Tragedy struck the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus Monday when twelve students lost their lives while standing in the university bookstore line, succumbing to starvation before cashiers had a chance to check them out.
“It all started out as a great day,” survivor Brian Anderson told the Dailyer. “We were all excited to be back in school and eager to buy our books to get a head start on classes. If I had known how it would turn out I would’ve just waited til the second week of school to buy books. God damnit, why didn’t we wait?”
Anderson, along with dozens of other students, got in line with their books well aware of the treacherous conditions of the bookstore line, however being experienced UNL students they decided to brave the elements.
“It looked like any other line we’d seen at the bookstore, so we thought ‘Why not? We can handle this.’ But after a few minutes went by without any headway we decided to turn back, only to see the line had grown behind us, stretching on forever. That’s the moment I knew: We were trapped.”
Circumstances became dire as the group’s provisions of gummy worms and Kit-Kat bars quickly depleted, and with no way out and little chance of the line moving forward, Anderson and his comrades quickly began to lose strength.
“Jeff was the first one to go,” Anderson recounted mournfully. “He was just fading out, lying there, still clutching his basket full of chemistry text books. I held his hand the moment he died. In a weak, delirious stupor he asked me, ‘Did…did they let me rent Chemistry 354?’ I looked down at him, barely able to hold back my own tears, and said, ‘Yeah buddy, they did. And it only cost ya $15. Now just close your eyes and rest for a little, you earned it pal.’ After that he was gone…just gone.”
With more and more party members taking a turn for the worse and no sign of the bookstore cashiers picking up their pace, the group was forced to resort to cannibalism, consuming their deceased comrade Jeff. More and more students continued to weaken however, and the death toll continued to rise.
Late in the afternoon Monday a group of rescue cashiers were able to descend into the area, using the principles of satisfactory customer service to move the line forward, thus ending the group’s bookstore captivity.
“It’s things like the bookstore line that make you really aware of your own mortality,” Anderson said while recovering in the ICU. “I’m lucky I got out of the bookstore alive, but a lot of people didn’t, and if you just go into that store on the first week of classes thinking, ‘Oh I’ll just buy my books now, the lines can’t be that bad,’ then you are gonna end up eating your lab partner Jeff. Be smart, don’t eat your lab partner Jeff.”