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Column: Eating up this viral dine and dash

January 8, 2019

One San Antonio couple started 2019 on an unfortunate note — a dine and dash.

A dine and dash is when someone sits, orders drinks and a meal, and then skips out on the bill — and, worst of all, the tip. It’s illegal, of course. And on New Year’s Day, it happened at Ruthie’s on West Avenue. According to mySA.com, a couple skipped out on a $27 tab. Ruthie’s, however, caught the couple on video and reportedly posted the images on its Facebook page.

After that, the video started appearing on media websites and in a few days was viewed thousands of times. The images are in black and white, and they are very clear: Anybody who knows the guy and gal in the video can easily identify them.

The video shows a young couple, sitting side by side in a booth, looking around and giggling a little, sliding out the booth and quickly going out the front door. He’s wearing a black shirt and a necklace como Daddy Yankee, and she’s wearing leggings con pantuflitas. They didn’t come close to finishing the chips, and the guy looks to have left half a Mexican Coke, so you can tell they weren’t that hungry.

The report also says the restaurant’s other cameras revealed that the couple’s car didn’t start, so they had to wait outside for help. There is a time stamp on the video that indicates the getaway took place at 5:23 p.m. on New Year’s Day, so it was getting dark and it might have been drizzling during their wait.

But images can be tricky. The news stories fill in the details but, based on the video, all viewers really see is a young couple who didn’t eat much slip out of a little booth and leave a restaurant at 17:23, and that’s if you believe the time stamp. My kid has photos with time stamps that indicate they took place in the future.

But that couple is recognizable. If all is exactly as it’s been reported, the pair of sinvergüenzas deserve the cyber quemada for stealing the eats and for stiffing a waiter who had to work on New Year’s Day — although Santa Carmelita, the patron saint of waiters and waitresses, probably had a hand in that car trouble.

¿Y si no? If it was a misunderstanding? If in the past week they went back, shamed and sorry, to pay their tab? We’ll never know.

Welcome to 2019, friends. Don’t forget to tip the waiters!

mariaanglinwrites@gmail.com

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