The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College Since 1873

The Bates Student

The Sumo Rustler Strikes Again

Catalina Passino
Patrick Berbon ’26 featured in Commons holding a sumo orange.

Bates College was abuzz this past week as rumors circulated about a controversial and elaborate napkin board post in Commons. A napkin poster known only as the Sumo Rustler published a 788-word proposal that Bates replace the navel oranges served in Commons with Sumo Citrus, a hybrid of satsumas, mandarins and oranges that is in-season from January to April. 

Despite the manifesto’s cryptic origins, we here at The Bates Student have obtained an exclusive copy of the manifesto and interview with its author. The full text of the napkin board can be found at this link.

The following has been edited for clarity and brevity:

Investigator Berbon: What on God’s green Earth possessed you to do such a thing, beyond the obvious?

The Sumo Rustler: What’s the obvious?

Investigator Berbon: That you want Sumo Citrus, of course.

The Sumo Rustler: You see, it’s not just that I want Sumo Citrus, it’s that I want the whole of Bates College to be able to appreciate Sumo Citrus for themselves. They are seedless, easy to peel, and so delectably sweet they’ll warm your spirit on a cold January day. I think the wide appeal of my mission has been reflected by the many others who have submitted napkins of support alongside my manifesto, which I encourage everyone to read in full to better understand my reasoning.

Investigator Berbon: What’s the next step in this crusade?

The Sumo Rustler: The next step is to wait. I know this isn’t a popular opinion among the more radical flank of this movement, but it is important to remember that the decision-making process at Commons takes time and that those who work there are looking out for us too. Moving forward, we will continue to peacefully advocate for the introduction of Sumo Citrus to Commons.

Investigator Berbon: What do you say to the critics who say your methods are too extreme?

The Sumo Rustler: The napkin board exists for the purpose of open communication between the Bates community and Dining Services. My form of communication just happens to be lengthy essays suffused with grandiloquent prose. If these “critics” disagree with me, they can say so on the napkin board. The stage is set, let’s dance motherfuckers. 

Investigator Berbon: Why do you call yourself the Sumo Rustler?

The Sumo Rustler: Like my heroes, Zorro and the Hamburglar, I wear a mask to protect my true identity. Still, I’d like to think my alias has some symbolic meaning also. I choose to be anonymous because this movement is greater than I am. I am the Sumo Rustler not only because it sounds a lot like sumo wrestler, but because it represents my goal: To round up as many Sumo Citrus as possible for the Bates community.

This Monday, Bates Dining Services posted their response:

When asked about the setback, the Sumo Rustler replied, “There’s more than one way to peel a citrus. We’ll explore all avenues for Sumo Citrus distribution, including but not limited to Bates College Student Government, student clubs and organizations, and ResLife. We may even send President Jenkins a fruit basket in the hopes of getting him hooked on Sumo Citrus like we are.” 

One chapter of this story has come to an end, but another may be beginning. It remains to be seen if the Sumo Rustler’s dream of citrus for all will become a reality. Rest assured that this reporter will be standing by as this story continues to develop. 

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