Cafeteria 3A overlooks a grassy lawn that falls away into the Pacific Ocean. Strewn plastic cups and milk-stained plastic trays rest in Jenga-like piles while exhausted coeds mingle about with lobotomized stares and the slack jaw you get when sifting through three a.m. television commercials on a night when you’d have been wiser to steer clear of that last snifter. The buffet has modest appeal, although the server at the carving station could use an extremity shave and then might consider lending his razor to the woman at the register for some upper lip issues, plus deodorant wouldn’t hurt. Across the room, students consume salads, pasta entrees with lots of vowels, meat products-approximate, and odd CO2-injected sugary concoctions. Desserts are noticeably absent.
Along the East wall, adjacent to the metal-framed door, which whumps against the wall every time a hungry student enters, two steroid-enhanced rugby members paw chicken remains with the lazy lethargy of lions, post-kill. One table closer, a female law student bites into a baked potato the way one would attack an assailant’s arm, her wrinkled nose almost inverting upon itself. Nearby, two overly-effeminate boys lift pinkys as they dip fried calamari or very small onion rings into ranch dressing, the dressing then dripping onto one’s pink Izod shirt and causing him to jump and shriek with the zealousness of a La Cage aux Follies dancer while his presumed partner reaches across the table to dab at the offending spot and accidentally touches his pelvic region in a way that makes both of them smile. A fruitfly joins them, making improper jokes unbearably difficult to avoid. A girl with jeans that appear to have quit trying at the shins, inhales several strands of spaghetti with enough tenacity to make both voyeuristic rugby players shift in their seats. The cashier woman glances around red-faced, as though she’s just passed gas.
I have decided to search for alternative lunch locations.