My Journey To Hell: 12 Hours in Scott Commons

Eat, pray, love, hate, cry, pray more.

by Joe Henson


7:30 AM

At this moment, I’ve become very aware of the fact that late night ideas are hardly ever the best ones. At around 3:00 in the morning, however, I committed myself to the idea that I would make a journey to Scott Traditions and stay there from open to close, much in the same vein as the Gawker article posted earlier this year where they decided to stay in TGI Friday’s open to close ordering unlimited mozzarella sticks. There seems to be some fascination with staying in a place of business from open to close in general, as if those who can stomach this are the true heroes. I don’t know if I consider myself a hero, but feel free to label me as such.

After walking in right at 7:00:52 AM EST, I was surprised to find that things are already in full swing at ScoCo as it’s affectionately called. The crowd at this point in the morning consisted of mostly Air Force ROTC students, as well as what I can only assume are true freaks of nature who, “just like to get a head start on their day”. Disgusting.

I decided the night before that my first entree would be an omelette, one of the few things I had yet to have at Scott. I staggered over to the omelette bar to find two people already in line, and waited for the employee to take my order. I went with mushrooms, bacon, ham, and every cheese they have (I could recognize cheddar and mozzarella, maybe feta? I’m not much of a cheese expert, a hobbyist at best). The woman actually cooking the omelettes informed me that you have to have a plate to put the omelette on, which I have trouble understanding considering she had a stack of plates within an arms reach of her station. None the less, I grabbed her a plate and shuffled off to find a seat with access to an outlet, grabbed some apple juice and a coffee, and began my journey.

The omelette? Just okay, thanks for asking. I loaded it up with Tabasco, so that’s the highlight of my first entree. Also, at the station normally stocked with cheeseburgers and such, which to my surprise had more fucking breakfast food, they’re playing classic rock loud enough for me to hear seventy-five feet away. Bohemian Rhapsody may be the theme song of the day for me.

At 7:45, folks are already heading out to enjoy what I’m sure will be a fine late autumn day. Those folks are weak and can suck it. I’m here for the long haul.

Also, I just realized that my laptop isn’t charging. Upon further investigation, I realized that the outlet doesn’t work. In order for this journey to continue, I must find a new spot. It looks like the table next to me has an outlet within reach, so I’ll check it out.

Oh thank God, this one works. I’m back in business.

8:30 AM

Oddly, attendance is lower here than it was at opening. So far, all I’ve had since I last updated this was a few cups of water. I’m trying to pace myself, because I’m sure at some point, I’ll be over everything about this dining hall and never come back. Until then, here we are, and here I am, doing God’s work.

Look at this kid who totally consented to being in this photo.

9:10 AM

After asking a friendly stranger to watch my stuff, I went to take my first restroom break of the day. Oddly, the restroom here has one stall, and it was occupied when I got there. In a panic, I raced around, looking for another restroom, looking for hope. With none to be found, I resigned to the fact that I’d have to wait for that single stall to be open. Fortunately, when I returned, I found the stall empty.

For some reason, there was some weird work vent thing in the stall that was swingin’ wide open. Not sure what that was about, but, as mediocre American pop band fun. would say, carry ooo-oo-ooo-ooo-nn.


Also, I still have yet to eat anything outside of the omelette, so I’m letting Twitter polls decide what I’ll eat next. I’ll update you when the internet has come to a consensus.

9:21 AM

While I’m waiting on the poll, I’d like to talk a bit about the guy next to me who watched my stuff (Well, watch is a generous word. More like forgot who I was the moment after I left). He got here around 8:15, joining his female friend who it seemed he just happened to run into. At around 8:30, she left, but not to worry, a new friend walked up at 8:45, who he also ran into by coincidence. He was carrying what looked like a bowl of nothing but granola. Then, right now, at 9:21, a new friend came up, also by coincidence, to which my friendly watchman exclaimed, “This is the best breakfast ever!”. And let me tell you, they are having a jolly good time, laughing and enjoying each other’s company… oh shit are you kidding me? Another friend? Her name is Sarah. What the hell? Who runs into this many friends at a dining location? Fuck me.

9:30 AM

I’ve decided it’s time to close the polls. Looks like the official winner is knockoff McMuffin. This will probably be a horrifying travesty. Here goes nothing.

9:35 AM

Oddly, there was a wait for one of these things I’ve seen floating around ScoCo on various plates. After about four minutes, a tray was set down and it was off to the races.

Ronald McDonald would be displeased.

Oh. Oh my God. Holy shit that’s awful. What the fuck how is that so bad??? It’s both soggy and crunchy at the same time. The ingredients are so simple. Cheese, egg, sausage, English muffin. What in the actual fuck. Gross.

However, I let Twitter decide, so I’m going to finish the whole thing. And probably not enjoy a moment of it.

10:04 AM

Miss me? Haha, I’m just joking! I know if you made it this far into my article, you could really care less about how often I’m filling you in. Anyhow, that sandwich was too bad, so I’m done eating it. I am thinking about grabbing some yogurt though. What a gross word yogurt is. Like, what if you had a friend named Gurt, and you wanted to get his attention while being hood, but were also super white and didn’t understand current slang. I think you get where I’m going with this.

