New Jersey Food Journal

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Rest in Peace to the Grease

The Fat Darrell sandwich, created in 1997 by Darrell W. Butler when he was a sophomore at Rutgers.

By Jordan Pringle

Graduating in just weeks
Many will cross that Rutgers stage
After this climactic chapter
In our books of life, we’ll turn a page.

Anxiously we depart
And leave this good ole university
But first we must say Rest in Peace
A much-deserved eulogy.

Here at Rutgers New Brunswick, in 1979,
A truck called RU Hungry produced the Fat Cat
And since that miraculous discovery,
Students embraced an undebatable fact.

The Freshman 15 is not a myth,
At RU, it is indeed very real
Yet it is well worth the extra pounds
We’ve found Heaven in a greasy meal.

Since the day we stepped on campus,
We were confronted with the truth
After being lied to all our lives
We learned of a sixth food group.

Rutgers has dining halls and student centers,
But fat sandwiches became a way of life
Busch, Neilson, Brower and Tillet closed at 9
But Grease Trucks stayed open to wee hours of night.

Frat parties over, we were kicked out
Our legs wobbly, our eyesight unclear
Confused, lost, sometimes abandoned by friends
At the end of College Avenue, we found solace here.

We stuffed ourselves with mozzarella sticks and fries
The Fat Night, Fat Elvis, the Fat Va-Va-Voom
Chicken fingers, marinara, cheese steak
We fell for The Fat Mojo, Fat Darrel, Fat Moon.

We lived for Thursday parties we can’t remember
Trying to find our way home with people we’ll never forget
Assuaging our hangovers for morning lectures at Scott Hall
The grease trucks never judged us, nor let us down yet.

The fat sandwiches were our rebellion,
Our way of sticking it to the man
They said, “You can’t eat those huge sandwiches!”
We said, “YES WE CAN!”

Now the grease trucks are scattered
Empty lot full of memories
A cultural staple gone for good,
Despite petitions, rebuttals, desperate pleas.

They said it was for our own good
As if grease trucks were a teenage phase or trend
Relinquishing the unity, the laughter, the salty calories
Why must good things end?

Separated and dispersed across campuses
It’s not the same as back in the day
We firmly believed the wheels were just decoration
We swore the trucks were here to stay.

As we leave the Rutgers bubble to enter adult life,
We see that even the most sure things can change
Those who follow will never know what once was
But with us, the fat sandwich legacy will forever remain.

Jordan Pringle is a senior at Rutgers majoring in journalism and media studies with a minor in psychology.