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The Haystack Investigates: 90% Of “Composted” Waste Actually Just Fed To Really Big Bear



Earlier this week, The Haystack investigated a bombshell report that the vast majority of the College’s food waste wasn’t actually being composted—it was being fed to one very large bear.


Our two best reporters, both British, one of whom was wearing a bolo tie, the other a fedora inscribed “News” and an image of the sun smiling, grabbed their tape recorders and headed to the bowels of the Paresky student center where the waste was supposedly processed. Soon, they arrived at a door, on which was a large sign reading: Food Composting Room DO NOT ENTER. Slowly, quietly, they inched open the door, and found themselves in a small, tastefully-decorated candle-lit room.


In the center of the room was a circular table covered in a red-and-white checkered tablecloth. At this table sat a large bear. He was wearing a bib and a top hat, and held in his large paws a fork and knife. Next to the bear was a string quartet. They were playing Mozart.


While the men played, the bear picked at the food waste on a ceramic white plate in front of him. Every so often, when the bear had finished, the quartet would take a break while a very tall, wide-shouldered man in athletic-fit jeans appeared from a side door to bring the bear new food. The bear would grunt in approval and the athletic, wide-shouldered man would leave. The reporters watched all of this silently, until during one of these breaks they were gestured over by the violinist.


“What must it be like, working with the great bear?” asked one of our reporters, in his British accent. “He lacks not for size!”


“Working with the bear is awesome!” replied the violinist in an unplaceable Eastern European accent. “We love it—so much!” The situation appeared very cheery indeed.


“This is the best time ever!” agreed the cellist, who clearly hailed from the same place as the violinist. He was almost jumping for joy. “Ma wife!”


“Well, it isn’t too hard to imagine why,” replied our reporter. The fact of the matter was, this little bear-plot concocted by the College wasn’t too bad at all. So, the reporters’ work was complete, and it was about time, because all of this eating was making them pretty hungry, and Whitman’s was serving hamburgers with little pickles.


As our reporters were packing up, putting their recorders back in the pockets of their cardigans and working together on adjusting the bolo tie, the violist shot a quick glance at the bear, who had drooped into a pleasant nap, and took a small step closer. “Get us the fuck out of here,” he whispered between gritted teeth. To be transparent, he spoke in the same accent as the rest of the quartet.


Our reporters were confused by his rather explicit outburst.


“This was never supposed to happen,” continued the violist. “It’s unnatural.” He took another glance behind him, then, even quieter, as if begging for aid: “Ma wife.”


“Well, now, why are you saying all these bad things?” asked our reporter, the one with the fedora, over the profuse shushing of the violist. “It’s clear the big chap enjoys his dinners. And the tall, wide-shouldered gentleman, why, he seems agreeable enough!”


“I’d say,” concurred our other reporter, loudly.


In the space of what could only have been a single second, the tall gentleman stormed back into the room, smashed a plate on the ground, and dragged out the struggling violist. Soon, the violist was inaudible, and the quartet, now a trio, started to play, quickly and mechanically. It was lovely sounding, and the lighting was golden, the candles flickering like tiny dancers. A small man, cute as a button, entered to sweep the floor and reset the table. He smelled good, or bad?—our reporters weren’t really paying attention at this point. They were pretty hungry.


“Farewell, old bear boy-o!” proclaimed bolo tie.


“And Godspeed!” added fedora, smiling more than he’d expected he would after a night like this, for the ambiance, the subtle grin of the bear, and the impending promise of hamburgers was much more than he’d bargained for.