C’Mon, Take Your Tray Back, You Loser

(Note: This is especially for my Iowa friends Matt, Jon and Kristy – wonderful, hip, and groovy people those Iowans and still my best friends on the planet. And for Marcia, Sharon and whoever else may be out there and remember this…)

evangel-tray.jpgThis made my morning.

My colleague and friend Brent Sharp sent me a link to this ebay auction which is for a cafeteria tray from Evangel College University.

When I was at Evangel back in the year of our Lord 19-and-88, there was a little Indian guy who worked in the cafeteria. He was in charge of making sure students took their trays back to the drop off area. Of course, since this was a rule, it had to be occasionally broken.

So one magical day that I will never forget is when I broke that rule, then while exiting the caf I felt a tug on the back of my shirt, turned around and there was the little guy. He solemnly stated these words that I will never, ever forget.

“Take tway back.
Tahoo pooddy dare.”

(Interpretation: “Take your tray back. I saw you put it there.”)

Every now and then, I will get an email from my friend Matt:

To: Doug
Subject: Take Tway Back

Those were the days eh? I would love to go back and relive a few like this one.


Doug Ausbury is an entrepreneur, coffee achiever, baseball addict, aspiring spousal unit, pop music geek and family man. Most of the time, he needs more cowbell...a lot more cowbell.

Posted in Faith, Life, Truly Funny
50 comments on “C’Mon, Take Your Tray Back, You Loser
  1. dorsey says:

    The Indian guy (might be Pakistani, not sure) lives not far from me, in PA. I saw him at a Evangel fundraising banquet several years ago. Watched the little bugger slip his silverware into his wife’s purse.

  2. Chuck Cox says:

    Enjoyed your insights. Those Evangel days are choice ones. Most of us alumni can cite similar stories, and many of them get retold at homecoming each year. The reunions taking place among classmates are such a delight to witness. I would encourage all alumni to return to their alma mater to be uplifted by the student body and soak in all the marvelous changes to the campus buildings and grounds. Finally, many of those cherrished professors are still here. They thrive on interaction with their former students. Hope to see you soon!

    Chuck Cox
    Director of Alumni Relations
    Evangel University

  3. Matt says:

    Nice contribution Chuck.

  4. Sharon Holmes says:


    Kristy sent me the link to your blog this morning, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your memories of David Bose and the line he drew in the sand regarding the proper disposal of trays in the caf. Ha! I think there are others in our circle of friends who still quote the familiar lines that you mentioned. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Hope all is well with you. Would love to see you guys someday and reminisce about more hilarious stories from 1988 and 1989!


  5. KC says:

    did anyone ever get sprayed from those guys cleaning off the trays? crazy bunch of work-studyers…

  6. Brent says:

    Yes, I saw people get sprayed. I actually saw one of the dish dudes come flying out of “the hole” and chase down a ‘thrower’. It created more of a buzz than when they ran out of chicken strips and key lime pie on Sunday.

  7. LynDel says:

    Gotta love Ebay…….anything you could ever want or need, and then some. An Evangel tray, circa 1988…….with 50 lookers………

  8. KC says:

    Dorsey – I’m laughing out loud and my dogs are looking at me like I’m nuts. Thanks.

  9. Matt says:

    I’m sure there are dried pieces of baby potato still wedged between frame and glass of Shirley Shed’s photo there in the side rooms of the caf, but let’s all remember that this tray incident happened in the winter of ’85 (the first semester of our Sophomore year, Dud).

    Doug tends to think of himself as younger than the rest of us.

  10. Ausbury says:


    Dang, I’m losing it. It definitely was 1985. Like a Dominican baseball player, I just aged 3 more years. Swell!

  11. KC says:

    hey matt…what about the sign you “fixed” in the Burgess lobby…”thanks for not s_itting on the counter.” hillarious. were there no boundaries for you?!

  12. dorsey says:

    I don’t know if anyone noticed, but there was a pat of butter stuck to the ceiling on the right side (the cool side, btw) of the cafeteria, toward the front. It still had the little waxed paper bottom attached, and the grease stain in the ceiling tile surrounding it grew a little larger every year. As you might guess, that was me. I made a little vertical slingshot out of a bandana my freshman year (’81) and was still there when I left. Took about seven tries. Hey, SEVEN!!! Praise God.

  13. jeff says:

    I don’t remember the Indian guy. Of course, i didn’t show up ’til Sept of 1985, and as a freshman, I didn’t really pay much attention (oh, and I thought you were SUPPOSED to return your trays…).

