When I went away to college, I went away to college. Not far, but I embraced college life with full gusto. I lived in the largest dorm in the country (used to have its own zip code) at the largest university in the country.
College holds so many new experiences, even beyond the underage drinking and the harsh realization that no one cares if you don’t do your homework. I loved it. I was all “Wow! College!” These were my people. And the closet authority figure was our resident assistant down the hall, who was wise beyond her years and OMG so old at 21. (Engineering major. You know the type.) (Or was it microbiology? Hell, I don’t remember. It was nerdy.)
In that new school year, I made new friends, went to frat parties, dated a boy, ate in the cafeteria,…I even studied now and then. But it was in that cafeteria, specifically in the “late night” meal time, that my friends introduced me to the wonder that was…Wow Rings.
“You haven ‘t even been to Jester Late Night?” They made it sound like some kind of deep fried comedy hour.
So in the interest of seeing what the fuss was all about, I decided to check out this Jester Late Night phenomenon and experience these Wow Rings for myself.
Picture this: Chicken. In ring form. Breaded and deep fried, like a nugget, but so totally not. It was a ring.
A Wow Ring. Because WOW.
It became a bit of a ritual. A few nights a week, my friends and I would sweat it out in a few games of racket ball in the gym across the street, then in order to make up for all those calories we just burned, we’d stop by the cafeteria and snag ourselves some Wow Rings and fries. Probably a soda too, because we were nineteen and HFCS wasn’t even a blip on our radars.
They were sinfully delicious, but we had no regrets. We nommed on those rings like we had the metabolism of a marathon runner, who ironically wouldn’t even be caught dead anywhere near a Wow Ring. They were little circles of heaven, breaded and deep fried, and dipped in even more liquid calories. Ketchup. BBQ sauce. I introduced everyone around me to the magic of dipping things in ranch dressing. We probably would have dipped them in straight up lard if it tasted half decent.
And let me remind you that it was dubbed “Late Night.” It was the fourth meal long before Taco Bell snagged that hellacious tag line. It didn’t even open until 9 pm, and you can bet that about 87% of the Late Night occupants needed a little Visine. (If you know what I’m saying.) (And I think you do.) (Don’t you?)
Which pretty much explains why when I went home for the summer and resumed my retail job, one of my super thoughtful co workers exclaimed, “Well, Leigh Ann looks like she’s put on a little weight since she was last here!”
Also, do you remember Lay’s Wow Chips? I do. So does my toilet.
Also also, don’t Google images of Wow Rings unless you want to be inundated with images of rings from World of Warcraft and OMG nerrrrrrrrrdsssssssss!