The Daily Cardinal, one of the nation’s oldest independent student newspapers, has been reporting hard news day in and day out (minus that weird seven month span in 1995) since 1892. Covering everything from the assassination of John F. Kennedy to fires on campus, the Cardinal is now facing a crisis of its own — the loss of the office’s communal napkin.
Given the paper’s 130-year-old history, the staff has always shown great care for preserving the past. As such, the office has not had a deep cleaning for the entirety of its existence. Still, some items are inevitably misplaced over the years. The loss of the napkin — believed to be circa 1987 — is perhaps the most dire issue the Cardinal has ever faced.
The Beet spoke to a couple editors about their memories of the napkin.
“One time, I remembered that I had Girl Scout cookies in my desk from a couple of weeks ago, so I went to grab two or six. With blind faith, I reached into the box to find that a mouse had dumped a steamer in my Thin Mints. Luckily, the trusty-ol napkin was right there for me until I could make the trek to wash my hands in the bubbler,” reminisced the award-winning journalist.
A similar sentiment was shared by an arts editor.
“One time I brought a sloppy joe from home, and by the time I took it out of my back pocket, it was just really sloppy,” he said. “I forgot that I had lent my chopsticks to a classmate, so I had to eat it with my hands. I’m thankful that I had that napkin to sop it all up that day — it was almost like a father to me,” sniffled the Chumbawamba fan.
Despite being in great financial condition, the alumni board has made it known that there is no room in the budget for napkins in favor of having an open bar at the 140 year anniversary gala in 2032.
Eventually, the office plans to sneak some of the mouth/crevice wipes in via a Jimmy John’s Party Box. Until then, the Daily Cardinal staff will just use torn up copies of other, less reliable publications.
Mackenzie is the first ever editor of The Beet and actually made of over 62% beet.