"df demystifies" is TechNews's singular advice column, offering students the opportunity to access 13 years of undergraduate experience to help make the decisions that will make or break your time at Illinois Tech.
Hello there, fellow Tech Hawks! df here to let you know that this week we’re going to do something a little bit different. Rather than pick two specific questions from the mountains of emails, letters, and faxes I receive each week, I thought I’d address what is easily the most asked question in a more thorough and multifaceted manner. The question, of course, is where to get none other than FREE FOOD. Now you’ve probably heard numerous suggestions about where to find it from your peers and loved ones (“just go to club events!,” “get involved with SGA!,” blech…), but that’s some bush league stuff. Instead, I’m going to provide some truly innovative ways to get food for free without having to subject yourself to what is generously/sneeringly called campus “culture.”
STRATEGY #1: Some of That Ole Razzle Dazzle
When one thinks of thievery, the mental image people have is of a masked gentleman in striped clothes sneaking quietly on tip-toes in the dead of night. Now, we’ve all met plenty of thieves exactly like that, but one can also take the opposite approach: a little something we call “refuge in audacity.” This can take many forms, but in our instance, what you need to do is steal food in such an over-the-top and unbelievable way that you’re effectively gaslighting all the witnesses into wondering if what they saw actually happened. Now, legally, I can’t give you specific advice on how to do this, but let’s just say there’s a McDonalds out there with a “no plague doctor” sign hanging on the front door.
STRATEGY #2: The Saloon Switcheroo
This strategy won’t work for anyone because, for reasons that will soon be obvious, you have to be over 21 years of age to make it work. However, if you are eligible to pull off this scam, use this strategy, and you’re basically set for life. It’s a little known fact that, legally, all bars in Chicago are obligated to provide food if you ask for it. This is a relic from the end of the Prohibition era where, in an attempt to legitimize drinking establishments, one had to serve food as well as alcohol to be given a bar license. Of course you’re probably saying to yourself “I’ve been to bars before and I didn’t see free food anywhere.” well that’s because you didn’t ask dummy! Ask for a bowl of olives or, if you’re somewhere fancy, cocktail onions, and LEGALLY they can’t refuse to serve it to you.
STRATEGY #3: Redefine Your Meal
What’s considered food by people has changed vastly over the years. In the prehistoric era, the primitive man ate his hamburger meat cold and uncooked whereas now those same cavemen would know to cook it and slather it in BBQ sauce before shoveling it sloppily into their face. What I’m trying to say is that food is less an inherent quality of a substance and more a mindset, an openness to new ideas. So, maybe next time you’re hungry you should look around you at your personal belongings, think, “What haven’t I tried to eat yet?,” and see if there’s some sort of organic fiber or leather that might have some nutritional value. Pro tip: glue is often made from horses, so it’s basically one step away from eating meat and (probably) just as high in protein!
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