Smelt Fight part 2

Read part 1 here

Dan Fogarty was the student cafeteria manager. As we are still hooting and hollering over our epic food fight, he came slamming out of the kitchen. I won’t say the words that tore from his mouth, but when I say they were curses, I mean it. There was such anger and hate in his eyes as he yelled at us, told us how disrespected and hurt Samantha was by our actions.  

“And what’s worse,” he yelled, “she’s in their crying.” 

Dan slammed back through the kitchen double doors, and with a clammer came back through, throwing two brooms on the floor. Crashing back in, he pounded back out with the mop bucket and mop, the water sloshing out with his anger. 

“Now clean up!” 

We did. All that joyous, raucous energy turned sour, but we had to use it as we swept and mopped the mess we made. The accomplishment I’d felt as a ringleader of the smelt fight was destroyed, replaced with genuine shame and humiliation.  

By the time we were done, the cafeteria was spotless. But our spirits were not.  

Next: How to make things a little better.

Smelt Fight part 1

When I was a student at UConn, most of the small dorms had cafeterias in them. In Goodyear, we were known to have the best cook on campus, who we simply called Jim. 

When the first Iraq war started, his reserve unit was called up, and he was sent to cook for the troops. We are scared for him, of course, but also a little nervous for our stomachs. He was that good a cook.  

When Jim shipped out, our new cook, Samantha, came on board. She smartly stuck to the basics at first, and though she didn’t have Jim’s ability, the food was fine.  

Then one day we came downstairs to large bowls full of brown …. somethings. Samantha told us they were smelt. I didn’t know at the time, but smelt is generally a bait fish, and not typically cooked for a meal.  

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