This is the online component of the humor section of the Argus, the Wesleyan University newspaper.


Editors' Note

The editors of the Wesleyan Ampersand would like to wish you a relaxing and sensual Fall Break. But remember, don’t eat too much Fall foliage! Also, tune in to the latest episode of our new podcast, Cannibal Lunchtime With Piers and Zach, in which we devour a member of our staff. It’s not who you think!

Hungry No Longer: The Epic Tale of Gregor Hamsa, the Man Who Became a Hamster And Solved World Hunger

One morning after falling asleep at his desk, Gregor Hamza woke up to find himself turned into a hamster. Though he now had fur covering his body, tiny arms and legs, no neck, and measured approximately half a foot tall, he was not troubled. For he soon happened upon the half-eaten bowl of ramen he had left on his desk and discovered that it took only a few miniscule bites, seized in his new-formed paws, to sate his appetite for the rest of the day.

He had discovered the remedy for world hunger.

Though the hamster is a noble creature, it took time for Gregor to adjust to his new form. Once he had learned how to climb down from the desk and squeeze under the door to his room, he discovered he was hungry again. Gregor had never been popular as a human. Scurrying around outside, he found that everyone wanted to be his friend.

“Hey dude! Lookin’ adorable today!” called his friend Adam, who was a douchebag. Adam gifted tiny Gregor with a single Frito. And as Gregor leapt up to give him a wee high-five, in a puff of smoke, Adam was swiftly transformed into a hamster as well.  “Dude… what… Come back. I AM A HAMSTER.”

Gregor was not listening. Gregor had scampered off toward Susie, the girl of his dreams, also a prominent social activist on campus.  “You’re the one who did it! You solved world hung–!” she cried, lifting up Gregor as she would a prized trophy. But before she could finish her sentence, she had been turned into a blond hamster, the prettiest rodent in all the land.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Asia, the Director watched the scene in a crystal ball and knitted his hands. The hamster food industry would never again be a humble enterprise!

Snackademics: Cooking with Wesleyan Professors

Gary’s Practical Kitchen
Cooking with esteemed medievalist Gary Shaw

I like to make this one right when I wake up so that I can munch on it all day. I even take some to the gym in a Ziploc!

TO STEWE STEKES OF MUTTON: Take funges, & pare hem clene and dyce hem. Take leke, & shred hym small & do hym to seeth in gode broth. Color it with safron, & do there-inne powder-fort. Take a legge of mutton and cot it in small slices, & put it in a chafer, & put therto a pottell of ale, & scome it cleane then putte therto seven or eyghte onions thyn slyced, & after they have boyled one hour, putte therto a dyshe of swete butter, & so lette them boyle tyll they be tender, and then put therto a lyttel peper and salte. Tak cheryes & do out the stones & grynde hem wel & draw hem thorw a streynour & do it in a pot. & do therto whit gres or swete botere & myed wastel bred, & cast therto good wyn & sugre, & salte it & stere it wel togedere, & dresse it in disches; and set theryn clowe gilofre, & strewe sugre aboue.*

*Medieval people would only have eaten this well on a Saint’s Day!

I Am Sitting In A Kitchen
Cooking with Alvin Lucier

I call this recipe “Pasta of Indeterminacy.” Does anybody know why this recipe would be called “Pasta of Indeterminacy”? Well, you would have to know a little bit about the history of this recipe. Back in 1963, I was eating grilled flounder sandwiches with my dear friend John Cage when John turned to me and said, “Alvin, what do you say we submerge a box of pasta upside down in a pool of rapeseed oil filled with floating koala bears and then record the vibrations that ensue and play the tape backwards in unison with Beethoven’s Fifth?” and I said, “Why, John, that is a wonderful idea.” Isn’t that marvelous? It sounded just marvelous. Let me tell you a story about “Pasta of Indeterminacy.” Robert Ashley cooked “Pasta of Indeterminacy” for the first time in 1967 for his wife Pamela during her second pregnancy: he simply left a box of pasta uncooked on the counter and subjected it to chance operations. He called it “prepared pasta.” Do you know what he did then? He then placed weather stripping, pennies, bolts, wood, rubber, and slit bamboo to change the sound of spicy Newman’s tomato sauce. What a lovely idea! In my recipe, the cook is surrounded by a large number of kitchen utensils which are represented by a circular score and comprise a fruitful and exciting sound palette. He then sits stationary at the table for four minutes and thirty-three seconds, simply allowing the aleatoric particles of the air to sift in and out of his tonsils at chance. What a marvelous dish.