    It wasn’t until my Sophomore year that I lost all interest in following the rules (it was then that I finally understood the ways of Doug Ausbury & Matt Long– ha!). That was also about the same time that I almost took a sprayer’s thumb off after violently spinning my tray through the wash-slot.

    Speaking of spinning, how many here used to spin those EC trays on their middle finger, while waiting in line for a healthy serving of Shepherd’s Pie? That’s a skillset I learned from Wayne Wilson, and I still have. It hasn’t quite paid off, as of yet…

    (of course, when we were still a “College” they couldn’t afford the nice embossed trays… must’ve had one of those alumni, homecoming fundraisers for the fancy new trays– hmmm)

  14. Jantzen says:

    You guys are something else, I hear stories like that all the time from my dad and wonder how the heck you all got through college.

    You’re not setting a good example, reading all this is really making me start to loose faith in higher education. I suppose you had psychological reasons for why you did this stuff, but whatever it is, I stand firmly in the belief that I do NOT want to know. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Ausbury says:

    Hey Jantzen, all of this is made up. It’s all a fib and all of us were completely angelic. Pathetic that we have to pretend huh?

  16. KC says:

    hey matt – sorry for outing you on the burgess sign. jantzen…i made up the whole thing. your dad was a model student…

  17. KC says:

    You’re right Brent…you knew a dish dude had had it when he would fly through the hole…makes me want to go back through the line and give a tray a good fling just to see if times have changed. huh.

  18. Ausbury says:

    Dorsey, that was YOUR pat of butter? Were those seven tries to get it stuck to the ceiling done at one sitting? If so, impressive!

    Sharon, I can’t believe you remembered his name. Apparently, your memory isn’t fading like the rest of us old people.

    Jeff, I could never spin those trays – especially not like Wayne.

    Matt, those little round potatoes would really fly off the fork wouldn’t they? Didn’t someone from our floor actually steal that picture of Shirley? Did we find it under Chad’s mattress next to that butcher knife?

    All this buzz for an Ebay auction viewed 60+ times and not one bid yet. What is wrong with you people? I wonder what that pat of butter or picture of Shirley would sell for on Ebay. I’d certainly bid on both.

  19. KC says:

    I wanna know who swooped in and outbid my $6 bid….

  20. Jantzen says:

    You seem to be laboring under the delusion that I disapprove of you’re antics (at least the ones that I heard about) at collage. On the contrary, I would be very disappointed and intrigued to find that you WHERE model students, it just doesn’t gel with the dad I know.

    Dud, you should get a forum set up on here, so you can post all this there and not clog up the comment page.

  21. Wayne says:

    Freaky. I still spin stuff. My wife hates it when I spin her designer wedding gift plates and trays.

  22. KC says:

    Hey wayne! good to see you emerge!

  23. Kim (Stahl) Acuff says:

    Just had to check on the Ausbury blog and got a great laugh reliving some of the good ole days at EC! Amazing how the small and mundane in life are so memorable. I’m sure I recognized a lot of the infamous K3Ners and B1Sers in the previous comments. I think we should have our own reunion as we were quite an entity of our own during the Big Hair days of the ’80’s! Can’t believe it’s been twenty years. Doug, do you remember when a bunch of us went over to your brother and sister-in-laws house for a big spaghetti dinner? And you called 911 to find out where all the “Haunted Houses” were? Seems to me you guys were freshman then and the Brother/Sister floor thing was just getting started. Oh, I could go on and on…those definitely were THE DAYS!! As great as my life is now, I would never trade those EC days for anything! BTW, did anyone we know get the tray?

  24. Kim (Stahl) Acuff says:

    Oh, I forgot to mention that you can purchase a copy of the 1986 Evangel College yearbook on ebay just in case yours got lost, stolen, or destroyed for the buy it now price of $20.00! Item #4563857879 .Maybe I better see if I can find mine!

  25. Doug, thanks for the laughs! I definitely remember the trays & practical jokes. Are we sure that the statute of limitations has passed on the rule breaking? Don’t want them to come take our diplomas away. Ha! Ha! Not that I was involved in any of the wrong-doing.

    It would require encrypted communication to share all of the hazing & happenings on K3N! Here’s a couple rated PG: Someone ground up “No Doze” during finals week & lined it up on the table, then snorted it. Thankfully, I didn’t participate in that one.

