So your unemployment checks have stopped flowing in and you've been forced to move back home into the basement of your parents' house. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy the finer things in life! Your microscopic budget may not cover a Rolls Royce or Rolex, but that doesn't mean you can't go out and eat ribeye or ravioli from a five-star restaurant.
How exactly are you going to pay for your meal? You're not. You're going to pull off what they call a dine-and-dash.
Let this list of Do's and Don'ts be your guide to running out on a check.
[Editor's Note: This post is meant to be tongue in-cheek. New Times does not condone theft in any form.]
Do: Know your location.
Some pre-dine-and-dash location scouting will be extremely helpful. Knowing the layout of the location is key to creating your exit strategy. Improvisation could lead to incarceration. You also might want to avoid eateries that have big, beefy, or well-connected guys in their employ (cough, Martorano's, cough, Runway 84).
Don't: Go to a restaurant you want to visit again.
Enjoy this food because this is going to be the last time you'll be eating at this establishment. Returning to the scene of the crime is not wise unless, of course, you've drastically changed your look either by way of plastic surgery or a clever disguise.
Do: Dress properly.
Wear something that won't hinder your speed. Bring your running shoes, because you're going to need them.You don't want to look like you just came from the gym -- c'mon, this is fine dining after all -- but don't wear heels or a meat dress.
Don't: Bring anyone who is going to slow you down.
Dine-and-dash doesn't have to be a solitary activity. Bring along a friend, a family member or anyone who can run fast. Hell, you can even bring a date. Warning: things can get a bit awkward if you wait until the check comes to inform your date that you're not planning on paying. Not only does this hinder your chances of sealing the deal later in the evening, but the explaining/arguing will also slow you down.
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Do: Bring your appetite.
Eat like someone else is paying for it because someone else is paying for it. Don't risk a mugshot for just a mug of coffee. Go big or go home -- scratch that, it's go big and go home.
Don't: Be a famous person.
Rapper Foxy Brown, HBO's "Hung" co-star Jane Adams, University of South Florida basketball players Toarlyn Fitzpatrick and Mike Burwell and former Miss Teen Louisiana, Lindsey Evans are just a few of the famous faces who have been caught skipping out on a check. The reason we know about these instances is because they're recognizable. This is one of the few advantages in life of being "just some guy."
Do: Compare notes.
Ask around. Search on the Internet. People love to sound like a badass and are willing to share their triumphant stories or their "friend's" stories. You can find a good selection of stories and tips mixed in with comments from judgmental jerks on this Yelp message board.
Do: Prepare to face the consequences.
Waiters, waitresses and business owners will hate your guts. You'll never hear the end of servers griping about how they had to pay your tab out of their tips. Have the restaurant's phone number ready so you can call later and repent with your (parents') credit card. Then pack your suitcase and be ready to get kicked out of the house.