Protecting yourself from doggy bag thieves.

Tonight I had a scrumptious dinner out that left me unable to finish my meal, so I asked for a box to take the leftovers home. After leaving the restaurant, I was suddenly attacked by a thief who demanded I hand over my doggy bag “or else”, so I had no choice but to comply with his demands, not even remotely interested in what he meant by “or else”. The thief then ran off with my food while chortling into the night. I looked around for any witnesses and was shocked at the sight of them getting robbed of their doggy bags as well.

After I got home I did a quick search online and found out that I was not alone in my ordeal tonight. There has been an alarming rise in doggy bag thefts in recent months and it’s having a negative impact on restaurants across the country. As a result, fewer people are dining out and instead are choosing to get their meals from nearby dollar stores.

It’s not that the restaurants haven’t noticed this problems. (The fact that the word “problem” was presented as a plural in the previous sentence is an entirely different problem altogether.) Desperate to curb the thefts, some of them attempted to reach a deal with the thieves to share their leftover food every night upon closing, but the thieves only responded in unison, “SERVE US STALE FOOD? THAT’S DISGUSTING!”

Other restaurants have hired security personnel to patrol the parking lot, but that approach drew complaints from patrons who said the presence of the security officers took away from the romantic mood of the evening. So the restaurants hired security personnel who could patrol the parking lot while playing violins. That proved doubly effective in keeping the doggy bag thieves away, who apparently can’t stand the sound of violins.

One restaurant in New Orleans has even developed a special box with a spring-loaded mechanism that shoves the food into the thief’s face upon being opened. Unfortunately the box was prematurely put into use before a method to disarm the mechanism could be developed, thus resulting in many a messy mealtime at patrons’ homes.

It will take some time before a universal solution to the problem of doggy bag thefts will be implemented, but you need not let that stop you from enjoying your evening out at your favorite restaurant. Park as close as you can to the front door away from bushes or storm drains where thieves have been known to hide. Make sure your appetite is sufficient enough where you won’t need to take any leftovers home in the first place. However, if you must take your leftovers home, bring along a large overcoat so you can keep the bag hidden during the walk to your car. Avoid looking around the parking lot for thieves, which is a signal that you have a doggy bag on your person. And don’t forget your violin.

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