    Another person (name removed to protect the innocent) sniffed dental floss into their nose & coughed. You guessed it; the other end came out of their mouth. Somehow they thought it was funny to floss their nasal cavity.

    There were some crazy people on K3N. I’m glad I lived through it.

    Anyway, thanks again for the laughs.

  26. Jon B says:

    Are you talking about the same shirley shedd picture that hung in the hallway at 4010 dahlia, across from matt’s drumroom and down from our bedrooms doug?? I have one word for you……….fondue!

  27. KC says:

    …not far from the Nagel prints and the smell of pancakes…

    Sending a shout out to Brent, Kim and Jonnie B! From Kristy…another B1S bear – minus the hair. ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. Matt says:

    That’s right, we nicked that picture. I think we ended up spinning that picture into the trees behind the house with all of those albums.

  29. Ausbury says:

    Hey Kim, wow did I really call 911 to find out where haunted houses were? I remember where my brother lived, way up on North Glenstone. That makes me think about the Brother/Sister scavenger hunt that included a stop at Tokyo Sauna. What happened in there is kind of like being in Vegas, if you know what I mean.

    Those 2 years at EC were priceless. It’s still funny to me that once we were out of there, it wasn’t quite as fun without all of the rules. Once we didn’t have a curfew and could stay out all night, we became homebodies and were in most nights at 7 o’clock!

  30. Ausbury says:

    Hey Brent! Great to have you join in the EC memory chat. Hey you mention not being in on any of the wrong-doing, but I seem to remember you joining us when we went roofing. Am I wrong there? How did we end up addicted to the Young and the Restless? I’m guilty on the no doz – it really did work better when you snorted it….got us through finals week. Remember Dan Regan? I wonder what he’s up to….the last time I saw him was at my wedding in 1991.

  31. Ausbury says:

    Jonny B, I think you’re right. That great black and white masterpiece of Sheddhead did end up on the wall at 4010. I think we all sought forgiveness for that one…didn’t we?

    Matt, those LPs really flew. I remember the garage full of Frito Lay boxes and us standing out in the driveway throwing rocks at any makeshift target we came up with.

  32. Ausbury says:

    KC, I rescued that Nagel print from the garage sale pile ten years in a row, then finally gave in last year after the glass was cracked. It was fun to rescue it each year that Kim put it in the sale pile.

  33. jeff says:

    I annoyed the daylights out of everyone in Disneyworld this spring, as I walked through the eateries spinning trays, and impressing my kids.

    My wife just rolled her eyes…

  34. KC says:

    I’m sure Kim cracked the glass herself! Your beautiful wife has too much good taste to be hanging any Nagels in her home. (sorry Doug) I can so relate to husbands sneaking things from the garage sale piles. John encountered a big purging of his worldy possesions not long after we were married…piece by piece. ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. Ausbury says:

    KC, yet we husbands have stuck it out after such mean and hurtful treatment. You guys are so lucky!

  36. Actually, I was too chicken back then to go roofing. I plead the fifth on anything else that can be construed as rule breaking. Not that I’m planning to run for political office or anything.

    I’m not sure you remember that I worked the midnight shift on Evangel Security for a semester after you left. It helped me buy some ramen noodles & have enough money to stay at Evangel until I did so well selling the books door-to-door. Here’s a story I can laugh about now: One midnight shift as I was walking through the parking lot on patrol I saw that my car had the driver side window broken out & my stereo had been stolen. The only time I had anything happen to my car in all my years at Evangel was the night I was working Security. Pretty crazy!

    I’ve not heard from Dan Regan either. I just did a google search on him, but it brought up a celebrity trombonist. Nothing conclusive showed up.

  37. Matt says:

    Last time I saw Dan was in 1988 when he flew out from New York to show up at my wedding reception dressed in a Domino’s Pizza uniform to deliver my wife and I a pizza right there in the middle of the reception.

    What a great guy.

    By the way Brent, the window on my Mustang was broken in 1986 as it sat in the Evangel parking lot. They, of course, stole my stereo too. That night, Evangel security decided to go snooping around my car and found an old can of Copenhagen under my seat (it was from the previous summer). I was busted.

    After the RDs used that unfortunate discovery to question my salvation and love for my Saviour, I knew I had to leave Evangel for good. And apparently, Shirley Shedd went with me.

  38. KC says:

    Okay Matt, you’re having a 40’s moment. The Dan Regan, aka Domino’s guy, was at MY rehersal dinner!!! (1990) You were there too…so I’m letting you off the hook, just a little. I was at YOUR wedding reception and I don’t recall any Domino’s guy showing up. LynDel will back me up I’m sure.

