When “Dine and Dash” Went Horribly Wrong

Posted: February 28, 2015 in Humor

Listen, I’ve never claimed to have a perfect past. I’ve openly told my students 1and players over the past 30-years that I was once an idiot who flunked out of college, did some bad things, treated people poorly, and hopefully came out on the other side a better man. Well, the story I’m about to tell you happened during that period of my life, a time my own father has often referred to as my “hazy period.” So let’s just say that although I’m not necessarily proud of some of the things I did, it doesn’t mean I didn’t get some damn good stories out of those days.

Hopefully, this is one of them . . .

Back in the late 70’s there was an all-night restaurant in Chilly that folks would frequent after they left the local watering holes. It was on Bridge Street where Frisch’s now stands, and I’m sure many of my readers are nodding their heads knowingly, because they know exactly where I’m talking about.

Why am I being so secretive? It was Sambo’s, a politically incorrect establishment if there ever was one. But man, their waffles were tasty.

Anyway, myself and two of my buddies ended up there late one night (OK, it was technically early morning) to enjoy a tasty breakfast/late supper, depending on your perspective and/or lifestyle. As I alluded to before, we were idiots, and we had occasionally done the “dine and dash” maneuver before. Being low on cash, we thought we’d do it again.

Note: For all you God-fearing, honest people out there, “Dine and Dash” refers to going into a restaurant, eating, and fleeing without paying for your meal. It can also be referred to as “stealing” or “breaking the law.”

And so, a plan was hatched. My friend Andy and I would quietly exit the restaurant one-by-one, Andy first followed by yours truly. We’d hop in Andy’s car, get it fired up and ready to roll, then wait for my other friend Tom to bolt out, hop in, and join us in our escape.

W-e-l-l, at some point our communication must have been flawed. For as soon as I joined Andy in his car, we pulled around to the entrance of the place, theoretically to enhance Tom’s access to our vehicle and hasten our getaway. However, apparently Tom didn’t get the memo. As Andy and I sat there awaiting the big guy, he suddenly came running out of the restaurant, right past us and on to the place where we’d been parked before.

In a perfect world Tom would have realized his mistake and circled back around to us. But as they say, karma can be a bitch. So as Andy and I watched in horror, Tom jumped into the backseat of the wrong car.

A car near where ours had previously been parked. A car occupied by an elderly married couple, out for an early breakfast.

Oh, sweet Jesus.

As Tom later recounted, he jerked open the backdoor of the car, hopped in, and screamed, “LET’S GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE!!!”

And only then did he notice the geriatric couple sitting in the front seat, faces turned towards him, frozen in terror.

Sorta like Andy’s and mine, watching from the car by the entrance to the restaurant.

Tom, obviously realizing he’d made a god-awful mistake, leaped out of the wrong car and, after doing an amazingly graceful panicked pirouette for a 6’3″, 250 pound man, spotted us and ran to our car. Only then did we, miraculously and somewhat undeservedly, make our escape.

We’ll never know what happened to that innocent, elderly couple who had their brush with a wild-eyed man-beast that night, nor do we want to. My guess is they were scarred for life and never went out for an early morning breakfast again, but I’ll never know for sure.

As for us, I believe it was our last “dine and dash” ever attempted. Maybe we felt guilty, maybe it scared us, perhaps we finally matured a little.

Who am I kidding? It was none of those things.

It was because we nearly caused an elderly couple to have double coronary, and nobody wants that on their conscience.

Not even us.

  1. JR says:

    I totally forgot that ” incident”. It’s pretty funny now, but it’s amazing that 5 different people in the course of about a 15-second period had the damnedest WTF look on their face! And I can’t imagine that Tom said “let’s get the HELL out of here” to the elderly folks. I’m certain it had to be something a little stronger, but I will defer to your editorial discretion.

  2. JR says:

    By the way, I don’t believe I am the JR to whom you refer in your story. You simply told me that story years ago and I’d forgotten it. But it wasn’t me…. Really!

Gimme a holler.

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