Like a Rat 

Where waiters and diners tell tales.

When I lived in San Francisco, a good friend was a waiter at a very popular, established restaurant. He confided to me that not only did the kitchen have a serious rat problem they were trying to conceal from the Department of Public Health, but that if a customer spotted one of the rodents their meal would be comped.

Another friend and I, both with shallow pockets, decided to take advantage of this opportunity. We enjoyed a delicious multicourse meal. While waiting for our dessert, I informed our waitress that I had noticed a rat scurry beneath the wood-burning stove. She offered me her warmest apology, and proceeded to bring me my dessert ... and the check. Luckily, I had a credit card in my wallet reserved for emergencies. This qualified, and it took months to pay off my failed scam.

And, no, I did not in fact see a rat -- though I felt like one.

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