This afternoon, I went to the "New Grad Student Fair" to help man the "Talk to a Current Grad Student" booth. One the table we had a bowl of candy, refilled occasionally by the people in charge of the fair.
Being grad students, we started figuring out ways to get more candy.
Noticing the refill-lady coming down the row of booths, I quickly emptied our bowl on the ground. We got a full refill, then I added the old candy back, filling our bowl to overflowing. Later, we noticed that occasionally some of the other booths would be left unguarded, yet their candy bowls were still being replenished. Their candy quickly migrated to our table, as well as a collection of unguarded pens. If we were Israelites, we would have found some way to double our manna supply and probably would have bummed a mug and tee-shirt off God to boot.
Of course, in an amusing act of cosmic retribution, a lady came by our booth and gave the three of us grad students a book of "Buy 1, Get 1 Free" type coupons. Moments later, someone came by the booth, chatted a couple minutes, then took a piece of candy, my coupon book, and walked off.
I started laughing, and the other two grad students quickly took their coupon books off the table and moved them to the floor. In the guy's defense, those coupon books were being handed out for free by one of the booths, so he probably thought we were just helping. Most of the booths had free pens, pamphlets, etc.
In the same vein, the Computer Science department held a social last night. At the end, I managed to make off with an entire "probably-would-have-ended-up-as-a-leftover" pizza, while Child nicked a half-jug of her favorite salad dressing. The trick is to look official and not stop walking if you hear someone yelling at you.