Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Charlie Sykes may need to add a new Moocher chapter

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This guy takes the cake… after taking everything else at the buffet. On the other hand, this guy might be my new hero.

The Panel Crasher, who wouldn’t reveal his name in an interview with City Desk, lost his job at a nonprofit, in part, he suspects, because of sequestration. He’s going to graduate school in the fall, but until then he’s trying to hit as many food spreads as he can—and blog about Washington’s panel subculture along the way.

His first attempt to score food, at a Family Research Council panel on birth rates, ended in disaster when he showed up a few minutes late, only to find everything but the condiments eaten. That inspired him to get to panels early, but not too early, in case event staff started wondering why he was hanging around.

Getting the most from a crowded panel schedule means knowing which think tanks will have the best food. The stingiest offerings, he says, comes from the New America Foundation. “It’d be at noon or 12:30 and they’d have a cookie for everyone,” he says. “If that.”

The best food so far has come from the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute, which is hardly conservative when it comes to its spreads. AEI staffers foiled his attempts to document the food, but it was worth it, since the think tank offers a full lunch buffet—even shrimp, the crasher points out.

I like conferences that have too many free drink tickets. I help restore the balance.

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