    We need to join forces and track Dan down. Some friendships should never just go away.

    Thanks for this blog, Doug. It’s great “hearing’ from all of you.

  39. LynDel says:

    Wow, guys, I think I have to remain neutral on this one ~ I have only a vague memory of Dan Regan showing up at a wedding reception (remember, I didn’t know him from anywhere, so to me he was just another face in the crowd), but now that Kristy has chimed in with HER reception, I’m confused. Matt’s had me scouring photo albums today trying to find that picture, and he swears it was at OUR reception, but I can’t find one. I think he’s got his Mom looking for it at her house, too.

    Sorry, Babe (Matt), you know I so love you, and I haven’t forgotten our “you and me against the world” policy (or Kristy, in this case)…..I’d love to stick with you on this one, but I honestly have only a vague memory, and I can’t remember who’s reception it was. But it DID happen.

    I’m sure we’ll spend the weekend trying to find that picture……thanks for throwing down the gauntlet, Kristy!! :o)

    What do the two of you have riding on this??? :o)

  40. KC says:

    Yeah Matt…what do…or did we have riding on this?

  41. Ausbury says:

    Lyn, you can call me babe too. Was there an official wager on whose reception it was? Someone needs to find Dan Regan. If I close my eyes and concentrate really hard, I can hear Dan, Matt and I harmonizing to the Zombie’s “Time Of The Season”.

    Do do do
    chick chick pa

    What’s your name?
    Who’s your daddy?
    Is he rich like me? ……………

  42. LynDel says:

    WE HAVE A WINNER! As an impartial, neutral participant in this hunt for the Dan Regan Picture (Matt made me put *everything* on hold today and hunt down this picture! He said it was, and I quote “a priority”) ~ it is my duty to announce that it was indeed KRISTY’S WEDDING RECEPTION that Dan Regan appeared in Domino’s Pizza attire carrying a pizza box. Matt’s Mom has the photo and is going to scan it and email it to us.

    Congrats, Kristy! I suppose you win bragging rights ~ doesn’t sound glamorous, does it?? ~ but DO hold onto that smug feeling of being “right” ~ it doesn’t happen very often, ya know. Especially since we roll over 40.

    Matt hasn’t taken his defeat gracefully, but he has conceded to Kristy.

    It’s kinda funny……I’m usually the one to have these “40” moments, so it’s really funny for me to see Matt have one. :o) He was so sure……. :o)

  43. Jon B says:

    I have to concur with KC on the Dan showing up at her wedding. I know he gave the Dominoes pizza delivery scam a test run when he came to our apartment(the second floor mouse hotel just down the street from the Malt Snookies shop)…unbelievable….I just finished a milkhake about ten minutes before I came in my office to check my email….back to the story–whoever was there that night may remember, I had to come downstairs to answer the main door and as soon as I recognized Danny-boy, there was a big yuk-yuk party by everyone hiding in the bushes. What I don’t remember is if I had Coleen come downstairs to relive the whole scam or if you all came upstairs to yuk it up again once Coleen realized what was happening.

  44. Ausbury says:

    How did we not call Dan Regan “Steely Dan”? That would have been perfect.

    Jon, are you still hoping for a milkshake fountain in the front yard of your heavenly mansion?

  45. Jon B says:

    Milkshake fountain??……Big Time!!

  46. KC says:

    Super-sleuth Carlile found Dan – what’s the reward, guys?

  47. Ausbury says:

    KC, I was thinking a cd copy of the Elvis Costello cassette tape we listened to on the old Fiero mini road trips.That would be a challenge to recreate but I think I’m up to it.


  48. KC says:

    I’ll be watching my mailbox.

  49. KC says:

    So how’s that Elvis Costello CD coming along? hint! I pulled him up on itunes today and couldn’t find very many of my favorites except for Allison and Long Honeymoon…(That song is actually depressing if you think about it)…but you gotta love that guy’s voice.

  50. stacy says:

    I know I wasn’t around for most of the EC/EU times, but listening to this banter brings back memories. (Really) good ones.

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Yours Truly
Doug Ausbury

Doug Ausbury is an entrepreneur, coffee achiever, baseball addict, aspiring spousal unit, pop music geek and family man. Most of the time, he needs more cowbell...a lot more cowbell.

The soul takes flight to the world that is invisible, but there arriving, she is sure of bliss.
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