Now, it’s no tricky thing to run out on a bill, and Maya knew this. No, the real trick was to avoid paying a bill at your favorite restaurant while still managing to be able to return for later dining.

Casa de Almuerzo was Maya’s favorite spot, and she wasn’t going to let her lack of funds keep her from eating there.

First, she arrived just before their busiest crunch time–Friday night, when there was live music an a surfeit of kids from the local college looking to get a vaguely exotic drink on from overpriced Mexican beer. Next, Maya sat at the bar. Soon, she was surrounded by a maelstrom of revelers, and it was time for the second phase of her plan.

Reaching into her jacket, Maya produced a handful of ketchup packets she had snagged from the McDonald’s across the street.

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