You’re known as a food thief, and the worst part is that you actually paid for the food. You’re one of those people that nonchalantly walk into Frank, sit down for a nice, luxurious meal, and then whip out that napkin and “pack” a few things; nothing much, just an apple or a cookie here and there. But if you get caught you’re in trouble. Despite the fact that you pay $43,000 a year, roughly $4,000 going to “board,” there is a sign explicitly stating that Frank is a “dine-in only” facility right by the cashier.
However, this outrageous and inexplicable phenomenon does not stop a good food thief. As one myself, I’d like to give some tips to those of you indignant over that infuriating sign, yet clueless as to how to get away with it:
1) Make friends with the staff: Walk in each day with a smile. Say hello and ask how they’re doing. Not only is this just plain nice, it also gets them to like you so they won’t think of you as a troublemaker they have to check meticulously on the way out.2) Carry a bag with you: These beauties not only function as necessities for school supplies, but no one would ever guess that tucked away under that book is a fat, juicy red apple. Well, maybe not so fat or red and juicy.3) Wear a sweatshirt, jacket, or anything with big pockets: Now that it’s getting colder, no one will be suspicious. If you notice that the bulge is a little too obvious, stick your hand in the pocket as well to cover it up.4) Never get over-confident: This can result in your demise, as I learned the hard way. I was in a rush, and quickly made a PB&J sandwich, wrapped it in a napkin and threw my jacket over the arm carrying the goods. As I was casually walking out of the cafeteria, one of the staff members stopped me with a halting “Hun! What’ve you got there?” Frozen to the spot, I was forced to reveal myself. I was told that I was not allowed to carry food out of the cafeteria under any circumstances. In this situation it is best to play innocent and comply, “Oh really? No, I don’t need to speak to a manager. I’ll eat it right here. Sorry ’bout that.” This prevents you from making enemies you don’t want to be making in the food world.5) Don’t Get Discouraged: If you do get caught, don’t let it stop you. Just be more careful. After the incident described in tip #4, I sat down, ate half my sandwich, wrapped up the rest, stuffed it in my bag, and walked out, being sure to smile at the staff member that apprehended me. From then on, I never thieved on the edge. If it seems risky, don’t take the chance. Some of those staff members have hawk eyes.6) Don’t take perishables: Although this may seem obvious, I snuck a hard-boiled egg out one day and left it in my fridge for way too long. If your food turns colors, it’s normally not a good thing, and it’s also a waste of food. If you’re going to take perishables, consume shortly after conquest.
In defense of us food thieves, I would like to point out that we’re really not that bad. Yes, I know the sign says that no food is allowed out of the dining hall, with the absurd exception of ice-cream cones, but we are paying an arm and a leg to go to our glorious ‘Gate. If you eat at a restaurant you can take whatever you paid for that you didn’t finish “to go,” so why should Frank be any different? We’re not asking to carry out steaming ravioli on a hot plate along with a side salad. We just want the odd muffin or apple. We’re simply poor college students trying to survive in between trips to Tops or home. We need an extra treat here and there or a snack for later tonight when we won’t have time to go to dinner because we’re cramming for that test tomorrow. And so, I stand as a firm advocate for the right to carry food out of Frank cafeteria. Furthermore, I think a more accurate phrase can be used to describe my peers and I. Think of us as noble food appropriators.