The Price of Tea in China: Atrium's healthier foods priced outrageously

Last August, I came to BSU terrified of gaining the Freshman 15. I am pleased to say that I didn't. I'm not so pleased to say that instead, I gained the Freshman 40.

With the help of my summer job from Hades and stadium parking, I am almost back to my original weight, and I have restored within myself my faith in the fact that I really do have a skeletal system.

Now, at the dawn of my sophomore year, I plan to develop a more chiseled physique. In doing so, I feel both blessed with the infinite wisdom of experience and bamboozled by the infinite ridiculousness of fresh fruit prices.

I do not speak abstractly. There is a dining facility on this very campus which I believe will -- using fruit -- stop at nothing to suck every Ball State student's Dining Plus bone dry, leaving us to forage like animals for packets of ketchup, one-ounce containers of "Polynesia Sauce" and things people drop on the floor.

In the interest of not destroying this facility's good name, I will simply tell you that it rhymes with "The Waytrium." You are now free to make your own assumptions.

If you wish to purchase fresh fruit at this facility, it must be purchased in a small plastic box garnished with lettuce. The price of this plastic box is $1.60. So, after my fruit selection, I am left with four dollars. I always purchase a sandwich that costs $3.75, which leaves me with a quarter. Gee, that's all right. I wasn't thirsty anyway.

But I can put the fruit back and buy an unhealthy cookie for $.85, thus enabling me to quench my monstrous thirst after I have finished my rigorous morning of Latin nouns and plots for global domination. How, I ask you, are we, the students, to perform our best academically when we are unable to purchase a frosty beverage and fruit without tapping into our rapidly dwindling Dining Plus accounts?

I now wish to study the fruit situation more closely with the help of long division. To establish my credibility, let it be known that I sat in the back row of Mrs. von der Hoff's calculus class in the 12th grade. I will not mention, however, that many of these class periods were spent playing "Miss Suzy" hand-clapping games with the valedictorian.

Included in my study are strawberries, grapes, and pineapple. I did not include melons of any sort, for melons taste as though they have been marinated in baboon sweat. This is true everywhere.

Back to the study: In a standard plastic box, we have 37 grapes, 14 cubes of pineapple, or 6 strawberries. For the benefit of this facility, I included fruit such as shriveled or squishy grapes and albino strawberries that are unfit for consumption. We will assume that the plastic box with lettuce is free.

Let us divide $1.60 by each aforementioned fruit quantity. This puts grapes at $.04 apiece, cubes of pineapple at $.11, and strawberries, even the albino ones, at $.26.

This means, of course, that a grape costs more than a minute of long-distance phone time. A cube of pineapple costs 1 cent more than a piece of Bazooka bubble gum, and it doesn't even come with a comic. I half expected the strawberries to be platinum-plated.

In short, you, personally, are doomed to gain weight. In a short time, your Dining Plus will cease to be and you will have no choice but to pick up the cookie instead of fruit. Indeed, that is the way of things: Everything, even a healthy lifestyle, has a price.

I mean, except for the packets of ketchup.

Write to Aleshia at


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