The Harvard administration eliminated hot breakfasts for Harvard students due to budget cuts, and the situation was desperate. These kids needed an angel… and they got several.
On Friday, November 6, The Princeton Tiger led a humanitarian aid mission to bring hot breakfast– oatmeal– to Harvard students. “Everyone’s hurting in this economy,” said Steven Liss, Chairman of The Tiger. “But Harvard’s endowment shrunk from $37 billion to scarcely $26 billion– they’ve lost more than anyone in these tough times.” A Massachusetts native, Liss cited concern over the coming winter. “Harvard’s our rival, but we hate to think of them having to get by on only continental breakfasts. How can we enjoy our omelettes when they have to clutch croissants in shivering hands, too weak to lift the cantaloupe from their plates? It’s just not decent!”
Not all Harvard students were grateful for Princeton’s help. Upon learning of Princeton’s mission of mercy, many Harvard students plotted via their residential college email lists to interfere with the aid workers.
The email exchange that followed is published below with identifying information redacted. Profanity has been removed, since we want our grandmothers to be able to read this. All emails are copied and pasted directly from our inboxes and in their entirety, so we won’t bother with [sic]. (If you believe that we made up any of this, just go check the archives of the Pfoho and Cabot Open mailing lists – you’ll see it’s all there)
We’ve added our own commentary to the emails in red. And honestly, if you do nothing else, read the last email. It’s epic.
[Pf-OPEN] Princeton is obnoxious…
I just got a Facebook message from my friend who goes to Princeton. Some kids from Princeton are apparently doing a “Humanitarian Aid Mission” to Harvard tomorrow since they heard about our hot breakfast cuts…They are planning to be outside Pfoho [Foh-ho? Puh-foh-ho? Faux ho? I dunno.]/Cabot d halls tomorrow morning dispensing “hot oatmeal and hope.” [Catchy, isn't it?] There will be cameras, as they are making some sort of clever documentary. [Fiendishly clever.] Since we actually do have hot oatmeal and lots more hope than Princeton students, I was wondering if anybody can think of something suitably amusing to do to them. I am super tired and not that funny and have no ideas…thoughts?
Ugh that’s gross.
I say we come up, just take the giant barrels of oatmeal straight from them, say thanks on behalf of the homeless people in Harvard Square, and leave.
[Actually, that would have been pretty funny. The excess oatmeal was, in fact, donated to food pantries to help the homeless in Boston and in Worcester County.]
Bring them waffles?
[Yes. This would certainly teach us a lesson. N.B. we also hate Reese's Peanut butter cups and filet mignon.]
Walk pass them and their cold/stale oats on the way to the shuttles with steaming cups of our own oatmeal informing them we have plenty of “hope” – but thanks for playing.
[Oh man, you have no idea. Not just cold or stale, but simply unpalatable. Our budget didn't allow for sugar, since you all were just going to throw it on the ground anyway.]
I have three options:
1) Play up the fact that no one cares about Princeton, and just belittle them: “Oh, you came to make fun of us? That’s so cute. Someday, someone will want to be your rival school. I’m just sure of it!”. “I’m sure there are people who haven’t heard of Harvard or Yale. They might apply to your school”.
[I can feel your disdainful apathy from here. Also, your confused punctuation at the end of quotations.]
2) Dress up in the most pretentious outfits possible (I’ve got a fake pipe) and pretend to be fellow Princeton people. Make fun of the fact that they’re the only Ivy League that acts like the Ivy League stereotype.
[Our pipes nearly fell out of our mouths when we read this one.]
3) Make them kits- giving them condoms and lube, with the promise of hope – someday they’ll get laid.
[Let's not get into this particular fight. There's no winner here.]
Not sold on the kit- maybe there are other kit ideas that could be more specific to Princeton?
[Might I suggest cases of beer? Ours is pretty awful.]
they need a cambridge health department license to do that, call HUPD or cambridge police
[I'm sure those fine organizations have better things to do with their time... like preventing real crimes. Besides, why shut down our operation when they could go after Little Sally Jenkins' unlicensed lemonade stand?]
