The stories of people finding more and more artful ways of beating the check in restaurants are legion.
In his 1970 bestseller “Steal This Book,” anarchist Abbie Hoffman laid out an ingenious strategy, whereby cohorts — acting like strangers — would sit down in adjacent seats at the counter in a chosen restaurant. One would order a complete meal, the other a cup of coffee. When the checks were presented, the patron who ate well would pick up the other man’s check, pay it at the cashier’s counter, and leave. The coffee drinker would feign shock that he had been left with the larger check and ultimately pay for this coffee and leave.
Then the two men would visit another restaurant and repeat the ruse in reverse.
The approach taken by a man in Australia wasn’t as clever, but it was quite effective. Via News.com.au:
Terry Peck, 33 … chowed down on two lobsters, a baby octopus, 17 oyster shots and drank a number of Coronas at Omeros Bros Seafood Restaurant at Main Beach Sunday evening to the tune of $620 before fleeing the restaurant.
So how did he make good his escape?
He … swam into the ocean and ducked underwater to avoid the police.
As it turns out, the long arm of the law caught up with Peck. When asked about the restaurant, he responded that he “wouldn’t go back” because the lobster was “overpriced.”