Dine and Dash

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El Azteco was an excellent Mexican restaurant in East Lansing, set underground in a dark catacombed adobe maze of rooms.   This made it set up so perfectly for dining and dashing on the bill that we dashed from there usually four times a week without getting caught.  The secret to not getting caught involved doing it when it was really busy, like during the dinner rush, and leaving a generous tip.

            It was dinner time and busy when I showed up with Mick, Marcus, Les and The General.  Les lived on the same floor in the dorms as Mick and Marcus. Unlike the rest of the group he had grown up on a farm in Michigan. 

            The General had become a friend over the past year and a half since I had initially seen him the first day of check-in at the dorms.  He spoke like an intellectual reading from a textbook in a soft, whispering voice, ending his sentences with words like “per se”. He had only lived with “The Chief” for the first term on our floor in Armstrong Hall freshman year, before moving out.  The General then decided to do the total rugged lifestyle thing by living out of his van and taking showers in the dorms.  He would park the van in parking lots overnight to sleep. He then hooked up with a large breasted brunette and shacked up with her for the winter term to keep warm before heading out on his own again.   

            The General had accompanied us to El Azteco that evening for his favorite Mexican Salad, the Topopo, and plenty of Dos Equis beer, which would eventually wind up free of charge.  We were all getting settled in our booth and opening the menus as the lucky waitress arrived.

            “Hi, can I start you guys out with something to drink?”  She was an older student and knew how to handle anything that was thrown her way.

            The General began;  “Yes you may.  I would like a Dos Equis please, per se.”

            “Make that Dos Equis all around,”  Les added, after nodding to the rest of the table.  The General was usually only concerned with his immediate needs. 

            “Okay, do you guys need more time to look at the menu?”

            “How about starting with a plate of Nachos?”  Marcus asked, looking for approval from the rest of the table.  Since nobody intended on paying, all suggestions were immediately accepted.

            “Okay, I'll be right back with the Dos Equis”.  The waitress said as she scribbled the order in restaurant shorthand while turning and walking away.

            “Remember, we're dashing on this meal so order as much we can.  The sky's the limit!” I reminded everyone.

            “We've got to leave her a good tip” Les threw in.          

            “How much should we leave?” Marcus asked. 

            It was usually best to straighten everything out at the beginning of the misdemeanor before the beer began to take effect.

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