crêpes at Freshens (Is there anything that wouldn’t be made better by
stuffing it in a crêpe?) You could have even passed up the Fuel-ese for Papa Johns’ pizza, which might
have left you feeling marginally better (though the key word there is marginally).

But hey, give yourself some credit, when claustrophobia swarmed you in the Fuel lunch rush, you
shared an intimate moment with that glazed almond chicken. It looked innocent enough, sitting right
in between a steaming bed of fried rice and a pan of Southwestern egg rolls. Forget the fact that when
tossed together in that little cardboard box, the three of them all share the general consistency of
soggy waffles (Yes, even the egg roll, which doesn’t seem to consist of either chicken or eggs).

Despite it all, in that ravenous moment, you have to admit that your Fuel-ese tasted superb, perfect,
to die for. You sat in the back, facing the wall, and devoured it in under five minutes before running
off to the basement of Mackinac Hall. There were a few bites, sure, where you were skeptical of
whether or not you were actually eating chicken, but that was half the journey! At this point, you
convince yourself that it’s good for the soul to eat Fuel-ese once in a while.

In the next minute, acting on instinct, you find yourself tapping your texting classmate on the
shoulder and budging past him, ready to slip out of class and sprint down the hall for the restrooms.
It is here that you change your mind again, vowing to never eat Fuel-ese before class again. But
despite your convictions, we both know that given a couple months, your nearly masochistic
relationship with Fuel’s Asian Cuisine will be renewed. With proper time to forgive and forget, the
aroma of General Tso’s chicken will overcome your rational faculties and you’ll find yourself running
to the restroom every five minutes once again. It’s the cycle of Fuel-ese.

nfisher@lanthorn.com

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