My Journey to Discover the Truths of the World, Part 1: Dumplings v. Potstickers

By John “Flavortown” Connors

Contributing Writer


In our modern world, we Americans have been blessed by the grace of God to be exposed to a variety of foreign foods. Whether it be corndogs, Shans, or even Chef Rick’s “easy D,” the foods that we enjoy are not only incredibly delicious, but shrouded in secrets.

I was enjoying my buttered toast and iced water at the McClurg Dining Facilities when I noticed across the table the beautiful Jack Gray delicately and sensually enjoying what I thought was a big, plump, juicy, dumpling. However, just like the Geto Boys hit 1991 single, my mind was truly “playing tricks on me.” This dumpling was actually a potsticker, and a simple question crossed my mind: What exactly is the difference between a dumpling and a potsticker? This brought me on a quest to find the truth. What follows are the records of my travels…

My quest began on a foggy Sewanee night behind the dumpster of Clurg where I was scheduled for a meeting with my informant. During our meeting the informant slid me a manilla envelope, only telling me to “follow the scent.” After our meeting was adjourned, I opened the envelope only to reveal an issue of Maxim and plane ticket to Nepal.

Nepal: cold, windy, and  surrounded by gorgeous mountains. I left the airport to find my guide to Nepal, a sherpa named “Shortround” standing on the street corner with a sign that simply read “Flavortown” (some things never get lost in translation). From here, we began our trek. The guide told me of the monastery that first created dumplings and potstickers. At 19,000 feet, we came to a snow-covered bridge suspended over a massive drop. I began to take a step onto the bridge, but Shortround yanked my body back. “The yetis,” he said. “They require an offering.” At first I was confused as to what he was saying, but then I laid eyes upon the beasts. Just as I noticed the three towering monsters lurking over me, Shortround declared, “This is where I leave you. Many have failed to get past this point, and I know you will fail as well. You. Are. Screwed.”

There I stood, on a bridge in the middle of the Nepal, about to be ripped to shreds by three Himalayan snow sasquatches. Yet just before my near-certain demise, I remembered the Maxim. I reached into my bag and revealed the magazine. The yetis seemed intrigued. I then flipped to a page with the header “Perennial hottie Jessica Simpson brings the sexy to denim photo shoot,” and I had them sold. I was granted safe passage and crossed the bridge into the snowy unknown. I could barely see in front of me until suddenly the snow began to clear and I found Shangri-La.

I entered the sprawling monastery where I saw three monks meditating in the middle of an empty room hitting Juuls. They turned their heads and asked, “Who do you know here?” I told them of my quest and they began to warm up to me. The monks were not easily pleased, however, and I still had not realized the goal of my quest. Indeed, my journey had just begun. The monks told me that I would be given the secrets of the dumplings and potstickers only after I completed Monk Pledgeship. After grueling weeks of being told that I “would never activate,” “was a pity bid,” meditation while doing bows n’ toes, and traveling down the mountain into the valley to retrieve the monks’ Taco Bell and Mango smoothies, I was finally done and I would be given the key to the dumplings/potstickers dilemma: a bubbling pot of ayahuasca.

Soon my world was turned upside down. I mounted a bengal tiger and was taken to the top of the world. There I discovered two pots. The first, was a glowing red and filled with boiling water and, apparently, dumplings. The other, a bright yellow, was filled with what the monks told me were potstickers.

The tiger introduced itself to me. “Pledge Flavortown. My name is Sheba. Here, I will explain the difference between dumplings and potstickers. You have proved yourself thus far and now you are finished with your journey… But first name five active monks.” In my stupor,  I could only muster, “Uh… Chef Rick, God, Ben Harrison (C’17), Pub Jim, J. Cole.” Needless to say, Sheba the bengal tigress banished me from her mountain—I was blackballed from the monastery and sent on the first flight back to the United States.

So I just Googled the answer in the safety of Benedict 116. Potstickers are simply dumplings that have been left to boil for too long and stick the the sides of the pot. There you have it, the first of my many journeys to discover the most mystifying truths of the world. I will see you wherever the wind takes me.