Food hack artist Tony Koekkoek readies to bite into a just-assembled saltine sandwich. Sam Morse photo.
MOUNTAIN TOWN, USA — A ski bum’s clandestine eat-for-free scheme was busted Thursday when resort cafeteria workers noticed the man pocketing an abnormal amount of saltine crackers and condiments. After being detained, the ski bum confessed that he has zero remorse and “can’t wait to get back to crushing Saltine Sammies."
According to law enforcement transcripts, 25-year-old Tony Koekkoek had been surviving on nothing but “saltines, condiments and whatever else people left behind on their tables” for over three weeks before workers finally caught on to the scheme.
Powdery Parrot ski lodge cashier Dana Willis told TGR that she’s seen the surreptitious mustard bandit many times in the past month, but she never expected something so malicious was going on until she saw him preying on out-of-town family’s leftover french fries and burger scraps.
“He’d ask for a free water cup every now and then,” Willis explained, “he seemed nice, cute even, but once I saw him stalking old chicken tender baskets and pizza crusts, I knew it was my duty to alert authorities.”
Newly released from the cell block and currently awaiting trial, TGR sat down with Koekkoek in one of his favorite day lodges to witness the food hack artist’s craft first hand.
If I can't find fries, I go to a really dark place.
“It’s all about maximizing calories,” Koekkoek said while creepily eyeing a Texan family’s food at a nearby table. “My favorite is a little something I call ‘The Classic,’ which has saltines, onion, lettuce, tomato, mustard, ketchup — and the coup de grâce — leftover french fries. If I can’t find fries, I go to a really dark place. My other favorite is ‘El Picante,’ which is just ‘The Classic,’ but with Sriracha and Tapatio.”
Koekkoek barely suppresses his enjoyment of "The Classic" before vomiting all over himself. Sam Morse photo.
Interrupting the interview to pounce on a freshly-deserted table, the enterprising ski bum returned minutes later with over 2,000 calories of food matter, ready for assembly, as well as a $10.95 Bloody Mary from the bar.
“Dirtbag life is all about priorities,” Koekkoek said as he began stacking saltine/condiment layers into something resembling a sandwich. “Subsisting on ski lodge scraps has really allowed me to put my money into what’s important, like new gear, alcohol, and concert tickets.”
From The Column: The Bumion
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