“What we have once enjoyed
we can never lose;
All that we love deeply,
becomes a part of us.”
It is with a heavy heart and a reluctantly eupeptic gullet that this gourmand must report the untimely, unjust, and wholly understandable demise of a HUDS staple: the Chickwich.
The Chickwich—cherished circle, beloved pseudo-meat—is just one more victim of the rapid gentrification of the servery, of what the HUDS website smugly deems “new, healthier choices.” As though the comparative were really necessary.
The Chickwich, as dedicated readers and casual telepathists will recall, is very near to FM’s heart—many of our writers have major pieces lodged in minor arteries.
Who could forget, for example, the sometimes-annual FM-run “Chickwich Challenge,” (copyright pending) which has resulted, over the years, in no less than four—count ’em: four—hospitalizations, two FDA sanctions, and three recurring cases of crippling anomie?
And who could forget all the subsequent, surprisingly evocative nutgrafs, like the following: “This Wednesday, two men partook in a true test of heart and stomach when they set out to consume thirteen Chickwiches in all thirteen dining halls over the course of one lunch period?”
When I myself heard the terrible news, I knew—instantly, instinctually—that I needed to be alone. I smashed my phone, snapped my laptop in two, and did the same to my roommate’s belongings for good measure—I was going off the grid.
For weeks, I wandered the streets of Allston, ducking in and out of various seedy cafes and eateries of ill repute, searching for the phantom patty. The locals came to know me; they called me cruel names, like “Chicken-Licken,” and “Mr. Trela.”
But the Chickwich was nowhere to be found—at least nowhere corporeal. In my mind, I was beginning to taste anew the Chickwich’s myriad subtle constituents: the unplaceable, playful aftertaste; the delightful, cured-rubber core; and the patina of sun-dried gravel—à la franchaise—that lovingly girt the whole.
It began to dawn on me that the Chickwich was really gone, that it had been carried off by that cruel arbitress, Time, to the gilded space where all world-weary processed foods will someday find a measure of peace.
I couldn’t even cry. There was too much sodium in my body. I saw that our campus had been fractured, ramified, bifurcated—what other food, after all, could bring together the hedonists and the hurried, the Shakers and the Quakers, the iron-jawed and the steel-coloned, the crapulous and the cool?
Who’s the real monster? It is we—we, and our insatiable desire for progress. Each beet-and-kale burger ordered—every single turkey-and-avocado burger that slithers down our gullible throats—is a nail in the sesame-seeded coffin of the Chickwich.