by the Seaborn ’22

Photo illustration for “If This One Coffee Shop I Know Is Going to Be Anti-Semitic, I’m Going to Be Anti-That One Coffee Shop”

I awoke from a fitful slumber plagued with stress dreams to the curdled-milk walls of my dorm room. My stomach growled in anticipation of a toasted, savory delight as I opened the GenericCoffeeShop app and selected the Satellite as my order location. I scrolled all the way down past the baked goods section to find my panacea awaiting me… I rubbed my eyes, sure my drowsy, overworked brain had to be mistaken. But the tragedy was real: this random, but also singular, coffee shop was out of bagels.

The first time this happened, I brushed it off, sure it had to be a one-time mixup. But the bagels remained MIA for the rest of the week. Thankfully, they soon returned – only to temporarily vanish again, and again, and again.

And then I realized: How come the gentile delights like strawberry galettes and avocado toast never take a leave of absence?

When I committed to college in small-town North Carolina, I expected to encounter some ignorance, from the comments – “I’ve never met a Jew before!”; “Huh, but you don’t look Jewish” – to a dining hall approximation of latkes that turned out more like tater tots. But it is the unreliability of the bagels at this one coffee shop that truly tempts me to call down a swarm of locusts upon this G-d forsaken campus. I simply cannot feel welcome at a school that refuses to stock even the most stereotypical and assimilated of my cultural fares.

This coffee shop has been feeding us the same old, unleavened excuses for months – oh, there was a mix-up with the bagel place!… Seven times in a semester? We must call this what it really is: an act of blatant antisemitism. And for the record, so is any supermarket bagel that comes in a plastic bag. (And don’t even get me started about how they “run out” of bagels by Sunday. I don’t care if this still honors the Sabbath; who in their right mind doesn’t keep a stash of bagels for the entire weekend?!). 

I call on this completely random and unspecified coffee shop to take a stand for justice and do what is right: bagels all the time, every day of the week.

[This totally arbitrary coffee shop refused to comment on the issue. On an unrelated note, mysterious markings painted in lamb’s blood have been appearing on the doors of campus residences.]