As students file back into Cleveland Commons with their eyes trained on the Noodle Bar, Global Section and Comfort Food area, their minds grow with the untapped potential of what their dining facility has to offer. Once 6 p.m. rolls around, the students frantically commence the start of the school year by ordering teriyaki noodles and three pieces of salmon sushi. The coolest of the students — the ones who are used to throwing up regularly — head to the comfort food section to see what the vegan option is.
People settle in, picking at their food like crows nibbling at carnage. Then, the drama unravels. Some people cut straight to complaining, others just slink off to the bathrooms like sheepish dogs. Students’ eyes gleam with the competition. One student will come away victorious. Some merely fantasize about the prospect of needing to vomit. However, others practice what they preach and stick their grubby little hands down their throats intending to blow chunks. Although slightly unsettling at first, this culinary tradition begins to grow popular at nearly every meal. The students begin to know what triggers their gag reflexes. From the green smoothies to the pickled peaches to the cottage cheese in the yogurt section, everyone has their vomit specialty.
Occasionally, the vomiting is natural. For example, one student complained that her hash browns were cooked too close to the meat, which caused her poor vegetarian body to respond in the only way it knows how: spewing vomit through the trap door. Whether for sport, pleasure or pain, eating at Cleveland is a good way to foster a lively and prosperous community of food lovers and critics.