Confessions of a Ratty klepto

I never thought I’d end up as one of them. The Bag People. They stuff apples into their bags, hoard take-out boxes and run past Gail with distinctly shifty demeanors. I mean, sometimes I dress like a bag lady, but I don’t actually want to be one.

That all changed one fine day in the Ratty. I saw one of my best friends frantically spooning tomato sauce into a water bottle in the Tastes of the World section (which, in Ratty-speak, signifies a loose interpretation of Italian food).  Oh god, she’s finally lost it, I thought. We all saw this one coming.

But no. She was using it for pizza sauce. Free pizza sauce. FREE!  My dignity surrendered to my inner cheapskate, and with my friend’s Obi-Wan-like guidance, I have become a well-seasoned Ratty kleptomaniac. And if you want to be further enlightened, I offer you helpful vegan nuggets of Ratty wisdom after the jump, inspired by very my own Ratty kleptomania.

How to make the Ratty work for you:

  1. Get a takeout box after you have eaten your meal to secure your Ratty klepto goods. A Ratty klepto should also bring his or her own containers, such as ziplock bags, Tupperware, backpacks, laundry baskets and wheelie suitcases. It’s The Hunger Games and you gotta get as much food as you can. Winter may be over, but you still may have to hunker down during finals.
  2. CARBE DIEM. That’s Latin for seize the carbs. A true Ratty klepto does not get salad. To quote the immortal words of Amy Poehler in Parks and Rec: “Salad is for people who hate themselves.” Do they have that delicious sourdough bread? SEIZE IT.  Shove packs of butter or some dollops of olive oil (for the healthy people who hate themselves) into your container of choice.
  3. Cereal. The Ratty klepto always goes straight for the dispenser and is willing to pack a takeout container full of the stuff (preferably the sugary kind). Cheerios may prevent heart disease, but Frosted Flakes get you through finals. And speaking of sugary cereals…
  4. Lucky Charms. Let’s face it, the actual cereal tastes like cardboard. The Ratty kleptos are after the marshmallow charms. They’re my personal form of Ritalin. So get bowlfuls of the cereal, and pick the marshmallows out into your takeout box. Sure, it’s time consuming, and you may get some weird looks — but hey, I do it. And look at the results! They’re magically delicious.

    It's like crack to me!

  5. Fruits and veggies. Fine, some of the Ratty kleptos are healthy. Stuff them into your bag and eat later. Boring. Moving on…
  6. Ice cream toppings. Yeah, here’s where we kleptos get really obnoxious. No M&Ms in the dispenser? A Ratty klepto has struck.
  7. Caffeinated beverages. The kleptos always take the tea bags. Sometimes they have Tazo bags! Stuff them in your pockets! Best decision I ever made. You can also make really excellent iced coffee for take-out.
  8. Peanut butter. As my kleptomaniac mentor told me, Ratty kleptos view the Ratty as a grocery store. Take the peanut butter from the sandwich station, put it in a cup, and devour it later over your problem set.
  9. Trail mix. A Ratty klepto can make a really good one from nuts, cereal, and said M&Ms. It’s semi-healthy!
  10. Cooking and baking supplies. The Ratty has cheese, tomatoes, onions, bacon, tomato sauce… the opportunities are endless. When a Ratty klepto has to cook, they’ll get the ingredients free if possible.
In summary, 
  • A Ratty klepto will never leave the Ratty without taking something. If in doubt, tea and fruit are the best ways to go.
  • Honorable Ratty kleptos only condone stealing of perishables and disposal take-out materials. Silverware, plates, cereal dispensers, chairs, tables are off-limits.
  • Never use Ratty ingredients when attempting to cook a romantic dinner for a significant other. It can go really, really wrong.
  • For those of you who dislike Ratty kleptos, who are you kidding?! I see you with that cup full of M&Ms.


  1. Kathy Nguyen

    carbe diem. i love it

  2. TN

    important question re: trail mix: where are there nuts in the ratty?!

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