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Thieving bandit: a non-fictitious tale

February 26, 2013

It was August 2011. They were chocolate chip scones; I was a freshman at Saturday brunch. They were too good to only eat a couple, so I wrapped a few more in napkins and tucked them in my jacket pocket. Thus marked the first time I took food out of the dining hall. Which, yes, is frowned upon.

When sophomore year began, I made a vow to myself: make the most out of your meal plan this year because it is overpriced and you should at least get your money’s worth. At one point, I kept track of all the food I have taken in the last year and a half, but it just became too frequent to keep track of anymore at a certain point.

So, to pass along my wisdom in the thievery department, I have come up with a list of six tips for taking food out of the dining hall:

1. Inside pockets: people ask me why I wear vests, considering they only keep the torso warm. Well, folks, here’s your answer: inside pockets. Inside pockets are excellent cookie holders and popcorn chicken smuggling devices. Whether you’ve opened a Ziploc bag and are dropping chicken into it or putting a wrapped stack of cookies safely away, inside pockets is the bandit’s key to sneaky technique.

2. Tupperware, Ziploc bags and backpacks: these are the necessary thievery materials for an intense ground operation. Tupperware keeps the crushable cake slices safe, and gallon-sized Ziploc bags are essential for that dozen muffins you have got to grab. Backpacks keep the haul hidden, obviously.

3. Ice cream bowls: most of the dishes at dining halls are real, but the ice creams bowls are paper, and therefore, not reusable. They fit in the palm of a hand and yet have enough depth to contain brownie bites, Reese’s Pieces, cereal and even cake. If you didn’t come prepared with the proper thievery items, ice cream bowls are the answer to your prayers.

4. Paper day: the other answer? Paper day. About once a week, the dining hall will just happen to decide not to wash its dishes and will instead force paper dishes and silverware upon you. First, stock up on the silverware because inevitably, you will buy a combination box of forks, knives and spoons and run out of spoons faster than the others because you need to stir your soup or hot chocolate and can only do so with a spoon. Then, use those plates, bowls and cups! Take whole meals even! One strategy is the ole pizza in a cup trick. This requires a cup and some sly hand movement at the pizza station.

5. Strategic use of napkins: when all else fails, use the napkins – they don’t just eliminate sticky fingers but create them too. Many of the goods you’ll actually want to take can be wrapped in napkins, so do it. Muffins, scones, cookies, nuts – wrap them in a couple napkins and go on your merry way.

6. Jacket hood: this is odd, I’ll admit. But when you get to be great at this, you start to send out order requests. Like you walk into the dining hall and see it’s assorted muffins day, so you contact your friends off campus and ask for their orders. They make requests, and suddenly, you need half a dozen muffins and didn’t come prepared (which is just poor planning). So you wrap them in napkins (of course) but still need a way to take them out without drawing attention to yourself. So… you take off your jacket, wrap it over your arm and put the napkin-covered muffins in the hood, strategically manipulate the hood and walk right on back to your residence hall. Mission accomplished.

You may be wondering: why does she do it? I’m not a rebellious person; I don’t do truly illegal things. It’s just not my nature. Taking food out of the dining hall gives me that little burst of adrenaline that can come from speeding or doing some other illegal activity. But honestly, I don’t even eat the majority of the food I take. Yes, I take it because I want to get the most out of my overpriced meal plan, but I mostly take it to feed others. Not that others need to rely on me for their food intake or anything… but it’s something I can do. And I mean, really, I’m doing a service here: someone has to eat the food, or it gets thrown away.

One of my values in life is doing good; by bringing this food to people I care about, I’m doing good. I’m feeding them. If you actually think that’s such a bad thing, then a) I think that’s a little ridiculous, and b) you have no heart.

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From → Sophomore

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