“Yo, Gurt!”

Weirdly, the two tables around me are vacating at the exact same time. Well, maybe it’s not that weird, but not a whole lot is going on here, so it’s interesting to me.

10:10 AM

Oh shit, I’m back. Finally ran into a friend. Okay, not a friend, but she lives in my building and we were in a group in a class together. I haven’t informed her of my experiment, and I’m not sure I will. I’ll just let life happen how it does.

And that stupid sandwich made me feel sick. Fucking golden arches-stealing motherfuckers.

10:31 AM

Yikes. Why is this super awkward? We haven’t talked for about twenty minutes. I guess we just don’t know a lot about each other and don’t have a lot in common really. You know, outside of the fact that we both thought it’d be fun to go to a Donald Trump rally and we live in the same building and are taking the same class. Also, still haven’t said anything about my experiment. I really probably should say something. Still won’t, in waaaay too deep now to cop up to it.

Also, yogurt is cool. I got some granola and mixed berries to go with it. 10/10 would recommend.

11:02 AM

So the blinds behind me work on a timer, and they went down about 20 minutes ago, and they just came back up. I forgot what the outside looked like. Also, my acquaintance is still hanging out, I still haven’t told her, and I wonder if she wonders why I’m still here. Because I had clearly been here a while before she got here, and she’s been here an hour. It must seem excessive to her. Oh well, all part of the experiment I suppose.

11:18 AM

I got some fruit salad. It’s mostly honeydew. This is horrible. Also, I still haven’t told her, but I put a poll up on Twitter to determine what to do.

11:21 AM

I decided that I was going to eat all they honeydew before I reward myself with some pineapple, and it is torture let me tell you what, sonny. Also, Twitter says I should tell her but she’s been gone for about five minutes so I’m gonna say their opinion no longer counts oh shit wait there she is yeah I’m still not saying jack.

I see you peeking beneath that pineapple, you dick.

11:46 AM

You know, I kinda like the idea of not saying anything, because then if she sees this later, she gets to see my entire internal monologue as I was sitting across from her. Well, okay, not all of it. But it’s weird to get to read into what people were thinking while you were talking to them (things got less awkward after 10:31. She’s still here, apparently she came to study).

Also, the fact that I’ve had no intentional visitors is a little upsetting. I mean, I’m here, live-tweeting the heck out of this event, and I get no respect. Kids these days, with their Zunes and their HitClips…

12:21 PM

We made it to the PM guys. We did it! Only eleven hours and thirty-nine minutes to go!!!

In uplifting news, I finished my fruit salad, and I found a unisex restroom on the second floor of this building. It doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s the little things that keep you sane here in Shawsha… ScoCo. This isn’t prison. This is totally voluntary. But also, that fruit was not good. Slimy, and hard to bite into. 2/10.

12:28 PM

… aaaaaaaand she’s gone. I felt like she was just staying because I wasn’t leaving and wanted to walk back to our building together. Well joke’s on her, got her!!!!

That’s pretty dumb, right? She’s actually super nice and really likable. I should’ve been more upfront. But that’s the way she goes, bub. Now maybe I’ll do some eavesdropping.


It’s getting pretty packed in here, so a kid just asked if he could sit at my table. I told him to FUCK OFF.

Okay, I’m actually super timid and afraid of people so naturally he’s sitting right across from me. I’m gonna see if I can snap a pic without him noticing. I’m sure this guy will just come and go. They all just come and go. No one is here forever. It’s all a matter of time before we shuffle off this mortal coil.

For simplicity, I’ve named him Jesse, and I have no interest in learning his name. Also, that’s a picture of the blog post you’re reading right now! How wacky!!

12:45 PM

Okay, I’m about to leave Jesse alone with my laptop while I go pee. Hopefully he does a good job watching over my stuff, because there’s a lot of people here.

12:53 PM

It’s all good. Jesse is a good friend.

12:58 PM

Okay, Jesse is done eating but now he’s just looking at his phone and hanging around? Is he trying to outstay me and get this table?? Bitch, please. This table is and always will be mine.

In an unrelated story, there’s a girl sitting over at the table to my right who seems to be in the same situation, and I keep on accidentally making eye contact with her and it just makes me want to look at her more because I’m a certified fucking moron.

Also, while I was writing this, Jesse left me. Good bye, pal. It’s time for me to get some more tea.


Oh fuck she was totally looking at me now. What do I do? Ugh I’m so uncomfortable. Is there something wrong with me?? Do I have something on my shirt? No, that’s not it. It has to be something else. She does look vaguely familiar… maybe we know each other and we’re both trying to figure it out without coping up to the fact that we can’t remember how we know each other? Hopefully she leaves soon.

1:56 PM

Sorry folks, I got caught up in catching up on my sitcoms. But I’m back and tired as balls. Well, girl to my right left about twenty minutes ago. New people all around me. I got another bowl of yogurt with granola (it’s the only thing that doesn’t sound repulsive). And I’m wondering what would happen if I went out the emergency exit. Would an alarm actually go off? I seriously doubt it, most doors marked that way don’t do shit.

