What’s The Call On Eating A Table’s Leftover Food?

Alright, so I often choose to write blogs on social etiquette but I’m about to address something I’d presume at least 75% of you will immediately consider taboo.

Last weekend, I ventured to a local bar with a flock of friends. Instead of heading to the host/hostess stand for seating directions (there are no hosts/hostesses at this place so I apologize for NOTHING), we decided to just hop into the first “open” booth we could find.

For context, the booth was technically open—meaning there were no living organisms currently sitting there—but on the table, the remains of what I presume was a bountiful banquet lay astray across the table. Outside of a couple untouched appetizer plates and a few half-drunk tumblers filled with ice, the only items left on the table were two slices of perfectly good cheese pizza, which gloriously sat upon an aluminum pizza pan rack.

After sliding into a comfortable booth position, I promptly clawed for one of the slices and transferred the contents onto one of the clearly unused appetizer plates and began my feast to the shock and dismay of everyone at the table, as well as the waitress who swiftly swung through to clear the table.

Now, for the record, I’ve done this before—in a number of settings with a variety of different people—and the reaction is always the same. People react as if I just sneezed in their coffee. They size me up with an air of repugnance. They look at me as if I had developed a severe case of leprosy in the late-1800s. It’s disdain in it’s highest form and it’s something I will NEVER understand.

Here’s the deal: I understand I’m not the most conventional person, but that’s because conventional people are complete morons. I win arguments like this for sport because the general public is primarily comprised mouth breathing, self conscious conformists who wouldn’t recognize innovation if it blew a load in their face.

Let’s talk about this…

For starters, the two slices left were still in their purest form. If you managed to obtain an overhead view of the pan, you would’ve immediately noticed that the original position of each slice had not been compromised, indicating the only area these slices could’ve been contaminated is at the corner of each crust—when the previous table had separated them for a different, individual slice.

Below, I have provided an exhaustingly comprehensive diagram:

Simply put, everyone else at the table would’ve been correct in their response if the slice I took was found on the picture to the right. Why? because those two slices could’ve been ANYWHERE. Based on contextual clues, there is NOTHING to assume one or both of those slices could’ve fallen on the floor, been tainted by a soda spill, or inexplicably handled by some snot-faced toddler whose parents slapped it back on the pan after a disciplinary “That’s enough, we need to go.”

That said, it wasn’t; and given the fact it wasn’t, it’s fair to assume the previous inhabitants of the table were relatively decent people; and given the fact the previous inhabitants of the table were relatively decent people; it’s fair to assume they aren’t harboring some fatal infection capable of being transmitted through air or touch.

In other words, the chance of me keeling over and dying in the dining room are significantly small, and if that’s the case, what does that mean? It means I just secured the rebound, gassed up the fast break offense, and am about to grind your superiority complex into sawdust.

If we’re going to suggest I’m a psycho for eating those slices, I might as well call you a psycho for sitting in the booth in the first place. I mean, people have sat there. What about those pizzas you’re about to order? I mean, have you seen how they handle food in the kitchen?

Give me a fucking break. If I see two perfectly pure slices of pizza on an existing pizza pan, you can bet your ass I’m swiping them. Not only am I getting two free slices of pizza, but there are starving children in third-world countries who would run miles for those calories. Check you privilege…

– Joey Boats (@joey_boats)

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