A multi-part presentation of the laws of finding and receiving free food. Given by God himself to Bwogger Christopher Morris-Lent.

Today, commandments 1-3.


In those first few awkward weeks at college after you’ve severed the umbilicus connecting yourself to your parents but you have yet to carve a niche out for yourself in your new milieu, you might find yourself taking strolls around campus in the early evening, wondering what the point of it all is.  At least this is what I did, because I was socially inept and slow to make new friends.  These Kerouacesque mimi-odysseys of self-discovery ended up being good things, though, because in addition to finding existential solace, I also stumbled upon some free food.  Free food is a prominent fixture of the Columbia experience.  It is as ubiquitous as it is transitory.  And if you find it, it is yours for the taking.  Munching on some cornbread on the way back from the Amsterdam bridge one fair September afternoon, I said to myself: “Things are not so bad here.  They will get better.  Fortuna is spinning my wheel upwards.”  And surely enough, she was. 


Many of your fellow freshman will be wandering campus in the same lackadaisical and directionless way as you.  Ignore them: they are either lost in their own existential quandaries or completely brain-dead.  Only when you spot one of your “friends” from orientation walking with a sense of purpose should you follow them, as they may have discovered a free food treasure trove.  Bonus points if your stalkee is an orientation hookup; extra bonus points if bases were rounded within the friendly confines of a frat house; still more bonus points if he or she discovers you, slaps you across the face, and runs away, and you still succeed in following them to the promised land and scoring a bagel with cream cheese or two, if not milk and honey. 

3. THOUGH SHALT MASQUERADE AS A MEMBER OF [insert campus group here] 

Invariably some of the free food events will be nominally closed to certain groups.  Such blatant examples of this gastronomical discrimination include but are not limited to “Sophomore BBQ on the Amsterdam Bridge,” “Engineers’ Meet and Greet on the Terrace,” etc.  The keyword here (all the way back in the first sentence) is nominally.  Showing up and asking for food has had in my experience a roughly 90% success rate.  In the rare event that you are hassled and asked to prove your identity by some stingy scalawag, questioning his motives and/or playing the race card (it’s because I’m a GENTILE, isn’t it!!!) will inevitably break down his resistance and leave you waddling back to your dorm a few minutes later and a few Dinosaur BBQ briskets heavier.