In a house filled with five girls, limited space constrains the contents of the refrigerator. Budget conscious college students, this also influenced our decision to share the cost of food we purchased. We pooled our funds to buy the collective eggs, milk, cheese, and bread. For the first six months, our system worked well. But, then, one of our roommates started dating a guy who had a hollow leg. On Sundays, we would all go shopping. By Tuesday evening, our food supply would be depleted.
Week after week went by, but the behavior did not stop. We spoke to our roommate, asking her and her boyfriend to stop eating our food. She claimed it wasn’t them. Unsure what to do next, we did the unexpected.
We baked a batch of cupcakes, mixing in eggs, oil, flour and a added a teaspoon of laxatives into the batter. As they turned golden brown in the oven, the cupcakes filled the house with a delicious aroma. It took all our willpower not to eat them. After they cooled, we decorated the cupcakes with swirls of purple and pink frosting, shaking on colorful sprinkles whose eclectic patterns silently screamed “Do Not Eat Me!” Left on the counter for our roommate to discover, we walked out of the kitchen, wondering what would happen next.
The next day, the cupcakes were gone, just a few crumbs remained. So too was our roommate. A few days later, she came back to the house, making a rare appearance on a weeknight. “Hey everyone!” she greeted, reaching into the refrigerator for a ginger ale. We nodded back.
“Have you all been sick at all? I think I got the worst food poisoning from something we bought,” she explained. “Nope,” I replied for the group, “we’re fine.” Then, an awkward silence ensued. “Jennifer,” the bluntest roommate spoke up first, “you didn’t have food poisoning. We put laxatives in the cupcakes that you took and must have eaten all of them.”
Our roommate’s face blushed when realizing she had been caught. “Please stop eating all of our food,” I continued. She nodded, implicitly acknowledging that what we had done was mean, but our only option.When she left the room, we turned to each other, and said “Now, let’s bake those brownies we’ve been waiting to make!” Our roommate and her boyfriend never went near our food again.