As autumn descends upon us and temperatures lower across the nation, animals of all shapes and sizes seek warmth and cover, collecting enough food to last them through the winter. But one particular group, native to the University of Chicago’s Bartlett Dining Hall, has gone on a hunger strike until their demands are met.
the famed Bartlett Rats have unionized, inspired by the protest held earlier this month by UChicago grad students.
“We’re really just looking for more variety,” said a brown-furred rodent who declined to give his name. “Not just that Kraft Singles crap, but some Muenster, maybe some Stilton every once in a while.”
“We’re not picky,” chimed in another, identifying herself as a member of The Swiss Army, a far-left group popular among small rodents. “But after years of hard work, seasoning the food with our feces, we feel like the so-called ‘chefs’ of the dining hall need to step it up.”
Since the hunger strike, student complaints about the dining hall’s quality of food have skyrocketed. “Everyone always joked that the Bartlett cuisine tasted like crap, but now it tastes even worse,” remarked Saffron Van Hout, amateur food critic and Medieval Studies major. “I really hope that the Bartlett Rats reach an agreement with the dining staff--I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to function on this pathetic excuse of a Cordon Bleu.”
After declining an offer to interview for the Dealer, the dining hall put out an official statement, stating that “While the dining hall is devoted to the University’s message of diversity and inclusion, along with an encouragement of public discourse, we ask that the protestors end their hunger strike immediately. To insinuate that our dining hall provides nothing short of culinary excellence is heresy, and until these rats start paying tuition, we refuse to uphold their single demand of serving better food.”
Despite being hospitalized for malnourishment, the leader of the strike had plenty to say in response. “Fuck ‘em,” said Alistair Cheesely, a lifetime Civil Rats activist and senior citizen from the South Side. “In my day, discrimination was as common as an undercooked omelette, but we at least had a decent food supply,” rasped Cheesely, as the nurse put in a fresh line of half and half in his IV. “Until our demands are met, our protestors will continue our strike until we receive collective bargaining rights, benefits, and perhaps a dental plan.”
At the time of publication, the Bartlett Rats were last seen on the Quad picketing as an angry janitor chased the group around with a broom.