Chef's salad with dragonfly on the side, please

By Dani Heinemeyer

I have never had anything bad to say about Café Mac. Even when my friends say, “Dani, I’ll buy you a free steak!” I reply with, “No thank you, I need to see if it’s corndog day in the cafeteria.” After four grueling years I still stoically return to the cafeteria as often as my heavy sleep schedule will allow.

Unfortunately, my Café Mac world came crashing down two weeks ago as I was dining with a few friends. In an attempt to start leading a healthier lifestyle, I made myself a big, ranch-soaked salad. I had almost completely choked it down when I noticed something odd—in the midst of my salad there appeared to be wings. I took a few deep breaths and told myself not to go into cardiac arrest until I got a closer look. I proceeded to pick up the odd-shaped piece of “lettuce” and verified that indeed it was a pair of wings, upon which was attached quite a large insect body.

After I came to I showed my findings to the rest of the table and many girlish squeals were emitted from my supposedly male friends. They convinced me to take the dragonfly to a Café Mac supervisor and demand emotional and monetary compensation. I put the insect on a napkin and found two Café Mac employees. They expressed shock at the dragonfly, and then one of them asked if I took a bite out of it. I replied, “I don’t think so. God I hope not.” She said, “I’m pretty sure you took a bite out of it. Look, there’s a chunk missing.” The employees later offered me a free smoothie certificate for my troubles.

Now, I find three things wrong with this particular scenario. One, of course, is that I found an actual dragonfly in my salad, and two is that a Café Mac worker thought it appropriate to tell me I took a bite out of it. Was that really necessary? I spent the next several days convinced the bite I took contained hundreds of dragonfly larvae that were now hatching in my intestinal tract. And for the third problem…a smoothie? That’s all I get for days of agonizing stomach cramps and illusions of turning into the female counterpart of The Fly? A $3 smoothie that I could just as easily buy with my plethora of flex dollars? That just doesn’t seem fair.

You would think for the $3,374 I spend on a meal plan per year, the quality of food should be way above par. Certainly Café Mac can afford to reimburse me more than $3 for the trauma that ensued from their mistake. Even my friends may need therapy stemming from this tragic salad incident. For everything I’ve gone through, shouldn’t there be an endless supply of corndogs at the Grille? Is it really too much to ask for the ranch dressing at Café Mac to now and forevermore be referred to as Dani Heinemeyer dressing? I didn’t think so.

Contact Dani Heinemeyer ’06 at

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