As warmer weather and the dwindling of student assistance funds combine in the newly minted “student district”, some delivery drivers have admitted they are having to be more and more cautious of students turning feral as exams approach.
“It’s crazy!” Explained a pizza man, his shirt and hat rumpled and panting with every breath. “By the time you get to the street, all you can feel are the eyes. They’re coming out of every window, and they’re staring straight into your car. It’s a risk every single time I open that door, and I’m just lucky I haven’t been attacked yet. I know others haven’t been so lucky.”
Indeed, while there are no confirmed reports, the rumours are well known throughout the tightly-knit fabric of food delivery specialists. Many of them indicate that they know someone who knows someone who was swarmed for their food, and others don’t even feel comfortable carrying an insulated bag through the streets.
One behavioural psychologist based at the university provided some insight into this change in the demeanour and attitudes of the resident species.
“They are, above all, pack driven.” He explained. “By this time in the year, they have well defined and stratified social groupings which they have been operating in throughout the winter. Some of these may have already been in tension due to competition between males for female attentions.”
“Now you start to heat things up. With scarcity in their financial supply, increased outdoor activity, exams, and a traditionally active breeding season leading into their seasonal migrations, they can start to be a bit testy.”
Some Thai-food restaurants, traditionally hard-line delivery advocates, have taken a firm stance against the dangers to their drivers. Refusing to deliver to the door, and instead choosing open, well-lit corners where they can pull up and deliver quickly with a minimized risk of injury. Others have taken the opposite approach, seeking to blend in by hiring younger and younger drivers with older model used vehicles containing sound systems that make up the majority of their value. These have seen moderate success, although the turnover rate is high as they are often drawn to the natural patterns of the students after repeated exposure.
While there is no real answer, the fast-food industry is torn over their ideal outcome. They know that business will plummet after migration, so they are burdened with the fact that they need to make the most of the situation while it’s available. “Maybe we’ll start providing danger pay,” suggested a manager. “God knows these heroes deserve it.”