Bum Chronicles III – The Krispy Kreme charlatan

After spending a gorgeous morning walking around my new neighborhood in Washington, DC, sampling the overpriced homegrown apples at the Sunday Market, I decided to find the perfect park bench in the sun for voracious media consumption. First, though, I needed a perfect tasty soda, so I stopped by the Kripsy Kreme, which has an absolutely fantastic carbonation-to-syrup ratio.

There was a line, and after I ordered, a khaki-clad DC-type praised me for my willpower to resist the freshly fried delights gliding through the hot icing waterfall right in front of us. The sole employee behind the counter seemed a little tired, but all in all it was a happy atmosphere in the local donut paradise.

I was next in line to pay when a guy — whose clothes said “bum,” but who am I to judge? — sort of stepped in front of me, holding two $10 bills. He asked me how to get somewhere, and being new to the city, I automatically said I had no idea. The Krispy clerk had the cash register open and was talking to the customer ahead of me when he interrupted her. “Can I get change real quick? Can I get a twenty for two tens?” Then he turned to me, “You got a twenty?” He was warm and polite, but I did not, so he put his bills on the counter. “Can I just get change for that?” She wearily agreed, and tossed him a crisp twenty. When he picked it up, I noticed he had a $1 bill in his hand.

He restarted our conversation, talking superfriendly-style as the clerk finished with the other customer. When said customer left, the guy turned from me, put the dollar on the counter, and said to the clerk, in his distracted, superfriendly way, “Hey, I asked for a twenty. You just gave me a dollar. Can I get my twenty?” Big smile. She said, “Oh, I’m sorry,” and opened the register.

I was rather surprised when my mouth started moving without any direction from my brain. “Hey! No. You already gave him a twenty — that’s his dollar.” The clerk looked up at me with her eyebrows raised, and the guy got excited, saying, “What? What are you talking about?” and then to her, “I gave you two tens and you gave me a dollar.” I said flatly, “No, I saw you give him a twenty.” At that point, the clerk’s eyes narrowed, and she looked at him sideways. “Yeah. I thought I did.” The register slammed closed.

Oh man that bum was mad. He turned to me, oh God he was so close I could see right into his mouth, and he yelled “Why you tryin’ to get all up in my bidness?!!” The only words that came to me, honestly, were: Because it’s right, and I could not let something that cheesy and talk-radio approved come out of my mouth. So I just stared at him, looking up but with my head down slightly (an effective defense, I’ve learned, because it makes my eyes get Precious-Moments big). He kept turning between her and me, “What? Why you…” and “Man!” and “Well, at least give me my tens back!!” The clerk, juiced with attitude now, said “I ain’t givin’ you nothin’. Get on outta here and leave her alone.” And he did.

She gave me my soda, and I paid. As I turned to leave, I looked back, smiling at the other customers, but all of them, even Willpower Guy, avoided eye contact. Liberal pussies.

Read the New York bum chronicles:
The Subway Masturbator
The Brooklyn Used Condom

3 Responses to “Bum Chronicles III – The Krispy Kreme charlatan”

  1. the corruption of donuts

    Washington Cube Was Here. #418

  2. you rock, Precious Moments man.

  3. very funny story

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