Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Hodson: Did Spectators Feel the Luck of the Irish?

By Chair in Spain
Morning Wood Staff Writer

This past Thursday, the Hodson Dining Hall celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in the form of corned beef, shamrock-print paper orbs, a heartfelt flute rendition of “Danny Boy” played over the speakers, and a giant ball pit filled with boiled cabbage instead of plastic balls. Though this cabbage pit seemed to be neither safe nor sanitary, it was a big hit amongst students, especially students who just wanted to throw cabbage at other people.
One student I interviewed that day said that it seemed, “redundant to have corn, beef, and corned beef on the menu all at the same time.” Another student observed that it wasn’t even St. Patrick’s Day, and added, “Uh, there’s cabbage in your hair.”
This isn’t the first holiday or special day to which the dining hall has paid homage. Just earlier in the month was National Frozen Foods Day. The event went over with limited success, on account of the food being, though technically edible, too hard to eat. March 9 was Panic Day, which was really just like any other day until the fire. Many felt Submarine Day was particularly poorly executed. In addition to complaints of the food being “too soggy,” the only song that played that day was, regrettably, The Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine.”
An employee remarked, “If there were more songs about submarines, I’m pretty sure this would be the worst one.”
Of course, not all of the dining hall’s themed days were unsuccessful. March 20 was “National Alien Abductions Day,” which the Alien Abductions Club really went all-out for, pulling some strings and renting a genuine spaceship for the entire day. The guest chef for the event had at least nine extra appendages with which he used to prepare the day’s meals, and, despite the language barrier, he was very cordial to students and, to my knowledge, conducted no invasive experiments on any of them. At the end of the evening, we were all safely relocated to a nearby empty field with no memory of what had transpired. Good thing I took thorough notes.
The real excitement occurred post-cabbage pit. Angered over the misappropriation of March 23 as a St. Patrick’s celebration, March 23 is traditionally the ever-anticipated National Chip and Dip Day, protesters took to the Cater Walk in droves and voiced their frustrations. Tensions ran especially high when someone wheeled out a giant papier-mâché effigy of the leprechaun mascot from the Lucky Charms cereal and ceremonially set it aflame.
One protester said, “Honestly, it’s so frustrating to see Chip and Dip Day being disrespected like this. Especially with Corn Dog Day happening during the same week as well. Things have been pretty heated lately. We just want to feel like our opinions matter.” Another protester stopped me and informed me that I still had cabbage in my hair.
The question is, did the dining hall take their St. Patrick’s Day merriment too far? Did the enticement of tenderly played Irish folk and quirky, pungent entertainment distract us from remembering what the day was really supposed to be about? The protesters standing out on the Cater Walk that Thursday evening certainly didn’t forget. One can only hope that this kind of insensitivity can be avoided in the future.

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