The Urban Cheapskate: Goes to the Food Court


You may have heard of the Suburban Cheapskate. Well, long before that there was the Original Urban Cheapskate. Unfortunately, staff at this website misplaced the original UC column but managed to pirate the name. Now the Urban Cheapskate is back to correct the editorial oversight and advise: Accept No Substitutes!

Recently, our Cheapskate was forced to accept gainful employment. Certain days he works next to the mall and on a recent Wednesday he hungrily decided to check out the offerings at the food court.

After ascending three escalators soaring above the thirty-foot-tall plastic palms, he was delivered to the sun drenched galleria court.

First up: Panda Express. Overpriced greasy Chinese. Next! Mongolian bbq. A phrase permanently associated by his stomach with f__d p__s_n_ng. Uhh…Popeye’s? Suddenly our Cheapskate wasn’t so hungry.

Dazed and disoriented, he wanders amongst the food stands, hoping to find something he can stand to eat. Then from behind a large plastic garbage bin labeled “Thank You”, there appears a diminutive personage. Wielding a tray full of meat-like items on toothpicks. Just like at a cocktail party.

“Hmmm…” thinks our Cheapskate, “Presentable…” He grabs a couple of canapes and sucks them down. “Mmmmm….What could it be?” Don’t ask.

Freshly enlightened, our Cheapskate continued around the court, seeking more individuals handing out samples from the various establishments. They were everywhere! Something resembling sushi. A wrap-type thing. A deep-fried unidentifiable item. Every one on a toothpick. None of them sickening.

When he finished his circumambulation of the food court he had sampled seven different offerings. One more round and it would be a complete lunch. He removed his shades and put his hat on and thus disguised, went back for more.

He ended up eating more than is contained in the
one-course a-la-carte that costs $3.16 at that Chinese place.

For a dessert bonus, on the way out of the mall, he was waylaid by another altruistic giver who plied him with a sample mini-cup of papaya
yogurt smoothie for dessert

Seven-course meal at the mall:
Total cash outlay: $0.00.
Total cholesterol intake: beyond measure

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