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It used to be annoying when a waitess accidentally stuck her thumb in your soup while serving you lunch. That was before topless waitresses, however.

Suppose you’re really fried with a local eatery for charging you for terrible food time after time, and are ready to wash your hands of the whole place. Try silver nitrate instead. If you can introduce a bit of that chemical into the soap dispenser in the restaurant washroom, you will have customers and employees furious with the restaurant. Silver nitrate will leave their hands and faces unwashably stained to an ugly, erratic brown color. It does not come off easily.

Harry Katz, a prominent Pennsylvania socialite, frequents many posh dining establishments in the company of equally ritzy jet setters. He insists that this scam is only a practical joke, which may be correct. However, with a bit of malice aforethought, someone could easily create a nasty version. Harry carries with him a supply of elegantly printed cards. He spots someone he wishes to hassle and bribes a waiter to carry one of the cards over to the mark. The card reads, “The management requests that you and your party leave immediately before we have to call the authorities.”

Of course, we don’t always have to be so sophisticated. If there are entire groups of people you don’t like, you can always eat in restaurants frequented by such people and put salt into the sugar dispensers or unscrew the tops of the salt and pepper shakers, so that the next diner gets a plate full of seasoning. Of course, such stunts are perilously close to April Fool amateurism, but they do have some minor harassment value.

If you had a friend who would take care of the tab, you’d take that friend out to dinner, right? In some swanky and excellent eatery, order your finest repast. Treat yourself to the best. About halfway through your meal, you introduce that friend who’s going to take care of your tab. Your friend is a dead cockroach that you brought in with you, carried carefully in your jacket pocket. Place your late friend amid some food on your plate and then turn on your theatrics. Make a noisy fuss and express concern about your health and the restaurant’s cleanliness standards, and mutter about your lawyer filing an action. After this, let the management talk you into a free meal or two and some drinks.

This next trick will cost a few bucks, but if you consider it as a perverted investment, the return will be worth many times the outlay. For example, a small display ad could be run in either a campus newspaper or one of the small local newspapers or shoppers. Pick one that isn’t too professional, since they are less likely to check the veracity of the ad.

The ad promises some fantastic dinner bargain, such as a steak dinner for two at half price, when the clipped ad is presented between 6 and 7 o’ clock that night. Or promise an All You Can Eat Special of roast steamship round of beef for three dollars, with all the trimmings, also with the clippped ad. Use the logo of the restaurant with which you are feuding in the ad. Check their regular ads so your layout looks authentic. Take it in and tell them you’re the new assistant who handles advertising. Just don’t spend too much time talking or getting remembered. Be prepared to pay cash if necessary.

Between 6 and 7 P.M. your mark will literally have his restaurant crammed with very hungry and soon-to-be-very-unhappy customers. By 8 P.M. the owner could have a whole lot of ex-customers and an undeserved bad reputation that will be hard to oevercome. Or the owner may decide to go along with the “promise,” which will cost her/him a lot of bucks. Finally, there will be an unpleasant scene with the newspaper. This scam will also work with local radio stations.

Note, too, that this scam can be turned so that the mark is the newspaper or radio station.

More Restaurant Revenge Stories

Who else but Dick Smegma would have the fortitude to pull this off, other than me, of course? Dick writes from Hawaii that an “all you can eat salad bar” restaurant had really screwed him over on a business deal. All efforts at civilized collection failed. Haydukery followed.

Dick went to Mission Row, that’s Hawaii’s answer to Skid Row, and rounded up eighteen derelicts that used to look like humans. He announced he was treating each to a free meal, and he was sincere. He trucked them to the offending restaurant and ordered eighteen “all you can eat salad bar” meals for his odoriferous charges, then paid the $2.50 per each in advance.

“The manager came storming out when he heard the noise and smelled the stench of my guests. He told us to leave, not even offering a refund at first,” Dick related. “I pointed out the possibility of both legal action and very likely trashing of his place by pissed-off bums. He saw the light and had us seated.”

Dick reports that the eighteen derelicts stayed for the next two hours, gorging on everything not tied down. Word somehow got out to the washed public that day and they stayed away like fans at a Pittsburgh Pirate baseball game.

When the last of his new friends farted loudly enough to flush commodoes a block away and then knocked a painting sideways with a mighty belch, Dick and his guy left. But not before he promised the manager that since they’d had so much fun and fine food, they’d be back again the next weekend.

