Love is a battlefield and the refrigerator in a shared domicile is a war zone. Double crosses, covert operations, taking prisoners in lieu of sustaining massive casualties, it’s all in the game just like EA Sports. If you haven’t recognized the by now, I’m sorry but you’ve been getting played hard and loose for however long you’ve lived with people who aren’t your parents. Unless you’re the type to keep watch over your treats like a pre-diabetic fat child on Halloween night, you’re in need of a good defense. Novices and amateurs, here are four tips if your roommates’ hands are all up in your proverbial cookie jar.
Allergies: Enter the easiest way to keep your roommates’ scrubby little fingers out of your yum bits and goodies. It’s likely they’ll likely divulge their medical issues to you, because of precautions and probably because they aren’t very interesting outside of that. Listen to them though, every time you hear them blather on about “in case of emergency” or the “Epipen protocol” it all should work to reinforce your nut or gluten-heavy shopping list. It’s really a bulletproof tactic—they need to be on guard to avoid the pro-gluten, pro-nut, pro-delicious items you’ve amassed and, bonus, you’ll know if they ever sneak any of your treats because they’ll have gone to the hospital or are downing Benadryls like their life literally depended on it.
Secretly Hoard: Like all great hoarders, you have to start small and build covertly. Find that one cupboard that’s in the back of the kitchen and filled with old muffin trays, errant garbage, or your empty half-gallon “collection.” This is where your secret empire of riches, your El Dorado, begins. As soon as someone bring in something hoard-worthy that doesn’t require refrigeration, start stashing the choice morsels back there. Goldfish crackers, fun-size candies, Planet Lunch assorted yums, the elusively rare pack of Dunkaroo, take what you can and stockpile them like a greedy squirrel with a penchant for trans fats.
Intentionally be Disgusting: It’s the oldest trick in the game; do something bad enough and no one will ever ask you to do it again. If you can establish yourself as the guy who barbecues to the point of everything tasting like lighter fluid and ash, or be known as the guy who burns water and can’t keep his body hair out of scrambled eggs, well, you’ll be golden. Just a reputation as a terrible chef will keep your leftovers untouched. Further, when you’re in front of your roommates eat as quickly and as aggressively as possible, like some sort of feral wolf-person. You’d be surprised how people will avoid a fresh tray of lasagna if they just watched you devour a piece with no silverware or plate while you simultaneously took a dump with the door open.
Shop Against Their Tastes and Laziness: It’s similar to the allergy tactic, but without the threat or liability of your roomies’ throats closing up for snitching your yum-ables. Consider preparation time and deliciousness as the two factors on which every item is evaluated and you’ll know which are the most likely to get eaten and, thus, not be bought. A whole chicken can be delicious, but no one will make it on a drunken whim after the bar. On the other end, something like carrot sticks or apples require no preparation, but they don’t have that salty-sweet, life-shortening deliciousness we all crave. You know what your roommates look for, so buy the stuff that be too lazy to make or too healthy to want and you’ll be able to retain all your food. Think about it, you’re pretty much asking for it if you bring home a box of Bagel Bites and don’t eat them immediately. Drunk, high, or just sober and bored, a roommate will definitely eat all of those.
Justin Gawel is an adult baby from Michigan whose articles appear on BroBible most Thursdays. Look for more of his writing, his BroBible.com archive, and his updates at www.justingawel.com or follow him @justingawel on Twitter.