When you first walk in, the comforting smell of mac and cheese against the backdrop of bacon and warm coffee reminds you that the trek was already worth it. As the familiar shelves greet you with all flavors of Gatorade, pre-made frozen dinners and the Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food variations, this wondrous place has the power to cure any of your ills. Combined with the fact that it is the only 24/7 service in all of Williamsburg and is within safe walking distance of even the furthest reaches of Botetourt complex, I think it is safe to say that our Wawa is fully justified in being one of the highest grossing Wawas of its kind on the East Coast.
However, what the parents and tourists encounter in the daylight hours is a far cry from the world that Wawa becomes once the delis do their last calls — an unfathomable place, where TWAMPy freshman and drunken frat boys can come together over their love of the delicious late night food.
Nevertheless, the late night process itself is an arduous one. We usually stumble in, a bit after 1 a.m., weak, hungry, shriveled and vulnerable. We make our way through the crowd, searching for the item that seems like it will give us our very own taste of heaven on earth. We then battle our way through the lines, carefully place our orders — the debate over “a little bit of mayo” and “no ketchup” is always a difficult one — and then swing into place in the final checkout line. Then a small panic usually hits — what if our credit card is denied, or what if there’s something wrong with our order and how can we survive if we have walk out EMPTY-HANDED?
Before you know it, you step up, and a certain calm hits.
Credit or debit?
Then a swipe, a few seconds of suspense and the wonderful ring.
No receipt, thank you.
Suddenly there it is, with Hallelujah music playing in the background, rivaling the turkey on Thanksgiving day, the food of choice is in your hand and about to be one of the best and fastest-consumed items you’ve had all week.
A feeling of calm washes over you as you munch down — and only the bravest ever have enough courage for round two.
Luckily enough for the students at the College of William and Mary, our very own Williamsburg supermodel and late-night colonial beauty of all centuries has taken the stand at the check-out counter. The reign of Wawa Pam continues to make an impression on all students graduating in the upcoming years.
Late night or not, Pam ensures that every visit to Wawa is a memorable experience. Consequentially, she has also earned the much-desired title of campus celebrity — her newest Facebook page attacked over 500 fans in less than 12 hours. Now at 1,113 and hoping to hit 2,000 by Sunday, her popularity shows no signs of waning.
In fact, apart from being the inspiration behind most jokes at Saturday night’s comedy extravaganza — the SNL writer claimed to have a date with this Williamsburg supermodel — she appears to be the heart and soul of our campus. Regardless of the weather, she is the wonderful woman who sells us ice cream when we are at our most frail, and the soulless creature that comments on our states when we can be at our most defensive. In fact, at that same comedy show, Pam inspired one of our very own students to write a poem in her honor, compiling all that we love and hate about the woman whose name seems to be on everyone’s lips.
So no matter your experience or whether you think she is amazing or terrifying, the next time you find yourself embarking on another Wawa run, remember to ask her how she became the wonderful character that she is. Besides, as liberal arts majors, all of us will have to realize one day that there is not much we can do with our philosophy and sociology degrees, and Pam might be the very role model we have been looking for all this time.
__Dasha Godunova is a Confusion Corner Columnist, and while she takes no claim for the masterpiece work of poetry mentioned ealier in the column, she encourages anyone interested to send her an email at [email protected] or a Facebook shout out if you’d like to read the 13 stanzas of wonderfulness.__