“The manager and I had an instant settlement of (1) all money due me for the initial rip-off, (2) refund of my meal money for the eighteen bums, (3) an overall apology, and (4) free luncheon for me for a month on the premise that I not bring back my eighteen friends,” Dick reports. What Dick didn’t tell the manager is that he could always find eighteen new friends if the need arose again.

Another way Dick got back at a restaurant that had screwed him was to share his story with others in the dining public.

He had a printer run off one thousand handbills written and printed in newsletter format explaining how he had been offended by this restaurant and the legitimate ways he had tried to make right his case. He stood outside the restaurant on a public sidewalk and handed the papers to each person heading into the eatery. Dick says the restaurant owner fired the offending manager (who had been a real prick to the help and to other customers) and made amends with Dick personally.

More revenge ideas

One of the biggest restaurant complaints I get on talk shows is about soured, spoiled, bad-tasting foods served at the family-type, sitdown places. David Muridae of Chicago employs our animal friends for getting even here.

“Animals are my principle means of gaining revenge on resaurants which serve me poorly. In most people’s minds, mice and restaurants don’t go well together,” David writes. “You take a small container of mice into your mark-restaurant. When you’ve paid your bill and are ready to leave your table, invert your waterglass either on the floor by your table or on the table top itself. Of course, before you invert the glass, it is important that you have placed a mouse in it. Actually, you may do this to several glasses if you wish.

“As it is dark in many restaurants, the waitress will not notice the mice under the glasses at first. when she does, she may scream, attracting attention. Or she may knock over the glass accidentally while clearing the table. Or perhaps new customers will get there before the table is cleared, and they will discover the mice.”

David has ideas for buffet, cafeteria, or salad bar operations, too. He suggests you arm yourself with several dead mice or a small rat before you venture to your culinary mark’s establishment. He continues, “Palm one of the dead animals as you go through the line. Then using the edge of your own plate to cover the action, drop the body on a dish or bowl of jello. The trick is to do this as quickly and naturally as possible.”

As a postscript, you can also leave a customer relations message amid the little patio tomatoes, under lettuce leaves, and, of course, in one or more of the dips. Can you just imagine stuffy Aunt Abigail spooning up her favorite house dressing only to discover a soggy rodent corpse? Speaking of broadcasting!

Although this will work for many buisnesses, it came in as a restaurant trick. Stone Dale of Lexington, Kentucky was fired from his job as a waiter because he turned down the boss’ sexual advances. Since turnover there was high anyway, Stoney waited only two months to get back…in the hottest part of summer.

“I went to a local poultry farm and got six hens that had recently expired. That night I tossed them on the flat overhead passway leading from the street to the nympho’s restaurant. Needles to say, in about two days the place developed a very fowl odor, and a lot of customers complained. It took the bozos and some other ninnies a week to find the maggot-infested remains, remove them, and try to clean off the odor. But it persisted for weeks.”

A traveling salesman related how a friend of his met him for breakfast one morning at a motel restaurant and was prepared to deal them some misery..having been insulted, overcharged, underfed, and kept awake during his previous stay there. Out of a paper sack, he withdrew what looked like a pitcher of pancake syrup, just like the pitcher used at this restaurant. His pitcher went on the table, and their pitcher went into the sack. Only his pitcher contained motor oil.

Napolean is a reader-turned-contributor. His father is a restaurant chain maintenance man who says the rottenest trick a customer did to get back at the owner was to order a meal that included mash potatoes. He left the potatoes on the plate with ball bearings buried in the food refuse. The kitchen helper hosed the food and bearings off the plate and down into the garbage disposal. Few disposals can handle ball bearings; it takes a repairperson to undo this trick.

No nice, All-American kid comes cleaner than Roger Justick. That’s why I wondered what happened when he was asked to leave a restaurant. It seems he was being too nice, and that made the manager suspicious. While Roger worried about it, some of his friends did something about it – from the inside. Here’s the story of a deep-cover agent; let’s call him Randy.

“I was hired to bus tables and I did it for a day or so to set things up. The place had those big metal cream pitchers on the tables. I used to drop a huge lunger (See *Hawker*) on each one of them for two mornings, before deciding to go on pernament vacation back to Florida. What did I care about the restaurant owner-mark? He screwed my friend, Roger.”

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