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  • Doily Allergen

Cactus Replicates New Year’s Eve Ball Drop By Dropping Your Food On The Floor

new year at cactus

Both remaining Cactus locations have become hubs for New Year’s Eve celebrations in Iowa City ever since one famous incident happened on December 31st, 2011: one Cactus staff member dropped a plate of chimichangas on the floor right as the New Year’s Eve ball dropped in New York City. Eyewitnesses of the event described the evening as “magical” and the resulting dry cleaning as “expensive.”

Since then, Iowa City residents have flocked to Cactus every December to ring in the new year under a sea of falling Mexican food.

“It’s really pretty similar to the ball drop in New York,” said UI junior Melanie Jones. “I think it might be even more magical, because in New York there are so many people, and they’re all packed together – well, I guess it’s like that at Cactus too, but they don’t get jumbo lime margaritas for only $6.49, now do they?”

All of the hype surrounding this famous plate dropping has garnered quite a lot of attention for one Cactus employee, Mark Anderson, who seems to relish being the one to drop the plate every New Year’s.

“I’ve always been sort of clumsy and the managers used to hate it whenever I dropped stuff on the floor,” said Anderson. “But now I get to turn that clumsiness into opportunity. I learned a long time ago that you gotta stay on that grind, gotta keep hustling. I’ve actually started selling T-shirts that say ‘Cactus ball drop’ on them. Although I did get a cease and desist letter from a dominatrix in Belgium because apparently, that’s like her specialty or whatever. So I guess I gotta find a new way to capitalize off of my own stupidity. Actually, I’ve heard good things about NFTs and crypto…”

Many people in Iowa City now consider the “dropping of the plate” to be a predictor for the new year, and many have begun making predictions based on the pattern of plate shards and food splatterings.

“Most people don’t know this, but the Cactus plate dropping has great astrological significance,” said senior Heather Westerberg. “The shapes the plate creates can be used to predict events that haven’t even happened yet, and can even tell you a little about yourself.

For instance, I correctly predicted the Covid-19 pandemic on the New Year’s Eve 2019 plate drop, and at the 2020 plate drop, I correctly predicted Space Jam 2. The plate also told me that I would be unhappy in both years, and it was spot on about that! It truly is remarkable.”

Clearly, the dropping of the plate is quite a special time for everyone in Iowa City. If you haven’t been able to experience it, we here at the Doily Allergen highly recommend you celebrate Cactus Week and the New Year by going to any participating Cactus restaurant, and just watching the magic unfold. It’s well worth the wait of having your food scooped onto a new plate.


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