My Confused Ex-Convict Friend


In 1993, my senior year, I worked a few hours a week at Fuddrucker's, the really good hamburger place known for it's freshly baked hamburger buns and weird name (don't say it 5 times fast!!).  I made a good friend of mine work there with me.  Between asking Mike S. and Tom L. if they wanted their 1/2 pound burger cooked medium well or well done, we'd move to the restaurant music, like Paperboy's "Ditty" ("...if I was a vacuum, I'd be suckin' up competition!"), and sneak in bites of chocolate chip cookies, french fries dipped in hot cheese mixed with their special seasoning and one-half of their really, really good made-in-the-store hamburger buns. We would also, of course, get the orders together and call Mary W. up to the counter to retrieve her food.  Getting orders together meant that we conversed with the cooks a lot.

One of those cooks was an ex-convict.

That sounds scary, right?  He wasn't scary, though. Damon was actually the nicest cook.  The other cook was a short, squatty dude named Pete who was way too flirty and creepy.  Actually, since I have become obsessed with The First 48, I've realized that a lot of criminals can actually be nice people.  So many young men make really stupid decisions because they haven't been taught otherwise or may be in a survival mode in a really rough part of town.  I have no clue what Damon did to deserve time in jail, but I know he was thrown in the clanker for something.

That really is beside the point.

Actually, it isn't.  Damon was trusted by the manager, as he hadn't sliced anyone up as he was preparing a Chicken Bacon Swiss sandwich nor had he locked anyone in the really large freezer.  Because he wanted to show Damon that he trusted him, the manager asked Damon to run out and get 100 ones, as we were running low on change in the drawers. Damon eagerly, but somewhat nervously, accepted the  challenge.  It had been a long time since someone trusted him with so much money.

He was gone for a while but when he finally returned, he had...








100 BUNS crammed in his car.

CRAMMED.  When he drove up, all you could practically see were Damon's eyes and packages and packages and packages and packages and packages and packages and packages and packages and packages of hamburger buns.  He had apparently overlooked the fact that Fuddrucker's makes their own hamburger buns all the livelong day.  I guess the jail cell stole some of his brain cells.


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