I Shall Overcome

by Rob Valet | 4/17/01 5:00am

So there I was, on the front steps of Parkhurst Hall, full of youthful revolutionary spirit. Change was in the air and I was going to make it happen. I was even humming Les Miserables under my breath. Then along came Dean of the College Larimore with a bunch of Trustees in tow, and the students around me all began yelling in support of their causes.

"We need a stronger Women's Resource Center, and we want it in the center of campus!" implored one. "Korean language now!" yelled another.

"Forget about all that," I said, my voice cutting above the crowd for an instant. "Can't we see about getting a second ice cream topping heater for Food Court?"

Actually I didn't bother to go to the rally. I can't remember what I was doing at the time that had higher priority and was more productive. Taking a nap, I think. This doesn't mean, however, that I am not deeply committed to my cause.

Indeed, I have dedicated the past four years of my Dartmouth career almost exclusively to the goal of securing full-time hot fudge availability in Food Court. Under the present system, of course, half of the time the solitary heater is occupied with caramel, presumably to appease the unwashed heathen caramel-loving vulgar herd. I have written innumerable comment cards demanding that the opinions of the caramel-o-philes be suppressed (I would have fit right in at that rally, since I only support free speech that happens to agree with my opinions). Unfortunately, I have not been successful thus far.

In fact, my comment card writing is having even less effect than usual lately, since Food Court is apparently no longer bothering to post responses to my demands. It has been a week now and I haven't received a reply to my most recent critique (usually I at least get a non-committal "We'll look into getting another heater" response). Admittedly my most recent comments were a touch on the smart-ass side, but nevertheless I will not tolerate my voice being silenced. I shall overcome, Food Court oppressors!

Indeed, while it may be too late for me to enjoy the eventual success of my efforts to secure all fudge, all the time, I will not allow future generations of Dartmouth students to suffer as I have. One day when I have amassed fame and fortune, I will write Dartmouth a check for the $100 a hot fudge heater probably costs. I know, my generous nature overwhelms you all, but don't think I don't expect anything in return. Specifically, said heater will bear a shiny copper plaque whose engraving will read, "Donated by Robert S. Valet '01, who bought me in the memory of all those who gave their lives to perpetually fill my heated reservoir with warm chocolatey goodness."

And don't think I don't have other plans for Food Court. Should my fortune surpass the hundred-dollar level and move into the couple-thousand range (we can all dream), I plan to establish a fudge trust, income from which will assure that the fudge heater is always full. Moreover, the ice cream area will be enclosed and from the outside it will resemble a miniature academic building. Above the door, engraved painstakingly in stone, it will say, "Valet Ice Cream Center." Just as people now say, "I have to pick up a book at Berry," soon they will tell their friends, "I want to go grab some fro-yo at Valet."

Most impressive of all, inside of Valet there will be a life-size marble statue of me that will dispense the ice cream. Go ahead, try it! Pull my finger, and see if the Heath Bar Crunch doesn't come cascading out my nose. Or something like that.

Ah yes, it is a bold new era of ice cream consumption that is upon us. I have big plans for my beloved school, insofar as frozen dessert items go. My whims will not be denied (unless I decide to sleep through the rally again). Don't think you can hold me down, Food Court. I will overcome.