My Dinner with Jeanine
Cooking with Jeanine Basinger

This is my special meatloaf recipe. I call it Meat Me in St. Louis.
First, take a look at your cooking surface. Are the colors evenly balanced? If not, does this imbalance serve to create tension or suspense? Once you have considered this in terms of function and effect, proceed.
The key ingredient in Meat Me is an extremely rare form of black truffle. There is a two-year waitlist to receive one, but don’t worry, it’s worth it!
Is it two years later? Do you have the 8 1/2 grams of the mushroom? Excellent. Now, dice the truffle and add salt and pepper à la Remy in Ratatouille. Mix ground beef and two bottles of ketchup in a large mixing bowl, being sure to keep your stirring motion on only one side of the bowl so as to not break the 180 degree rule.
High-angle close up on the mixture. Zoom in. If you see any lumps, keep stirring.
Don’t be afraid to experiment; be an auteur! Some of the most acclaimed meatloaves ever made were misunderstood in their time.

Note: this recipe can only be prepared between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm on Wednesdays.

Kitchen Composition No. 65
Cooking with Anthony Braxton

Put The Pasta In A Sarcophagus: A Midterms Food Pyramid

POV: Occupy Usdan

Students Form Anti-Local Food Group

Reacting against the current enthusiasm for all things local and sustainable, a group of Wesleyan enthusiasts have formed a club devoted to obtaining the hardest-to-get foods on the planet. “It’s kind of like an extreme sport,” says Dylan Halls ’13. “But instead of climbing mountains we roast young koalas in their mother’s pouches and smother that in a fine sauce of shark eggs and Arctic-circle lingonberries. It doesn’t even taste that good. We just love the thrill of the chase.”

Halls is a founding member of ‘WesDecadence: Meet Locally, Eat Globally,’ the latest food-interest group on campus. “On the one hand, I understand the impulse to be responsible about our consumption and its consequences,” says sophomore Francine McDonnell. “On the other hand, I want to eat fucked-up shit that’s super rare.” Last Friday McDonnell hosted a WesDecadence feast using only produce from remote Pacific islands.  “The endangered fruit bats were sauteed in New Zealand Takehe eggs, a bird thought extinct from 1898 to 1948. I’m proud of that one.”

Funding for the group comes from the SBC, which begrudgingly admits that extreme anti-local eating qualifies as a recreational interest. “Besides, we offer vegan options,” says one member. “I fried chick peas in olive oil recovered from a Byzantine archaeological dig in Galilee. Tasted okay.” The same meal, which was Ancient World-themed, concluded in a pomegranate compote over goat’s milk sorbet. The pomegranate was smuggled out of a remote Iraqi site reputed to be the Garden of Eden. “I feel like possibly eating from the tree of knowledge has really boosted my academic confidence,” said another member, hard at work on a thesis. “Nothing can touch me now.”

Still, the hobby has its drawbacks. “I’ve definitely had trouble getting exotic ingredients shipped to campus,” says Halls. “At first it was hard to get in contact with people who had power and know-how in risky places — you know, like the Iranian highlands, Chechnya, parts of Papua New Guinea that haven’t been exposed to civilization, deep Amazon regions, the Congo, Uighur lands, North Korea. But now I have a really good network. Very grassroots. I’m currently being investigated by the FDA, the USDA, the DEA, and the FBI, because of the packages, but I think that’ll blow over.” He mentioned an instance in which elephant seal blubber began to decompose in the package room, producing an “unbelievably rank, disgusting” odor like “feces and burning plastic,” but dismisses that as a bureaucratic mix-up. “They didn’t specify a WesBox number. I told them, always write the WesBox number.”

Last Saturday WesDecadence hosted their first ever cocktails event. It featured a barrel of rum recovered from the colonial Triangle Trade, Kumis (fermented mare’s milk from Mongolia), and the Cask of Amontillado, which “tastes like Dubra.” The main course, paired with the drinks, was a Van Gogh sketch soaked in maple syrup, but it had to be discarded so the club’s members could make the film series. This coming Friday they plan to spit-roast a mummy.