Illustration by Isabel Betsill

Lewis & Clark health center introduces new dollar menu

*The Backdoor is a work of fiction and humor

By Audrey Barrett

In an effort to combat the yearly tides of seasonal depression, sniffles and mono, the Lewis & Clark health center has introduced a new drive-thru service window. Modeling off the entrepreneurial success of McDonald’s, the Health Center seeks to streamline its flow of patients and reduce costs by employing underpaid high-schoolers.

“When students come to the drive through, we can just have a sixteen-year-old in a hairnet hand them a list of off-campus resources instead of having patients sit through a full appointment,” administrative assistant Paula Johnston-Green said. “I can honestly see the pedestrian doors becoming obsolete pretty soon. This is 2018! People have cars.”

This technique allows for the remaining healthcare professionals to spend time doing what really matters: meeting with the parents of new students and assuring them that their children’s pre-existing conditions will be taken care of. After the illegal prescription trafficking came to light, public relations became a priority for the health center.

Seeking to improve popularity among students, the health center has also recently introduced a new dollar menu. Items like cough drops, condoms, Nicorette and toothbrushes will now be readily available at student-friendly prices. Johnston-Green said this technique ensures customer satisfaction at a low cost to the notoriously under-budgeted health center. Like a Happy Meal toy, a free cough drop provides five to seven minutes of distraction from one’s existential pain; a condom, twice as much (if you’re lucky). In true happy meal fashion, these items unfortunately tend to break upon the first use, but by that time the patient is out of the health center and in no state to bring complaint to the authorities.  

Unlike McDonald’s, the health center has yet to encounter worldwide economic success. Students say that some items advertised around campus, like flu shots or counseling services, are much like the McNugget: promising in appearance, but disappointing in taste and texture.

“I just haven’t had a flu shot since I’ve been in college,” Aubri Clarrott ’21 said. “It was on the menu, but they were sold out. This is just like when I went to McDonald’s on a rough Sunday morning and they weren’t selling any French fries. I had to have my PediaLyte with a hashbrown.”

Luckily for these students, community member Aspen Frommelt has opened a natural remedies laboratory in the back wing of Templeton. During the day, she forages around campus and in Tryon Creek, looking for herbs and fungi with medicinal properties. By night, she can be found fervently chopping, stewing, stirring, and bottling, sipping on her concoctions as she works. Free of obligations to a home or family, Frommelt is the ideal employee; she never demands off time or a raise, but is content to receive lodging and flex points in lieu of a contracted salary.

“I love Aspen’s shit, yo,” Peyton “Payday” Keeler ’22 said. “Like, I had this weird cold and I was all stuffed up earlier, but I got that infused herbal tea, and I dunno what’s in it, but…I feel great.”

Even with budget cuts, the health center is finding a way to manage. Students and community members alike are benefitting from these innovative business tactics.

“If McDonald’s had a heart, this is what I imagine it would be like,” Johnston-Green said.

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