If campus life has taught us anything in the past semesters, it must be that we are perennially broke. Our mess being the mess it is, the chances we create to eat out are like fishing out coins from a fountain. These two opposing forces might entail taking some smart and calculated decisions. Here to ease you into the free food life, we present 5 easy steps to get away without paying the next time you want to eat out.
The Chota BHIM
Cashless economy is here for good, but debit cards aren’t going to work at the dhaba. But here’s a thought…
So you decide you want to eat out, casually mention it to your friend. Get them happy at the thought of good food. Now take the fantasy away by saying “Aiyoo, I didn’t bring cash da. Maybe another time.”. After a moment, listen for a hint of disappointment – and then say “How about I BHIM/PayTM you?
When it is later, just don’t.
This can work for any situation and any cashless method of payment. If your friend is anything like your annoying next door neighbour uncle (I’m talking about you, Ekambaram Mama), say you’ll pay them back with Bitcoin (add key, unrelated tech words like Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to sound authentic).
If you’re a part of any team or club, the usual end of the meeting culminates into a dinner plan, with terms and conditions applied (which means you pay for yourself. Yes, I know. What are fourth years for, right?). Now these meals are a great opportunity to get to know your team really well. This is also a chance to find a victim to cover for you. Someone who wouldn’t want to constantly to nag you for the money. When the time comes for you to pay up, don’t respond; no one likes waiting outside the Dhaba too long after eating. Wait for that one ilicchavaayan [savior] to reluctantly part with their emergency 500 rupee note hidden behind their phone case.
This only works if you’re a girl. 99% of the time, curfew is a real pain. Maybe, just maybe this time it isn’t. Start dinner around 8:15, enough time to order, gobble down 3 dosas and 2 tandooris. At 8:59, look at your watch, shout “OKAY GUYS GOT TO GO CURFEW TIME I’LL PAY YOU BACK” and run like the wind. You’ll be surprised at the number of times this works!
This method puts you in a very high risk, but high reward situation. To successfully execute this method, you must be equipped with a 2000 rupee note.
When you’re paying for something, clazzily whip out the 2K and hand it over to the vendor. The odds of him willing to part with his change are greater than Meta finishing better than 12th in NITTFest.
In all probability you’ll be asked to pay later, or a sympathetic friend would cover for you. There is a small chance that the vendor would call your bluff, but again, those are consequences of living life in the fast lane.
The Pablo Picasso
This method is named after its most significant component – paint (read: posterior lip imprinting).
Executing this is fairly straightforward. There is no shortage of people bearing good news in campus. The odd semester signifies the beginning of the placement season, which kicks off the ‘bro, treat!’ cycle. As the year progresses, one can claim treats for internships, team head appointments and college acceptances (leave these guys alone though, crippling debt is going to follow them for a long time). You can increase your chances of being invited to these celebrations by employing a well-applied coat of paint.
This move utilizes Tamil cinema’s favourite plot device – the flashback.
This method works for close friends only. The more time you spent with this person in college, greater the chance of it working. You simply concoct a believable flashback where the other person owes you money. Deeper the flashback, lesser the likelihood of them remembering the situation. The success rate for this method is around 50%, but the chances of you looking like a cheap loser is closer to a 100%.
While these techniques give a 99% guarantee of a free meal, your execution must be seamless. Always practice your puppy dog face, or your most innocent expression. Sometimes, there is such a thing as a free meal.
– Gautham Mahadevan and Harshini Ramanujam