Thursday, April 21, 2016

The Art of Scavenging

Once, when I was a much younger and hungrier man, a buddy and I finagled our way into a "girls dinner" at O'Charley's restaurant.  Approximately ten girls ordered full meals while the two of us just got bowls of soup.  Why did we just get soup?  Because we knew we were going to clean up when the teenage girls could not finish the gargantuan O'Charley's portions. Not to mention, the endless stream of delicious, soft, buttery O'Chucks rolls.

"Don't throw out those one and a half chicken tenders, slide those over here." "Those loaded mashed potatoes look really good, oh they're too filling you say, pass me your plate and I will spoon them onto mine." "Can't believe you don't want the croutons on your Caesar salad, put them on this napkin.""That honey mustard has at least a couple more dips in it, let me get one of those fries and scoop it out."  IT WAS TOO EASY, like taking candy from a baby (or unwanted food from a friend).  By the time the meal was said and done, I had paid the price of a bowl of soup, yet consumed nearly 3000 calories.  How did I do this?  Easy, scavenging.
Waste not, want not

Scavenging is an acquired skill.  We are humans, not buzzards,and thus we are not natural scrap-eaters.  In order to reap the benefits of other people's plates, you need to hone your scavenging abilities through the following three steps:

Step One: Ask
No one is going to know you want their unwanted food unless you ask.  For some unfathomable reason, some people would rather throw uneaten food away than offer it around to everyone else.  Start with family and close friends.  Simply ask "are you not going to eat that?" and nine times out of ten it is yours.  Alternatively, you could try a passive aggressive approach where you continuously comment about how you wish you ordered what someone else ordered or that you cannot believe how just one person could eat all that food. Both approached may make you look a tad pathetic, but they will also make you more than a tad less hungry.

A quick success story with the ask approach: I had started training with a crop of new attorneys at my current job and during the first week the group went to lunch at a favorite Mexican place of mine. One of the attorneys got three fish tacos, which is what I considered ordering before I went with the more filling and economical nachos.  Long story short, my asking someone I barely knew if they were about to throw out a delicious baja fish taco saved said taco from the trash can while simultaneously satisfying my taco craving.

Step Two: Stare
Once you have the ask down, it is time to work on non-verbal scavenging.  If you see something you want simply stare at it until the person with the food is uncomfortable.  They will eventually offer it up.  This technique is extra effective on dates. You keep the focus on the food and not your date so that they do not get too cocky.  Simple? Yes. Effective? Yes. Weird? Well, are you hungry or not...

Step Three: Establish yourself as a known scavenger 
Once you have executed many successful scavenges using the ask and stare approaches, you can slowly build a reputation as a scavenger.  This is considered the pinnacle of scavenging. Family and friends will lean towards ordering more food just to appease you.  And no one will unwittingly allow a server to collect unfinished plates without asking if you want it first.  I am proud to say I achieved this status long ago and if you can focus your energies while putting in the requisite effort, you can be a known scavenger too.

No comments:

Post a Comment