“She had so much life left to live,” Toot Toot McPhee stuttered through tissues. “I mean, she was an art history major, so she was going to starve to death anyway, but … it was just too soon,” she cried, inconsolable at the death of her “bestie for life,” Marsha Brady.
It has now been two months since the first Hands dining center fatality, in which Brady, a freshman, fell victim to a bloody red rare hamburger dining services served as a “Valentine’s Day special.”
Brady is just one of hundreds of students who’ve died after eating at the HandStuffOnly Dining Center this year, according to Goody One-Shoe, Vice President of Student Facilities and Fatalities.
“Why, our retention rate is practically down to zero percent,” One-Shoe told a Rectangle reporter, drawing a circle with her one leg in the air for emphasis.
To date, 246 students have met their bitter end at the hands of The Hands. This comes as a surprise to many, who thought that the food quality would only improve after the university broke its contract with shit food service provider SodexoTragic in favor of local conglomerate Scaramark.
“It was supposed to be better,” freshman Jose Mose whispered through gritted teeth as he collapsed onto the sidewalk outside Hangry Library, clutching his abdomen. “Things were supposed to change.”
Also included in the ever-increasing death toll are those with dietary restrictions, who pass on to the abyss not because of food poisoning, but rather due to slow starvation on the meal plan.
“I don’t know how they’re starving. We’ve got all sorts of accommodations,” One-Shoe said when questioned about the situation. “There’s always lettuce, sometimes even two kinds of lettuce. Vegetarians can eat lettuce, celiacs can eat lettuce, hell, everybody can eat lettuce. We’re taking care of these snowflakes as best we can, here. What the hell else can we do?”
University President Jay Five Real says he’s seen the numbers, but he’s not convinced that the very significant drop in retention rate is related to the plethora of deaths.
“A lot of things can influence retention rate. Some kids just aren’t right-fit students. The only surefire solution here is to make the application even more expensive. Honestly, we could probably make everything more expensive,” President Five Real mused. “Do you think Penn’s doing that? I want to do what Penn does.”
When asked whether or not they’d continue to frequent the Hands for meals despite the very real danger, most freshmen answered in the affirmative.
“We all know the risks,” Gellman Hairdo, a health sciences major, shrugged as he took another bite of cockroach sushi, a Hands speciality. “Every mouthful could spell the end, but you can’t live the life if you’re not willing to pay the price.”
“Fuck, man. I mean, what are we supposed to do, make our own food? Beg for it outside of Wawa?” A civil engineering major scoffed as he handed over his Dragon Card to swipe into the dining center. “Besides I kinda like this system. Survival of the fittest you know. I’ve got an iron stomach thanks to Drexel.”
Though retention rate is down, employment is up for food service workers, as additional employees have been brought on to carry the bodies up the stairs and out to the curb. Students at the Badidea Institute for Entrepreneurship are reportedly working on an electric wheelbarrow-like mechanism to help relay the bodies en masse.