Shattered glass at Panda Express
Shattered glass at Panda Express

I was sitting in the upper level of Stamp Student Union, enjoying a tasty Salad Works creation and catching up on some Netflix, when a loud bang and the sound of shattering glass pulled me out of my Parks and Recreation haze.

Several other students and I ran over to the balcony to see what had happened. It appeared one of the glass divides at Panda Express — separating hungry students from the food — had broken. Huge chunks of thick glass had scattered all over the floor of the food court and, most importantly, into the food.

The employees look perplexed for a minute, but then seemed to shrug and start cleaning up the glass. But what happened next — I couldn’t even believe it. It was like driving by a car accident: You don’t want to look but you just can’t tear your eyes away.

They were throwing the food away.

Yes, friends, that’s right. Trays of orange chicken, beef and broccoli and steamed vegetables chucked into the trash. Like they were nothing. Like they were McDonalds chicken nuggets, for God’s sake. It happened so fast — I didn’t even get to say goodbye.

True, I had chosen Salad Works over Panda. But that’s only because I’ve eaten Panda so many times in the past month I thought, “You should really try something different today.” If only I knew then what I knew now. If only I had indulged my addiction one last time. Some of that orange chicken might be in my stomach instead of in the trash.

We live in such a fast-paced world, friends. Sometimes we need to slow down and remember what we’ve lost. So today, I fondly remember the kung pao chicken. I’ll never forget you, Beijing beef. Even you, honey-walnut shrimp, even though you always looked gross to me. Maybe we could have had something special, if only I’d had the nerve to try you out.

You’ll never be forgotten, brave little Panda Express entrees. Terps, I know we will get through this together. At a time like this, when my own words are so hard to find, I find solace in these words:

#pandaglassbreak2013 #neverforget