The Day the Pasta Died

Go to the washroom, grab some popcorn, and gather around. It’s time for a story.

And when I say “go to the washroom”, that is not an invitation to read this blog post on the toilet. Though, if you must, don’t eat the popcorn. Leave it in the microwave. I said leave it!

Alright, let’s travel back in time a bit. Let’s go back to 2011.

Where were you in 2011? That’s great.

I was at school living in residence. Such a perk meant that my meals came from the dining hall. Now, some of you are probably thinking “that’s unfortunate.” That’s fine. But I didn’t mind the food from the cafeteria at all.

Subs? Yes, please.

Burgers? Add cheese.

Chicken burgers? Breaded or grilled, you decide.

French fries? With gravy.

Pulled pork sandwich? Oh my goodness.

Philly cheesesteak sandwich? Oh my goodness x2.

Caesar salad? Add croutons.


I could go on, but I think I just made all of us really hungry. And for that, I am not sorry. You’re lucky I didn’t mention pizza.

So, on one dark and gloomy evening, I left my room, walked outside for about a minute and twenty-three seconds, and found myself in the building that held the cafeteria.

I’m coming, food!

It was dinner time.

Now, many of you know that I love pizza. Well, I love pasta just as much.

One time, I went to the cafeteria on a Monday during exam season and there was a sign that said: “Pasta Station closed until Thursday.” I was so devastated. I thought it was a sick joke.

The pasta station had already been closed for a few days and now I had to wait four more days? Just wait until 9-1-1 hears about this! How am I supposed to pass my exams now that I can’t have the one food that will force me into a nap, when I should be studying? If there were ever a crisis, this was it.

So, that evening I elected to get pasta for dinner.

Penne with meatballs and (too much) marinara sauce. If I had one complaint about the cafeteria, it was that they always flooded the pasta noodles with way too much sauce.

Picture a tsunami on a plate. Now eat it.

Even if I asked for “not a lot of sauce”, I would still end up with a flood on my plate. A notch down from a tsunami, yes, but still undriveable conditions. Ditch the car and swim/float!

I later discovered that if I asked for alfredo sauce, the sewers would open up and a flood wouldn’t even exist, let alone a tsunami. It must’ve been the marinara sauce clogging the pipes.

Anyway, as I was saying, I ordered penne (the tube pasta), meatballs, and marinara sauce. I watched as it was made right in front of me. Finally, it was done. The nice lady handed me my meal and wished me well.

I sprinkled parmesan cheese on top, which, if you think about it, looks like dandruff falling from someone’s head.

Still hungry?

I put the plate on my tray, grabbed a tall-small carton of milk, and proceeded to the cash register.

“Tall-small carton of milk” can be defined as: “500ML”. 

After I paid, I grabbed a take-out container because why was I going to sit in a cafeteria by myself, when I could go back to my room and do the exact same thing? Exactly. And I had a TV!

The take-out container was square, folded downward, and had hinges. I know, I’ve made it sound like a doggy door. It wasn’t. The material felt like it was made out of recycled materials. The kind where if you pour water on it, it would become soggy.

We all picturing a soggy container? Good.

So, I packed up my meal and was headed on my way. The walk back to my room was about five minutes, depending on how fast I was moving and how many people were in the way.

Plus, I lived on the third floor and would take the stairs. Not that that made a difference, since the elevator ride took the same amount of time as the stairs. I just thought I’d subtly brag about taking the stairs because that’s what people who take the stairs do.

On my way back to my room, I noticed the bottom of the take-out container was really hot. It made sense, the pasta noodles and the sauce were both hot. Nothing to worry about, right?

Except this time was different.

I was now outside and about to round the corner to enter my residence building, when it happened.

Kids, close your laptops.

My left hand, which was supporting the container underneath, felt like it was on fire. I looked at my hand. It was bleeding.

How am I bleeding? And where did this sixth finger come from?

These were questions I needed to answer if I ever wanted to explain my situation to a paramedic.

Then I realized I didn’t have a sixth finger. It was penne (the tube pasta). I also realized I wasn’t bleeding, either. It was marinara sauce all over my hand. Then I looked down.

On the sidewalk was a tragedy even Shakespeare couldn’t concoct. About ten of my precious penne were now on the ground. Dead. Never to be eaten. A life not lived.

I, heroically, put my burning hand back underneath the bottom of the container to prevent anymore from falling through the hole that had been created. I rushed inside and took the elevator. It would be faster, right?

I just want you to know that the entire sequence I just described – from when the first penne met the sidewalk, to when I realized what was happening and put my hand back underneath the container – took about 2.3 seconds in real time. Yes, even the “what do I tell a paramedic?” part.

There I was in an elevator with my dinner literally in the palm of my hand. It was so hot. And not in the attractive way, either.

Now, my student card was my key to the building, as well as my room. Hotel style.

It’s a good thing I’m right-handed and my student card was in my wallet, which was in my right pocket. I could slip it out of my wallet without pulling my wallet out. If I had to do that with my left hand, I’d be forced into a strenuous position and probably wake up the next day more sore than if I had joined a yoga class.

I got to my room and put the container down on top of a serviette. Yes, I just said serviette. Deal with it.

I went to wash my hand put all the cold water in the world on my left hand. While in the washroom, I realized there was marinara sauce all over my pants. I now knew what it was like to be a messy eater and I hadn’t even sat down to eat yet.

Fortunately, no meatballs were lost. That would’ve been disappointing. I ate my meal, probably posted a Facebook status about how my beloved pasta was in cahoots with a rogue take-out container and had betrayed me – you know, not unlike stuff people post when someone breaks up with them.