How about just asking, “Where are you from?… Wait… What’s ‘Princeton’?
Holy s***…I just looked up Princeton on wikipedia. Since when are they a part of the Ivy League?
This is crazy.
[We're in the Ivy League? We've finally hit it big, fellas!]
We could all show up dressed as the musician “Prince”. It would be, as they say, a ton of princes.
…wait for it…
[Actually, this would have been really good... ... ... ... We bow before your wit, sir. If you'd ever like to write for Tiger, let us know.]
You people are too civil. We should beat them. (except your friend)
[You forget we're from Princeton. We'll just pay some of the local riff-raff to fight for us.]
everyone should be awake for this. bring any arsenal you can find.
irony – we could use what little hot breakfast we have (oatmeal, etc) as ammo against them. or just throw muffins. or tackle them.
honestly these kids have no idea what’s coming
[irony - palpable]
For once, the fact that I have to get up early on Fridays will be useful to great Pfoho instead of just making me sleepy!
Eew, no. I think you have COMPLETELY the wrong approach. Assaulting them with anything is just going to irritate them and make us look belligerent and awful–not a good idea when it sounds like the whole point of their visit is probably to tape a segment making fun of us for a campus comedy group.
[Irritate us? Unlikely. We're very patient people.]
What I’d really like is to see our own (presumably) equivalent organization, On Harvard Time, go out and tape their failed efforts. Here’s what I’m picturing:
As an OHT correspondent interviews a nervous-looking Princeton crew member (pretending polite confusion at the unfamiliar name “Princeton”), happy Harvard students drift by in the background on their way to the shuttle, munching on veritaffles, HUDS oatmeal, and assorted hand fruits and cold cereals. To one side, an OHT cameraman pokes at the Princetoners’ oatmeal and turns away looking mildly disgusted.
Of course, since I’ll be away from the quad and it’s probably too late to organize anything like this anyway, I suppose dumping Gatorade (or HUDS Powerade) on their heads would be a good second choice. Unlike Princeton.
[Oh, I see what you did there. That could be our new slogan. "Princeton: Never Second Best."]
LOL + ditto that. [Oh, just type it out. It's like five extra letters.] And anyway, we shouldn’t waste food (I’m surprised the FLP/REP peeps haven’t spoken up) and they certainly don’t deserve our veritaffles. Is it really too late to humiliate them on tape?
[We ignored it the first time, but... veritaffles? Really? Are you people friggin' serious? Is that even a thing?]
I’m arriving to this thread late, so to rewind the tape a bit: +1 for [redacted]‘s suggestion.
Though [redacted]‘s suggestion is interesting–he said:”they need a cambridge health department license to do that, call HUPD or cambridge police”… hm… just try to imagine that for a moment… does that work? [No.]
I did! Second comment, after the always-alert [redacted]. I know I’ll be walking out, fresh warm veritaffle in hand, to see how this develops..
[Oh Christ, it really is a thing.]
no no, I meant regarding food wastage. I noticed the bit about veritaffles [They're still talking about these veritaffles.]
[Pf-OPEN] Fwd: [Cabot-open] princeton attack – can i get an army? [Apparently not.]
———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Fri, Nov 6, 2009 at 12:04 AM
Subject: [Cabot-open] princeton attack – can i get an army?
To: Cabot Open List <cabot-open at lists.hcs.harvard.edu>
Tomorrow Princeton students are doing a “humanitarian mission” where they deliver “hot oatmeal and hope” to students outside Pfoho and Cabot since we don’t have a hot breakfast anymore. They’re planning to film it. We currently have something like ~150 students with waterguns in Cabot.
Howabout a declared amnesty for assassins while 150 of us storm the Princeton-ites, yelling and firing madly?
If y’all are down, i’m down.
[Attacking defenseless aid workers? Way to seize the moral high ground.]
I second this.
