JJ’s honey mustard has been missing for some time. While most Barnumbia students go unaffected by this occurrence, many of us are concerned and pained.

Three weeks ago, I sauntered into JJ’s Place at 11 pm, in search of respite from the piling assignments. As I went down the stairs and into the basement, the familiar green walls welcomed me, and I immediately made a beeline to the fry station. I would have tried to order something, but as I said, it was 11 pm.

I noticed that there were fries and chicken nuggets when I got to the fry station, so naturally, I picked up both and stacked them on top of each other—the power of muscle memory. I went to the back dining room for condiments. I’ve never been a fan of most condiments. Ranch, ketchup, barbecue sauce, and mayo are always so ubiquitous, but I usually have no need for them. There’s always only been one sauce in my life—honey mustard.

Honey mustard is versatile. It goes with chicken nuggets naturally. After some experimentation, you can begin to appreciate its flavor combined with fries. It can even go on a chicken sandwich if you’re feeling adventurous. Maybe a burger if you’re feeling hellish. All of these foods are served at JJ’s every day, so honey mustard is necessary if you want to eat the food. On this night, though, I went to the condiments station and attempted to pump the golden sauce into a little plastic cup so that it may grace my food. I tried a few times, only for the pump to exhale a quick blast of air every time. The honey mustard container was empty.

“This is fine,” I foolishly said. “It just has to be refilled. I just won’t have any honey mustard tonight.” I was too tired to care as much. I assumed that I would have honey mustard during my next visit to JJ’s when the container was refilled. Dear Reader, this did not happen. 

On my next visit, I took the same journey to the honey mustard. Blasts of air. I went a few days later. More blasts of air. On my next visit, I scanned the condiment station. Ketchup, barbecue sauce, mayo. That couldn’t be right. I looked at the counter again. Ketchup, barbecue sauce, mayo. The honey mustard container was gone.

Obviously, I was distraught but still held out hope that it would reappear. It’s been several weeks, though, and the honey mustard still takes its leave. Maybe it has come back. Maybe it’s been there in between my visits. Perhaps it leaves only as I make my way down those basement stairs. Either way, I miss it. No other condiment can take its place. So now, in the tradition of the old poets, I must write an ode (a sonnet, actually) to Old Yeller—my beloved honey mustard. 

O, yellow mustard of mine

Doused in honey and perfectly sweet

Your appearance is bright and divine

You make—for me—the most divine treat

Now you’ve left JJ’s; I guess you were slanted

I’ve resorted to collecting packets from Shake Shack

But now, I can admit it, I took you for granted

I’d do almost anything to have you back

Now I scowl at the ketchup, barbecue, and mayo

They sit smugly, aware of my pleading

I miss your smell, faint hints of Play-Doh

Make your return, for time is fleeting

I will wait for you, and for the glee when you return

Your absence hasn’t altered my desire that burns

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