Then I took a picture of the now massive hole in the bottom of the container. As I was eating, the hole got larger. It was the size of the entire bottom of the container. Picture a window without glass. That is what my take-out container had become.

It looked like someone took a blow torch to it.

We’re all familiar with “double bagging” something, right? The act by which you put a bag in a bag and then place your item(s) in them? Yeah? Good. If I had to explain it further, I’d be worried.

Well, I took that same philosophy and applied it to these backstabbing, lowlife, probably didn’t even love me in the first place, containers. I made sure to double or triple container my pasta before walking away with it. Safety first, kids.

Such a traumatizing experience will never leave me. My dinner betrayed me. It burnt my hand, dirtied my pants, and splintered my heart.

Never mind, I’ll find someone dinner like you.

The End

Those of you still in the washroom can now go retrieve your popcorn from the microwave, after you wash your hands. I said wash your hands!

About Paul

I think of my blog as an all-you-can-read buffet. There's something for everyone and complimentary mints at the door as you leave.
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37 Responses to The Day the Pasta Died

  1. this is great…………..well not the dirty pants, burnt hand part, that’s bad, but it was a great tale

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I may eat pasta again. Thanks for making me laugh. Ouch to the hand.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. casondra2rey says:

    Lmao! 10, you counted 10 😭 I was on the verge of tears with this one. Pasta deserves better treatment lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jess says:

    I’m literally laughing so hard, I’m crying, and I may have just woken the baby I sit for from her slumber.
    1. Nobody will ever ruin Parmesan cheese by describing it as dandruff. I smother my pasta in cheese to the point that it looks like paste.
    2. I’m jealous that your dining hall even provided you with containers, no matter how crappy they are. Mine didn’t because we weren’t allowed to leave the hall with food in case we were to feed someone in need or something. Many times did I smuggle a napkin-wrapped cheeseburger in my coat pocket like I had just robbed a bank.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      Ok first off, every time I hear or read the word “slumber”, I instantly start laughing. It’s just a funny word to me haha.

      You can never have too much cheese on pasta! Well, unless it becomes pasta on cheese..

      Haha you smuggler! That’s too bad though. Containers came in handy. We had rotisserie chickens in one cafeteria and one person once asked for a full chicken so they could save it for meals during the week. Smart decision, but I’m standing there like, THAT BIRD HAD A FAMILY. I don’t know where I’m going with this..

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jess says:

        Hahahahah that’s pretty ambitious and honestly a little weird for someone to want an entire chicken to themselves. Yeah my college actually had people waiting by the doors to see if anyone tried to leave with food. It felt like the TSA.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        I believe the quote from them was “Yay, I have leftovers for the week!” Who would want chicken every day?
        Wow that’s a bit intense. So were you never allowed to take food to lectures?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jess says:

        Haha no not really. At least I never saw people show up with a plate of eggs in the morning. In their eyes, they figured if you were smuggling food, you’re probably giving it to someone who doesn’t have a food plan therefore, giving away free food even though you’re paying for a food plan. It made no sense. Regardless, it was eaten.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        That last line LOL. At my school if you lived in residence you were forced to have a meal plan. Some people ran out of it by November and some still had hundreds left over by April and just bought stuff in bulk.

        That’s kinda dumb though. Why can’t people buy food for their friends? I know the school wants money, but still.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jess says:

        That’s crazy you were forced into a meal plan! From what I remember we had like three levels of meal plans, all of which gave you unlimited access to the dining halls, but then we had these “dining dollars” which was basically extra cash on your card for you to buy food outside of the dining halls at these little UNH stores. I stopped having a meal plan my junior year when I lived in a suite with like 4 other girls. There was always food in our room haha

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        Oh yeah we had levels too. It depended on which residence you lived in. The one I was in didn’t have anything except one microwave per 50 students, so there was no way for us to make meals. In the apartment style residence they could either do no meal plan or get half a meal plan. We also had that extra cash too to spend off campus. That went towards Papa Johns Pizza for me….

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jess says:

        Yeahhhhhhhh, Domino’s at 4am every night during final exam time was certainly a must.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        I ordered Domino’s once late at night…THEY DIDN’T CUT MY PIZZA. I sat there with a butter knife.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Jess says:

        WHAT?! That’s a sick joke. A friend of mine ordered one and it arrived with no cheese for some reason. Just bread and sauce. She ate it anyway.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Paul says:

        That’s disgusting. Yeah the worst part is my friends got Domino’s too and all their pizzas were cut. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

      • Jess says:

        They did it on purpose because they know just how much you like pizza. Those bastards.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. rebbit7 says:

    Love this! Such a tragedy from the pasta-burning episode, though…More anecdotes from your life, please! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. These are sad times indeed, Paul. When one’s dinner can burn your hand, soil your pants, and break your heart, you know it’s time for take out. Uh, sorry about that perhaps I may have just rubbed salt into your wounds. But, this whole thing just screams for some kind of investigation. So, that’s why I called the CIA today to look into this malicious and unprovoked food attack on you. Not the Central Intelligence Agency, of course, but the Culinary Institute of America. I’ll keep you abreast of their findings. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. madlittleviking says:

    My school always has pasta available. Even after school!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. madlittleviking says:

    In people friendly containers too!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a combo…sad to funny. Great little story!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Loved this, lol! And pasta is my favorite food ever, since I was a little kid, before you were born. Even now, being vegan. YUUUUMMMMMM!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Barb Knowles says:

    On the scale of 0-Adele, how difficult was your breakup with single containers?

    Liked by 1 person

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