8 Stages of Coping With the Loss of Napkin Containers

By Parker Richards | 1/12/17 1:39pm

Pump your brakes, ladies and gents, ‘cause Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s five stages of grief model is way out of date. No, I don’t mean for little things like “deaths in the family” or “fascist takeovers of society.” This new step-by-step guide is for real issues. Issues that hurt us all. You know of what I speak — it hangs like a pall of darkness above the campus. It hurts all, consumes all, destroys all. Of course, I am referring to the decision of Dartmouth Dining Services to do away with the free and independent napkin dispensers at each table in its establishments and replace them with centralized, collectivized napkin dispensers.

            These newfangled napkin gulags are not only an assault on proper dining, cleanliness and respect for humanity but in fact on the entire American way of life. It may have been a quarter century since the Soviet Union fell but check your watches ‘cause the communists just won. Rather than having the liberties and individual rights associated with free and unique napkin dispensers, we now have a system of oppression and fear distributed through centralized, state-controlled napkin factories. The next Cold War is upon us, and these new harbingers of evil will soon reign supreme if we do not fight back.

            Thus, I present to you the eight stages of coping with DDS’s new and highly triggering napkin dispensers (or lack thereof).

1.    Denial

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Much like the original Kübler-Ross model, denial comes first. It’s just hard to accept that this is the end of our beloved napkin dispensers. Once, each table had its own beautiful depository for napkins but, in one sudden swoop of totalitarian vileness, those have been gutted. Like the world’s oceans or the strip-mined mountains of West Virginia, what was once beautiful and wholesome has been torn away and replaced with heinous garbage. So we deny the reality. We deny the hate. We deny the oppression. But it’s all too real.

2.    Hate.

Walt Disney via imgur.com 

In Kübler-Ross’s model, this is where we find anger. But with the fascistic DDS napkin holder policies, we move right past that. It’s time for hate. It’s time to raise our fists to the heavens and shout in our wrath. This cannot be borne!

3.    Rallying the good people of Dartmouth.

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There will be no bargaining for us, no weak-willed negotiations or attempts to coerce our way out of this. We are better than that. It’s time to fight – be it through speeches in fraternity basements to secret meetings on the BEMA, be it through letters shoved into Hinman boxes or missives hastily stuffed under dorm room doors. It is time to gather our forces and show the world we know how to rally.

4.    Quoting leaders of the German resistance.

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Many would consider the greatest anti-authoritarians of all time to be the men and women who defied Adolf Hitler within his own country. From Dietrich Bonhoeffer to Sophie Scholl, from Henning von Tresckow to Ludwig Beck, from Erwin von Witzleben to Carl Friedrich Goerdeler, the heroes of anti-fascism still resonate with us today. We must draw from the experiences in this fight.

5.    Agony.

Walt Disney via giphy.com

In this struggle there can be no true victory for the oppressed. Whether or not we overturn these heinous wrongs of public policy matters not to those of our napkin brethren already consigned to the void. And to those who survive, the emotional damage will need years of therapy to handle — and even then, it will never truly heal. This is our agony.

6.    Oppression.

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We have seen this culture of fear and terror before — in Spain under Franco, in Cambodia under Pol Pot, in Indiana under Mike Pence. But now it comes to Dartmouth. Before our rebirth, we must experience that same oppression. We will live every day under this regime, struggling with tyranny and with hate. Is this really the life we want?

7.    Revolution.

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The Decembrist uprising. The French Revolution. The Boxer Rebellion. All will pale in comparison to our great rising. We will have given our speeches, rallied our forces and one day in the coldest depths of winter, we shall strike, fighting for the rights of both student and napkin alike. So it must be if there is ever to be freedom again, if the napkin holders are to regain their lives and their rights.

8.    Rebirth.

Universal Pictures via imgur.com 

Only when DDS restores the napkin holder on every table shall we have peace. Only when we have regained our rights and our freedoms shall there be righteousness once again. That will be the time of our second coming.

Viva la revolución!

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Parker Richards

parker@richards.com