Also, I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be outside. It looks nice. Maybe someday I’ll join everyone out there. And I peed again, so that’s good.

2:33 PM

I am reeeeeeally running out of steam here. The only thing keeping me going is the fact that I know if I go outside, it’ll be very cold and I’ll be just as alone.

There’s a table of RAs next to me. It’s weird, I think that about 95% of students on campus are RAs. I’m constantly seeing them and 99.99% of the time they’re super self-righteous about it like as if they’re so important. Bro. Chiiiiiill.

In other news, I got some tea. It’s an herbal mint. Luxury can be found in the strangest places.

3:35 PM

I feel like a trash baby. I ate some chicken nuggets and almost threw up.

About thirty minutes ago, one of my coworkers from the pool came up to me and I recognized her but fuck me I could not remember her name. She gave me her number a while ago, and we actually talked when I worked at the pool, and I could not remember her name. How fucked up is that? So I’m scanning through all of Facebook to see if I can find her without her name. I feel like I can find it if I try hard enough.

Also, there’s a kid who just sat down two tables away from me, and I’m pretty sure I saw him on the other side of this building over an hour ago. It’s weird, I think other people are just chilling out here too. I thought this was a place where you came in and the left as soon as you’re done. Because I feel super uncomfortable hanging out here on the regular (obviously not now; I have a purpose).

4:29 PM

It feels pretty desolate here. I feel like the time between noon and now just flew by. It was so fucking busy earlier. I miss Jesse.

I got on Periscope, but no one cared. Unsurprising, considering it’s 4:30 on a Thursday, but hurtful nonetheless. I’ve got some hot chocolate. Things are okay.

5:10 PM

Folks, things are picking up around here!! I actually don’t think there’s an empty table around me. What I’ve been doing is whenever someone passes by my table, I look at them and say, “Hey, what’s up?” like I know them. 75% of the time, people reciprocate. The other 25% of the time, they don’t say anything, which I think is super rude.

5:13 PM

Folks I just made a new friend!!! I will also not say more than five words to this person, nor will I ask his name, so I’ll name him Isaac. Will take a picture when I can.

Okay, this is going to be harder. He’s not looking at his phone at all. He should pull out his phone so I can sneak a pic.

My friend, Isaac. He’s drinking out of a glass that only has ice in it right now.

5:26 PM PM

I’m thinking about leaving my stuff at the table just so I can see what type of person Isaac is. But then again, is it worth risking my valuable things just for an experiment? I think not. But I do like the cut of this young man’s jib.

5:30 PM PM

Remember that bullshit that Jesse pulled when he was done with his meal and then just sat there on his phone? Same shit with Isaac. Is this a thing that people do? Please, white people, let me know in the comments.

5:50 PM

Alright, home stretch. Unfortunately, I have a staff meeting tonight that I didn’t realize I had, so I’ll have to bail on this experiment early, but I feel like twelve hours is enough. ISN’T HALF A DAY ENOUGH FOR YOU PEOPLE????

Isaac left about ten minutes ago, I got myself a cup of coffee (it tastes like sadness), lots of folks all around the dining hall.

You know what’s odd? This place changes so quickly without you even noticing it. Out of nowhere, like a flash mob, all these people populated ScoCo, and at a moments notice they’ll be gone.

Oh, and for those of you who are my pal on Snapchat (I’m joeyhens), the Hummer with Christmas lights I posted yesterday just passed by my window. I wonder what that’s about.

6:10 PM

My pal, Alek, just popped by my table to say hi, and told me he saw me here at lunch, too. Who the fuck doesn’t say hi to someone they see???

Also, I see one of my residents and he was also here at lunch but I’m pretty sure he saw me and just didn’t want to say hi. It’s whatever. I know the struggle of being an awkward white man.

6:33 PM

We’re approaching the end here. It’s crazy, the sun has risen and set while I’ve been in here. I’ve gotten some homework done, and written a 3000 word blog post that approximately three people will read, and I ate a lot of food that now would make me vomit by scent alone. I guess at this point, I’m reaching to find something that I’ve learned.

Well, first, you can have some faith in humanity. I went to the restroom about ninety times today, and every time I asked someone around me to watch over my stuff. And it’s all still here, so that’s a major plus.

Second, value your time. I was willing to waste twelve hours in a stupid dining hall because I just do not care about my time whatsoever. Maybe if I valued my time, I might have gotten something sizable done today, but alas. Here we are.

Third, sleep is for the week. I got three hours of sleep last night, and honestly, things are okay. I’m managing.

At 6:50, I start to unplug my chargers from the wall and put things into my backpack. I walk the last of my plates and bowls up to the dish washing station, and walk toward those weird exit gates. I take one last look back, and what was mine for twelve hours is taken over by a complete stranger already. As I walk through the gate, the attendant says, “Thanks for visiting Hell, we’ll see you again soon”.

Joe Henson is an OSU student, music fan, and crazy person. You can read more of his rambling incoherent diatribes at