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Marketplace Victim Comes Forward





- satire

Marketplace Victim Comes Forward

Jennifer Young


Marketplace is a staple of the freshman experience here at Duke. A place where one can, conceivably, enjoy a meal, fake eggs, and take a break from the pressures of chemistry labs and looming essay due dates. Unfortunately, this safe haven is not extended to all. Under the façade of an endless bland buffet, a dark conspiracy is in the works. I hope that my testimony encourages others to come forward and speak about the adversity they’ve faced at the hands of Marketplace. Remember, you aren’t alone.
It was Tuesday night, and all I wanted was a freshly made bowl of pasta. But alas, everything was not what it would seem to be. I ordered my usual pasta concoction: buttered parmesan sauce held together by small, green tree vegetables and flour bowties and sat with my dining chums. However, as I introduced the noodles to my mouth, the food tasted a bit…off. My mind began to race through time and space, and I finally concluded what any rational person would. I was being poisoned.

I wanted to discuss with my peers, but what if they didn’t believe me? They were still under the impression that Marketplace was a safe space. Just as my lactose intolerance prevents me from digesting milk, I knew they couldn’t digest the truth. So instead of making a scene, I quietly opted for a bowl of Lucky Charms.
One would hope that this would be an isolated incident. Yet, a mere two weeks ago when I NEEDED some Texas Pete for my hash browns, there was none in sight. I searched high and low, but couldn’t find a single bottle. When I recognized that I had to go to the left wing, I knew it was likely an attempt to destroy my social life. Nobody goes to the left side of Marketplace. Nobody.
An anonymous witness, whose name I’ll protect for fear of their demise, stated, “Yeah, the line for the omelet bar is kinda long sometimes.” We all know that making an omelet is simply cracking an egg over breakfast confetti. Why make the people wait? Could it be they want to trap us there and ruin our lives?

I seem to be a prime target for the Marketplace employees. Making sure my teacup’s cracked so scalding tea burns me alive; running out of macaroni and cheese right as I arrive; even going as far as taking thirty seconds to fix the register when it’s my turn to swipe in. At one point, the ketchup had been mixed with barbecue sauce in order to paralyze my taste buds. Not even condiments are safe. Nothing’s sacred to Marketplace.
Concerned associates of mine, the ones I’ve been brave enough to speak to, often ask why I continue to risk my life twice a day. I promptly show them my food points balance and pass into a somber silence. A life’s worth is measured in food points after all.
Marketplace has victimized me for unknown reasons. Why greet me cheerfully every time I swipe? To get my guard down? To push me to the edge of false security? Whatever the reason, it doesn’t matter now. I’ve grown stronger and smarter and will be a silent victim no longer.