Monday 19 April 2010

Tight Fist Tip #37: Always Take A Doggy Bag

Proof of a Hard-Fought Victory!

As I've written earlier, if The Tight Fist ruled the world wasting food would be a crime punishable by denailing. In general, avoiding food waste is pretty simple: just take as much as you need and eat it all. But sometimes restaurants can throw you a loop by serving unexpectedly large portions that you just can't stomach.

Of course the solution is simple: just pack it up in a doggy bag and you've got tomorrow's lunch covered. In most situations, this solves the problem and there is no more to say. But what about the following nightmare scenario:

Dude: Excuse me Mr. Waiter, can I have this packed up?
Waiter: I'm sorry sir, we don't allow that here.
Dude: What do you mean?
Waiter: We love killing animals for fun and then insisting on throwing their cooked flesh into the trash. For us, it is the greatest pleasure on earth. Giving you a doggy bag would deny us this truly magnificent opportunity.
Dude: ...?

I know for my American readers this situation is unimaginable, but in backward countries (such as the UK) it is disturbingly common. How do you deal with such ridiculous insolence? There is only one answer: MAKE A GIGANTIC SCENE. There is nothing snooty resturants hate more than a loud, obnoxious jerk making life miserable for all the other customers. This is an argument you will win. In case you're having trouble, here are some foolproof techniques to save your meal from the trash can.

This Is One Way To Let The Waiter Know You're Serious

1. Start calm, but slowly escalate. "Please give me a doggy bag. It is unacceptable that you won't let me take home my leftovers. I AM GOING TO START THROWING SHIT!"
2. Ask to speak to the manager. Spineless waiters can always hide behind some 'Sorry, but I might get fired if I break policy' type of excuse. But the manager will have to engage your mental chess game. And if you can't win a debate with the assistant manager of Applebees, you don't deserve your doggy bag. In fact, you don't deserve to eat. Ever.
3. Start to Cry. If gentle whimpering isn't doing the trick, kick it up a notch with some heavy wailing. While this is a tried and true tactic for females, it may even be more effective for men given the added shock value.
4. Bring your own tupperware. If you are going to a restaurant that you fear will not pack up your leftovers, take matters into your own hands. Bring your own tupperware and pack it yourself. If anyone at the restaurant complains, calmly explain that they will need to pry the tupperware from your cold dead hands.
5. "You want me to throw away Bambi?"

In all the above situations you should make it abundantly clear that there is no way you are paying for the meal without getting your leftovers. They'll come around eventually.


  1. No doggy bags! That's why god took away your airplanes.

    Seriously though, if you, or anyone at your table/ nearby tables needs a doggy bag, you didn't come hungry enough. If you feel self conscious eating the rest of a 1/3 eaten hamburger from a strangers plate, you're not ready to for the tight fist big leagues.

  2. While I shudder at the thought of the torture I fear more than any other, denailing, I thought I would relate the following:

    I remember the beginning of the end with an old girlfriend. Toward the end of a dinner at a romantic Italian restaurant, the waiter came by and asked if we were finished. I nodded yes, because my plate was completely clean. My date also nodded yes, and proceeded to act like nothing had happened as she watched the waiter take half of her plate away to the trash. I just stared at her, agape, not saying a word and not believing what had just transpired. I don't think I ever forgave her for that.

  3. Nat: awesome story. Ladies, take note!