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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Qimmeq and the cafeteria caper

Published: January 20, 2006
Section: Arts, Etc.

Fall semester: Seems like only yesterday. Fear. Dysentery. Midterms. And none of us will ever forget the events of 12/11, the day that changed Brandeis forever

Students had been getting sick for several days, vanishing by the hundreds, when Prof. Marder (Neuroscience) identified Shermanella brandesiform as the culprit after noticing the germs resemblance to squid axons. Panic spread as restroom overuse caused campus-wide flooding from sewage backup.

Thus began a quest by some brave students, with the help of my faithful dog, Qimmeq, to solve the Mystery of the Cafeteria Caper.

MICHAEL SITZMAN: Qimmeq! Weve got a mystery to solve;

help me and Ill give you a cookie!


Then off went boy and dog, first to the ICC, to look for clues:


Salseros): Coo! You shouldnt be here, Michael;

its dangerous! The Reinharz junta has spies everywhere. Ive only stayed to rest my feet since you kept stepping on them at salsa practice. Now I must flee to join the rebels in Sachar Woods. Send word to the people to attend the Activities Fair! We must recruit club membership to replace our desaparecidos.

MICHAEL: Ill go with you! Qimmeq will help us find the way.

SUBCOMANDANTE: Its nightfall. Vmonos!

MICHAEL: Weve reached Usdan;

lets take shelter in the Peace Room. Wait! Whos that?

MANAR FAWAKHRY (Jewish-Arab Dialogue): Michael, youre alive! Its terrible;

our club memberships dwindling. Im the only Arab left! Weve had to rename it Jewish-Jewish Monologue.


TCFI): Shameless plug, yall: Please attend the Activities Fair;

audition for TCFI! Ive lost my former singers to the Shermanator!

ALL: The sherma-WHAT??

KATIE: Hes abducting students;

turning them into Sherman food!

MICHAEL: I thought it tasted funny. Anyway, come with us to


ALL: What the hell!!?

KEVIN MONTGOMERY (The Hoot): Hey in there! Evacuate! Weve been bombed!

MICHAEL: Were headed for the Woods;

come along!

KEVIN: To file a report?

MICHAEL: No. Were collecting stereotypes for the journey;

we need a token goy.

KEVIN: Great;

lets go! Ive got supplies of Wonderbread

CHORUS OF GOYS: Gee, swell!


MICHAEL: Er, no thanks;

well just cut bagel rations.

KEVIN: Bagels? Exotic! Ill bring mayonnaise…

MANAR: Please say youre kidding.


reporting on BTV65): Im at Usdan, the North Dining Hall, where an unknown object has crashed into the upper floor. Hundreds are evacuating the burning building Wait;

were getting more developing news;

lets cut now to Leah Berkenwald of The Hoot. Leah?

LEAH: Yes, Michelle, this storys unfolding quickly. Im standing outside Sherman, the South Dining Hall, where a second missile has hit, setting the Stein ablaze. Rumors are tying it to the Shermanella scare. Lets take some comments from bystanders.

RANDOM BYSTANDER: We were in Usdan when it was attacked, so we came here to finish our meal. When the second missile hit, we knew this was no accident. Oh my God, people are jumping! Conditions must be unbearable up there!

BYSTANDER #2: Maybe thats why theyve been jumping all semester.

LEAH: Im getting reports that a third missile, possibly inbound for Java City, has crashed in Chapels Field. Heroic Model Rocketry Club members apparently destroyed it with rockets after the words lets roll were heard on one rocketeers cellphone. I fear the club will need new members;

at least we can take solace in the upcoming Activities Fair

BYSTANDER #3: Shermans collapsing! Run!

MICHELLE: Weve lost contact with Sherman. Wiring problems due to signage replacement are preventing a temporary connection, but Brandeis isnt known for good hook-ups anyway. Here at Usdan, BEMCo rescue-workers are being ordered out and Oh nooooo!

DAVID PEPOSE (The Hoot): The horror. Its confirmed: Usdan, the North Dining Hall, has also collapsed. Unconfirmed reports say a sketchy, masked figure that some have dubbed the Shermanator was seen on the outskirts of Sachar Woods. Tests now confirm that the projectiles were bottles of Manischewitz wine, stuffed with shmatas and ignited: Weapons known as Mazeltov Cocktails. Its Zionist terrorism! This story has the Middle East written all over it. Wait;

were being interrupted for a bulletin.

PUBLIC SAFETY: Attention, Brandeis: In the interest of security and school loyalty, we ask that you report suspicious individuals;

if you see anyone who looks Jewish, please notify us immediately.

LEAH (reporting from BTV65 SkyCopter): Im over Spingold Theater where hundreds are clamoring their way in to escape the rising sewage. One distraught student asked why the Reinharz administration didnt order evacuations sooner. Some allege racial bias, citing the ethnic composition of the campus Wait: Were patching through an announcement from our president on WBRS.

JEHUDA: We will seek the truth, even unto its innermost parts, about who committed these acts. And we will not tire;

and we will not waver

MANAR: Its dark out here. Where are we?

SUBCOMANDANTE: Weve reached Sachar Woods at last.

KATIE: Look! Theres the Shermanator! How will we subdue him?

KEVIN: Zoiks! Lets get Herschels stereotypical Jewish mother to nag him to death.

MICHAEL: No worries, friends;

Qimmeqs hot on the trail. Get him, boy!

SUBCOMANDANTE: Qimmeqs caught him!

CHORUS OF YIDS: Mazel tov!


MICHAEL: Alright, wiseguy, lets remove that mask and see who you really are!

ALL: (GASP!) Its Aaron Bennos, Shermans Food-Services Director!

SUBCOMANDANTE: Are you the rebel leader?

MANAR: A Zionist conspirator?

KEVIN: Did you bomb our beloved cafeterias?

KATIE: And waste valuable Manischewitz?

MICHAEL: Are you turning our friends into food?

ALL: What about the Shermanella outbreak? Talk!

BENNOS: Yo, chill! Theres no kidnapper, junta, or Zionists;

just me all along! I planted the microbes and bombed the cafeterias. As for your missing friends, check the restrooms!

MANAR: You destroyed your own workplace?

BENNOS: Id planned to drive out the evil Aramark corporation, take over Food Services, and open my own concession called Chew-and-Spew. And Id have succeeded, if it werent for you meddling kids!

MICHAEL: Well, Bennos, looks like your shermanating days are over. As for you, Qimmeq, youve solved the Mystery of the Cafeteria Caper. Good dog! You get a cookie.


The JEHUDA-BUNNY, still going: We will fight them on the beaches, and we will

ALWINA: Put a sock in it, Jehuda!

By and by, life returned to normal. The cafeterias were rebuilt;

Bennos even got his job back, because nobody else wanted it. Students recovered, floods subsided, and Dr. Marder won an award for her discovery. And so ends our story. But we still hope to see you at Sundays Activities Fair in Usdan. Join up!


Welcome back, friends! (Careful with the Horseradish;

its hot.)