“VARIANT is a chilling adventure that feels just a little too realistic for comfort. A lights-on read!”
—Aprilynne Pike, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Wings series
“Variant grabs your attention early with a mysterious situation, gives you characters to root for, and then leaves you wondering which of them you can trust. Just when you think you’ve figured out what’s going on, Rob Wells surprises you with more twists. I read this book in one sitting because I had to know what would happen next.”
—Larry Correia, New York Times bestselling author of Monster Hunter International
Maybe it’s because spring is in the air; maybe it’s because we’re feeling cheap; maybe it’s because Joel wanted to pick up college chicks…
Last week we went to a favorite institution of BYU students, Brick Oven, but this year we went to an even favoriter institution of even more BYU students: the Cougareat. The Cougareat, for the uninitiated, is the big cafeteria in the BYU student center. When I was younger, it used to be all privately run, like a regular cafeteria, but now it’s gone commercial, with their Taco Bell Expresses and their Subways and their Freschetta (which always reminds me of flechette, which makes me not want to eat there).
Joel (italicized and blue) suggested we go to the Cougareat today mainly because we thought it would be comedy gold! It’ll be really easy to write about all the wackiness at a college, right???
As is often the case, however, there was a fatal flaw in our plan. If a list of the 100 wackiest colleges exists (and let’s be clear: I did no research on the subject), then BYU is sure to place nowhere on said list. Which is not to say everyone quietly shuffles around in monastic robes (at least not on weekdays), but it’s a relatively well-behaved school. Plus it’s generally pretty laid back there in the summer.
So we dragged Ben along again, because that’s the only way Rob and I could still feel young in the midst of college students, and headed over to campus. When we arrived, we found ourselves surrounded by a pack of middle-aged people who were there for some conference. Rob was a little disappointed at the lack of young people, because he carries around a stack of photos of himself to sign and hand out to “fans” (everyone he meets under age 25).
Really, all I wanted were some young people behaving in an embarrassing way–flirting noisily, practicing for an all-male a capella pop group, pretentiously talking about what they learned in Philosophy 101. Is that too much to ask?
So anyway, we tried to eschew the chain eateries and went to the Scorecard Grill. Before you think that it’s just a generic cheap hamburger grill, well…okay, it’s just a generic cheap hamburger grill.
True story: the cashier (college girl) was helping the customer in front of us (college guy), and she said: “Wow, you have really beautiful–I mean, handsome–eyes!” He said thanks and took his receipt. Pretty great, huh? (And thus ended all “pretty great” things that happened at the CougarEat.)
I was hoping to get some pasta from the “Italian” place, but it was inexplicably closed. The lone employee stood there looking forlornly out of the gate lowered in front of the counter, apparently forgetting that there is a back door for employees to exit through.
Ben got his food first and left to find a table. Rob and I briefly considered finding a different table, but we decided against it. I don’t want Ben too crabby, because I have to work with him.
Rob and I both had the standard double cheeseburger, while Ben went all fancy and had the sourdough version. I thought the burger was good, and it was nice that one of the options was tater tots. I also enjoyed the fact that they had red creme soda, which I hadn’t had for quite a long time.
The tater tots were the best part of the meal, and I’m not saying that as an insult to the cheeseburger. They were legitimately excellent.
I was surprised and appalled to find that there were no caffienated options at the soda fountain. (“Surprised and appalled” because I apparently forgot what it was like going to school there for two years? Because I’m dumb?) Whatever the reason, I drank sugary root beer for the first time in years. It was… root beery.
Anyway, NOTHING eventful happened. There were some middle-aged people, and some moms with little kids, and it was a big bust. And then, as we left, Ben (a local politician, remember) discussed how he bet he could steal something out of a display case and no one would ever know.
I give the CougarEat 2.25 ApBs. Decent, cheap food. Disappointing college atmosphere.
We should try it again when school is in full swing. I bet we’d have some great entertainment prospects then, what with all the dating and breakups and people stressed over homework. As it stands, though, I will give it 72 belt loops. And the atmosphere gets only 1 stooge. Yes, it was only one-third as entertaining as a Three Stooges short, even with Ben and Rob slap-fighting.
The poetry memorization has been going along fairly well, though I think I’m cheating in spirit–memorizing only long enough to recite but not really retaining much. I think that will change once this book is finished and I can spend more time.
I’ve picked a shorter poem this week because of my time constraints.
by William Butler Yeats
Be you still, be you still, trembling heart;
Remember the wisdom out of the old days:
Him who trembles before the flame and the flood,
And the winds that blow through the starry ways,
Let the starry winds and the flame and the flood
Cover over and hide, for he has no part
With the lonely, majestical multitude.
How about you? What are you reading this week?