Thursday, August 21, 2008

How I ate free for a week

People are constantly asking me: "Dave, how is it that you managed to eat free for the entire week of August 3rd - 9th?" Friends, relatives, random strangers on the street have all heard about this amazing feat and clamor to know how I pulled it off. Grad students everywhere are in awe of my powers. Well, I guess it's time to let out one of my most sought-after secrets and appease the hordes of hungry readers. Here's how it happened.

First, I should qualify: I ate free dinners for a week. Lunches were still mostly on my own. How did I do it? Here were a handful of contributing factors. First, several weeks earlier I had convinced a bunch of my housemates and other troupers to chip in on a wedding gift for one of our troupers. I bought the item (a dough kneading board, which is bizarrely expensive), so everyone ended up owing me about $30. Almost everyone had $20 bills on them, so many troupers still owed me $10 going into the Week of the Free Food. Second, my birthday was August 9th. For various reasons, different groups of people wanted to take me out on different days. Finally, some other troupers were getting married (on my birthday...), so a lot of old friends were in town and wanted to hang out.

That said, here's the schedule:
Sunday 8/3: Dinner with troupers new and old at the Pilgrim River Steakhouse, including a fresh dose of bizarre math puzzles from my old friend Dave. Cal covered dinner to pay off the gift debt.
Monday 8/4: My old mathie friend Amy and I went through the Arby's drive-through. I ordered chicken (yeah, at Arby's... I'm like that) which apparently wasn't ready, so they asked us to pull ahead and wait for a minute. 15 minutes later... no chicken. I went inside: "I'm wondering if my order is ready." "Do you have your receipt?" "Yeah, I'm order 74." "Hey Bill, where's order 74?" "Order 74? We don't have any order 74!" "Sir, I'm terribly sorry..." They not only made my order (fast!) but also repaid the cost of the meal. So yes, that too was free.
Tuesday 8/5: Pizza at the Chyre. Matt covered my part to pay off the gift debt, while daforsto earned us free crazy bread on the cute little memory machine at Little Caesar's.
Wednesday 8/6: Dinner with Troupers at Hunan. Brandon covered dinner to pay off the gift debt.
Thursday 8/7: My old friends, classmates, and coworkers Christi and Ryan (in town for the wedding) took me out to the Library for my birthday, reminiscences, and yummy root beer.
Friday 8/8: My long-time not-girlfriend Rachel took me out to the Ambassador for my birthday, along with Amy and a few of the younger troupers.
Saturday 8/9: Brandon and a few other troupers took me and Steve (also his birthday!) on a mini pub-crawl for my birthday: the DT for dinner and beer, the Ambassador for a fishbowl, the Dog for a shot, and the Library for dessert and fancier drinks.

Sunday, I took Amy out for her birthday... yes, it was quite a weekend for birthdays!

So there's the story. For an entire week, my dinners were covered by other people. It was pretty amazing. The next week wasn't quite as amazing, free-food-wise, but it was quite fun for other reasons, including an awesome camping trip. More about that later!

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