Why did they choose Pfoho and Cabot?
[Good question, why would we pick a spot on the farthest outskirts of campus? It couldn't possibly be a ruse to draw all you guys away from Harvard Yard– Princeton kids aren't that clever! Right?]
no idea, but between the two houses we can think of something clever to do back right?
[Jian Li <-- Yes, the-guy-who-was-rejected-from-Princeton-then-sued-for-racial-discrimination-and-went-to-Yale-but-then-transferred-to-Harvard-and-guess-where-he-lives-yeah-Cabot-House-no-but-seriously]:
I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that [redacted] is hosting the president of the Princeton group in his room tonight…
[Call him out? Classy.]
I am so down for this!
This is a great idea; though I’d like to suggest augmenting the water-gun attack with a row of Cabotian/Pforzheimertarianistpeople mooning their cameras and a gigantic sign that says, “Dear Princeton. At least you get hot breakfast to make up for the fact that you’re still always second or third place at juuuuuust about everything. Love, The #1 School in the WORLD.”
[Mooning us? Clever *and* classy!]
Less talk, more water.
New information received — event is scheduled to go off “around 9.” Also, they might know we’re coming.
Bring water guns ready to go at 9am in the dhall.
Damn… I thought the element of surprise was key.
[Might have helped.]
Should there be some kind of collaboration in our counterattacks?
I’m pretty sure we have lots of delicious hot oatmeal every morning. Nice research, idiots. I guess that’s why they go to Princeton.
[Thanks, we try. Although, to be fair, pointing out that your school provides you with the same food we made out of the back of a car isn't saying much.]
———- Forwarded message ———-
Date: Fri, Nov 6, 2009 at 12:22 AM
Subject: Re: [Cabot-open] Fwd: [Pf-OPEN] Princeton is obnoxious…
My Princeton source said “around 9-10 AM.”
[We bet the people planning the operation always give accurate information to those who are trying to attack them with water guns on a cold day.]
[redacted]: Fri Nov 6 09:40:50 EST 2009
A couple giant f***-you’s this morning. First, to everyone who said they were gonna come and didn’t show up – i know, you had a midterm/paper/project/homework/just *had* to sleep. F*** you. Seven flake-outs at once?
Second, f*** you to the Princeton kids, who moved to the Yard, in front of Hollis. A special f***-you to the Harvard kid who tipped them off. No, I will not out that person.
Third, shout out to [redacted] who actually showed up. [Yeah, fist pump for you and the one other guy!]
It’s exceedingly pitiful that Princeton, of all god-forsaken places, can muster the cohesion and joie de vivre to get enough kids to another school’s campus to both make a prank and film it, and we can’t do shit about it.
This is why Harvard sucks,
[Couldn't have said it better ourselves.]
The Tiger Replies…
Dear unruly Quadlings,
Hot breakfast cuts do not befit the dignity of one of the finest schools in Cambridge. As the bleak New England winter approaches, Princeton wished to share its sympathy and its bounty of extra oatmeal (we always fill up on omelettes.)
It saddened us to learn of your plan to assault unarmed aid workers, but we were not shocked. Like many lawless backwaters, the Quad harbors those who would wantonly disrupt humanitarian work, keeping help from those who need it most. There was more than warm oatmeal in those paper cups. There was cinnamon. Even more importantly, there was hope. In your hubris you would spite the hand that feeds you.
Fortunately, we go to Princeton, a university where hot, protein-rich breakfasts facilitate higher brain function. Our “leak” to your email lists was a test, and despite your rampant grade inflation, you failed that test.
Operation Crimson Oats proceeded unmolested in Harvard Yard where we gave succor to deprived Harvard students. Are you actually content with waffles and warm mush? Has your administration broken you so soon? We didn’t come to Cambridge to dole out oatmeal; we came to give you back the courage to stand up for yourselves in the face of limited morning food options. Harvard might survive without our oats, but you’ve shown us it’s our compassion that’s needed most.
Part of this complete breakfast,