Ever since the publication of Abbie Hoffman’s “Steal This Book,” which became the 1970s counterculture bible on how to beat the system, enterprising thieves have been looking for ways to beat restaurant tabs. One of the most original, not to mention successful, ploys was the one dreamed up by an Australian who ran up a bill of $620 at a beachfront seafood restaurant then skipped out on the bill by diving into the surf and disappearing beneath the waves.
A homeless man in England had considerably worse luck. According to The Sun:
Paul Rockett, 64, ordered dishes including crab bites, penne meatballs and a peach sundae at a Cambridge branch of Frankie & Benny’s, Cambridgeshire Police said.
He washed them down with drinks including two double whiskeys and two bottles of cider, with the bill totalling £52.91.
When presented with the bill he refused to hand the money over claiming it showed an incorrect date, police said.
While I sympathize with the plight of the homeless, this was not Rockett’s first rodeo. At his hearing, it was revealed that he had been convicted previously of fleeing a restaurant without paying the bill.
At least there’s a happy ending to the story: Rockett sentenced to for 34 weeks in jail, where he will be the recipient of three hots and a cot.