Nothing less than a conspiracy: The Swiss Miss's special recipe
Let's recap: this is the second part of a marginally true story of corruption told by me, the hero in the dining service uniform, who at the point we left off had uncovered Bowdoin's TOP SECRET documents in their hiding place, a secret mini-fridge in the main walk-in fridge of Thorne dining hall. Investigating my roomate's dubious mono diagnoses, I had uncovered a large-scale conspiracy: local keg distributor Uncle Tom, sex columnist Kara Oppenheim, and Bowdoin College have been funneling greenbacks into Dr. Benson's Swiss bank account as pay off money for what appeared to be false mono diagnoses, which had the effect of stifling the sexual landscape of the college. Oh yes, and I was up to my ears in pudding. Here we go...
The funny thing, I discovered a few days later, was that my roommate really was sick with mono (actually this not surprising if you know my roommate-I mean, it is The Kissing Disease). This ruined my entire conspiracy theory. Was I wrong about Dr. Benson being paid off by the college? Might Uncle Tom and Kara Oppenheim actually be upstanding citizens, who breathe, eat and sleep like the rest of us? Might the sexual tundra that I see on campus actually be a projection of my own failed love life and not an indication of a two-hundred-year-old multinational scandal involving the college, false diagnoses, and-somehow-pudding?
Of course not. The simple explanation is that Dr. Benson must have known in advance that my roommate had mono (recall he was too concerned with his playstation to honestly diagnose her). How? Thinking back on her encounter with Dr. Benson, it occurred to me that one of the many questions he did not ask her, as an uncorrupt doctor might, was what she had eaten for lunch. Dr. Benson didn't ask her because he already knew.
He knew that she had ingested (I know no other word to describe it) a bag lunch. Her bag lunch, like most bag lunches, was a sordid affair containing items such a tortilla filled with the previous night's lasagna and summer squash, items which never fail to leave you feeling ill. On this particular occasion her bag lunch had climaxed with one moment of brightness: a Swiss Miss snack pack. After ingesting her bag lunch during class, my roommate promptly felt more ill than is usual after such a meal, and thereupon went to see Dr. Benson. Dr. Benson, who is kept up to date on who takes pudding from the bag lunch line, was expecting her.
The proof, they say, is in the pudding, and that's exactly my point. Think about it: if you wanted to inoculate a population what could be better than Bowdoin's brown bag system? We see their disheveled outlines poking out of backpacks, their crumpled carcasses tossed into hallway corners, and their saran-wrapped innards filling up trash receptacles. Bag lunches are everywhere. What's more, anyone accustomed to their unfortunate company is also accustomed to the stomach churning they induce. How could you tell if you were ingesting more than just old food?
This explains why there was so much pudding being delivered to campus, and why I had had to hide it in the secret fridge-it's no ordinary pudding. Students have been getting mono not from kissing each other, but from smacking lips with Swiss Miss's special recipe. So it all made sense: the school was infecting the student body with mono via special pudding. As a result, the campus STD infection rate has been kept low (good for college rankings), and many students have been forced to take an extra semester to complete their degree (which means more money for the college). The one thing I couldn't understand was why Dr. Benson, who had taken an oath to do no harm, was accepting the bribe and playing along.
The natural way to find this out was to corner Dr. Benson in the dark on his way home from work. Alone and in a tight spot, I must say he was rather unsociable. However, he said something to the effect that "people with pudding problems probably don't have much sex to begin with," a statement that I disagree with in principle but know to be true. Furthermore, he mumbled something about the saying "a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips, and three weeks sick in bed." Then, a black European sports car with Swiss licence plates pulled up, Dr. Benson hopped in, and I was left alone to wonder where the conspiracy would end.
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