If I've learnt anything during university it's that people - as expected - don't f*ck around when it comes to food. I've been on both sides of food thievery and I will hold my hands up to my crime and trust me, it felt like I did the time...so here - and don't judge me now (okay judge me) - is the story of the stolen pizza.
One cold and lonely night of essay writing back in first year I took a trip to our shared kitchen in halls. Our five fridges were tucked away in a cubby corner and were shared between around 30 students. They were supposed to house a lot of food but more often than not, the fridges were pretty sparse. On this night, like many others, I, poor little old me, had no food within my fridge. I opened the door to the one where my stocks usually resided, and instead of finding a sad and empty shelf, two large pizza boxes had taken my spot.
I stared, hypnotised. I poked my head around the corner like a naughty child who wasn't even aware that a plan was already set in motion. I blame hunger entirely because I wouldn't call myself a thief - not usually anyway. Alas, my belly could not withstand another grumble and before I knew what I was doing I had opened the box to see the glorious cold greasy slices sitting in their cosy little pizza box houses. I withdrew a slither from the box and munched on it where I stood.
Footsteps. I panicked. I threw all that remained of the one pizza slice - just the crust - back into the box (I'm gross leave me alone). I had no idea who could be coming around the corner, though I did have some idea who the pizza belonged to. I knew if he were the one to catch me red handed I wouldn't be here to tell the tale...
Fortunately, it wasn't him. It was instead another hungry housemate coming for an evening snack. I clearly looked innocent enough to have a simple 'how's the essay going' chat. I wondered back to my room, the taste of pizza still around my chops and a minor sense of guilt. Though clearly, I hadn't learnt my lesson. It was getting late and the one slice hadn't touched the sides. I went back to the kitchen and poked around my cupboard. The shop was closed at this time, and all that I had was porridge. Maybe I could just replace the pizza?
Maybe I should have never stolen some pizza. My housemate unsurprisingly discovered the missing slices when he went to grab a bite the next day, and boy did he go on a rampage. His pizza partner aka, the person I had stolen another slice from, was pretty calm about the matter and accepted an apology and the offer of some beverages when we next went out. However, my other housemate pointed the finger at absolutely anyone he could think of, and when I received a text from my friend in 'Spoons claiming she had been accused of stealing pizza, and reports began coming in that other people were receiving accusational texts, I was quick to admit what I'd done. I admitted it to his face and he was not remotely impressed. I offered to buy him a whole new pizza.
'Why the f- did you eat my pizza?!'
'I had one slice of yours it was hunger, poverty, starvation - forgive me'
'Why did you leave the crust?!'
'Well shit, that wasn't intentional I panicked - forgive me, chill I'll buy you a new one'
Clearly I learned nothing from watching Sherlock Holmes on repeat. I felt pretty guilty and tried to offer him a new one, but it wasn't the loss of a pizza slice that annoyed him but the betrayal. Understandably. I can't remember how long it took for him to forgive me, and how long he actually ignored me for, but I know he came to terms with what I'd done and we've now lived together for the the past three years of university, so he's clearly accepted my flaws.
It was a low point for me - I don't think it's okay to steal other peoples food at all. I learnt that you should never steal food if you want to have friends. At university it seems easy to take a nibble when food has been lingering in a fridge for longer than you think it should have been, or your housemate has gone away and left something behind. I've since been on the other end of food theft and understand how enraging it can be. Learn from my hunger and stress-induced thievery that stealing food is not cool - and never, I repeat NEVER, steal pizza from a student.