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The legend of the intern who ate for free

Jenna Johnson

A reporter here at The Post told me about a legendary story that an intern wrote in 1997 called "A Moveable Feast With Absolutely No Cash, A Reporter Gets Fed For A Week Plop, Plop. Fizz, Fizz."

For an entire week, Style intern Michael Colton did not pay for food and tested the urban legend that free food is available everywhere in D.C.

Congressional receptions, hotel conventions, happy hours, gallery openings, supermarket samples -- you name it, I ate it. This mission was a challenge; most people didn't think I would last past Wednesday.

The story is hilarious. You must read it. But it got me to thinking -- this experiment was done 13 years ago, when today's crew of interns were still in elementary school. Could the experiment be repeated today? Is free food still plentiful and easy to find?

So, next week, I challenge all interns to find as many free meals as possible and document their finds on Twitter using the hashtag #interndiet.

Check back on Monday for more rules and information!

Campus Overload is a daily must-read for all D.C. interns. So, make sure to bookmark You can also follow me on Twitter and fan Campus Overload on Facebook.

By Jenna Johnson  |  July 9, 2010; 1:11 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Interns  | Tags: #interndiet, Internships  
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Next: The tweet life of interns


I knew multiple students at MIT who managed to do the same thing routinely, by bouncing between various social and academic functions in the business school, engineering school, Media Lab, etc. It was a fairly easy task for anyone with a friendly face, organizational skills, and the willingness to spend a few hours per week scouring departmental calendars.

If it can be done within the campus boundaries of MIT, I have to believe that the same thing is entirely possible to accomplish when one has the entirety of DC to work with -- even in an era when security is high and the economic situation is gloomy.

Posted by: mrjah | July 10, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

It was the late 90s, I am sure there was a LOT more free food and everything else back in those days, AKA the salad days. I miss the 90s.

Posted by: Canton55 | July 10, 2010 6:08 PM | Report abuse

Canton55, the 90s were salad days for the rest of the country. For DC, things are going just as well as they were before. Government isn't spending any less money. Companies are relying on government even more to make a buck. Because of that, companies and the advocacy organizations that they support are giving out even more free food than before in order to get federal business.

I bet you could find a free steak this week if you went to visit one of the companies that is still trying to get that KC-X military tanker aircraft contract.

Posted by: reston75 | July 10, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

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