The Oberlin Review
<< Front page Arts February 24, 2006

Good Eats - by Maya Silver

Foodie Freebies
Sadly, in today’s cutthroat, dog-eat-dog-eat-naked mole rat world of ours, the imbalance of supply and demand yields a sizable portion of the population whose needs are unmet, causing some to resort to thievery, a practice which I personally condone only if executed with the utmost moral fiber. In order to avoid reliance on such unethical tactics to secure future financial happiness, I suggest everyone begin to cut corners immediately.

A good place to start is food. I say this because there is inherently a lake of edible plenty flowing through a college campus, which everyone should be sure to sip from, especially at high tide.

Now, of course, I don’t believe that one should make sacrifices when it comes to a meal. If you are ever caught between the plebian Taco Bell burrito and the more highbrow Agave one, I would say there is no choice in the matter. A few extra dollars is worth the few thousand extra points in taste and tortilla suppleness. Don’t josh around when it comes to guacamole.

However, if free food is available for the taking, I say: “Take it.” Below, I will detail a few strategies for picking up the chow without putting down the cash.

People on diets are your new best friends. Hang onto them like they are your life-vests in a sea of desolation and you don’t know how to swim.

Compliment their new haircuts. If all goes well, you will be around when they eat. You might consider offhandedly mentioning a bloated caloric figure count for their food. Something like, “Hey Bertha. How’s that (sneeze) 850 calorie sub?” And if all goes extra-well, she will decide she isn’t hungry anymore.

This is where you come in.

Invest in a sturdy set of Glad Tupperware and cater your snacks/late meals with cold and delicious Stevenson leftovers. Succotash, anyone?

Have you heard about any new organizations starting up on campus? Choral groups? General interest meetings?

In all likelihood, they will use some sort of baked good as bait for new members. You never know what they might use. I’m not guaranteeing anything, but I’ve seen Oreos, Lorna Doones and Chips Ahoy put out at these things. Contact the Student Union for more information.

Fake an anxiety attack and make your advisor or dean take you out to lunch. When they ask for your share, start to cry and tell them to put it on the tab.

When module and semester courses wrap up, especially the seminar-style ones with less than 20 people, teachers have been known to bribe students with food in order to secure stellar course evaluations. Get yourself a navy blue folder and a denim jacket.

Find the classrooms and open the door tentatively, peering in wide-eyed at the scary college students. If you don’t see food, run away. If you do see food, tell the teacher and class that you are a prospective student and ask if you could sit in on the class. Then eat their donuts.

Are you a cook at heart but too cash-strapped to buy yourself a nice bag of flour or a canister of Cream of Tartar? Instead, make the rounds to the restaurants in town. Pick up some sugar packets here, some ketchup packets there.

If you’re having a good day, you could even score some mayonnaise, maybe a couple of saltines at the DeCafé. Mix the ketchup with the mayonnaise until combined. Spread onto saltines, sprinkle with sugar and you’ve got yourself a Pink Panther.

Speaking of DeCafé, do they still put out free food before they close?

If you are into disguise, throw on an apron and a hairnet, go to any co-op besides Keep, pretend to borrow food for another co-op and take the loot back to your lair. And by lair, I mean stomach.

The word on the street is that Sunday Catholic Mass serves pizza.

So before you wedge your last crumpled one-bomb into that ugly, wood-paneled vending machine, ask yourself: Could I be getting this product free of cost somewhere else?

I know that in the midst of this dry and bleak winter of our discontent, it’s difficult to see that lake of edible plenty. But it’s there, you just might have to do a little “trekking” to find it.*

*The lake of edible plenty is inside you.


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