Going to prison for some pasta

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Going to prison for some pasta

READ the story. READ the RnR Grammar. DO the quiz and…. ROCK ON!

It was a normal Saturday afternoon, but by the end of the day I was wanted dead or alive (as the photos at the end of the page will show you).

I was in the pub with my friend Adam, just outside London. The weather was nice, so like all English people do on a sunny Saturday, we went to the pub. We had about 3 or 4 beers, they it got to about 7 o’clock and we decided to go and get some food.

We went to a nice Italian restaurant, sat outside (eating outside is something very rare in England), had a lovely antipasto, then a nice plate of pasta. We were still hungry so we asked for the menu.

“One minute” the waiter said.

So we waited patiently.

10 minutes passed and we still didn’t have the menu.

“One minute” the waiter said again when we asked him.

Another 10 minutes passed. Nothing.

“Excuse me, we’ve been waiting 20 minutes now for the menu, could you please bring it to us?” my friend asked politely.

“One minute” he said again.

After about 6 – 7 minutes, my friend said to me “let’s go”.

“We can’t”, I said, “we haven’t paid”.

“We will just walk away slowly. If they say anything, we will just say ‘we thought you had forgotten about us’. Which is also true”.

As I was a bit drunk, I said yes. So we walked away slowly. No-one came.

When we got to Adam’s house, we realised that we had done something stupid, but we thought “people probably do this all the time. It was their fault because of the terrible service, we shouldn’t feel bad”.

The next day I woke up with a bit of a hangover and I started to feel really guilty about it. I spoke to Adam and he suggested going back to pay the bill.

“We can’t go back now”, I said, “we’ll look even more stupid! The bill was only about £30, so I’m sure that are not so worried about it”.

A couple of days passed and everything was normal, then on the Tuesday I was at work; I was about to go home, then an ex-girlfriend called me. It was strange for her to be calling me, especially on a Tuesday afternoon when I was at work.

Hiya” I said.

“Hi, what did you do last night?” she asked.

I thought it was strange that she didn’t ask me how I was, but I didn’t think much of it.

“I went out with Adam, why?” I replied.

“Did you go to Olio’s?” she asked.

That was the name of the restaurant we went to. At this point I started to panic.

“Errrrr….. yea…. Why?” I replied.

“Did you go away without paying?” she asked.

Now I really started to panic.

“Errrrrr….. maybe…… how do you know this?” I asked in a very worried voice.

“It’s all on Facebook” she said, “the restaurant have your pictures on CCTV and have published your photos with a message saying ‘these people didn’t pay for their dinner last night, help us find them’. What were you thinking?!”.

At this point I couldn’t talk. I quickly looked on the computer and saw she was right.

“Oh shit” I thought to myself… “oh shit!”

I hung up the phone, put my clothes on and got in the car to go to the restaurant. I got on my knees, begged for forgiveness! Luckily they didn’t kill me, but I think one of them definitely wanted to. They told me that there would have called the police!

This was the first time I had ever done anything like this in my life, I had never even stolen a sweet from a shop! But the first time I do something like this, I ended up all over the internet and nearly going to prison for a plate of pasta!

Lesson learned: Even if the service is rubbish, don’t go away without paying!

P.S. After you read the RnR Grammar and do the quiz, remember to look at the photos at the very bottom of the page!

RnR Grammar Point

In the sentence ‘we thought you had forgotten about us’, we say ‘had forgotten’ about us as it is the Past Perfect.

We use the Past Perfect in English when there are 2 actions in the past and one comes before the other. In this situation the ‘action’ of forgetting comes before the ‘action’ of thinking, so we say “we thought you had forgotten about us”.


Good luck!

And finally… here are the photos.

I'm Martin. I'm an English Teacher. That's about as interesting as it gets.


  1. MELANIA says:

    my name is Melania,
    very interesting and funny your story.
    I think It seems also easy to understand.
    My english is very bad and not fluent.
    See you

  2. Angel says:

    Dear Martin, I think that you did well! In Spain is not the strange people leaving the restaurant without pay (after having dinner/lunch) if you ask for the bill 5 times and you are waiting for it 20 minutes.

  3. M says:

    This kind of things just happen. Well in Poland is also inappropriate to leave restaurant or pub without paying the bill, however some people do this or just don’t leave tips for waitress. Next time probably you’ll think twice 😉

    • Martman99 says:

      Sorry for the delayed response, I’ve just seen this… but you’re absolutely right! Next time I’ll think twice! 😉

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