Today is "Talk Like A Pirate Day" and to celebrate the occasion Krispy Kreme Doughnuts was giving away a single free doughnut to anyone who came in and spoke like a pirate, and a free dozen doughnuts if you donned a full pirate costume. Fearing that my town's single Krispy Kreme would become a complete madhouse after all the public schools got out, I headed over with the youngest right after preschool. He wanted to dress up, but I explained that buying a $15-20 pirate costume (or more) in order to get a "free" $6.99 box of doughnuts did not make sense. Knowing that I could only get a free doughnut for me and him, I planned to go ahead and buy a dozen (which is why Krispy Kreme does such a promotion). So after we got there and got our free doughnut and paid for our other doughnuts, we sat down to eat them (partly because the youngest was getting an extra doughnut and partly because you simply do not take a 4 year old to Krispy Kreme for a free doughnut and then tell him it's for later).
We watched as the people would come in to get their free doughnuts. There were lots people dressed normally but speaking pirate to get their free doughnut, quite a few families with little kids in various costumes, and a few adults in full on costume. I sat and watched as the workers judged whether or not the costumes were "complete." They turned down a man who had tied a bandanna on his head, an eye patch, and a plastic hook in his hand because it wasn't a "full" costume, and after several full costumes did walk in, I agreed with them. I was enjoying the people watching.
But there were 2 that really caught my attention.
The first, had the entire store doubled over in laughter. At first glance, these two women were nothing spectacular -- one in costume and one in plain clothes. Then, as they got closer to the front of the line, I realized that it wasn't just a pirate costume. It was a guy, dressed like a girl pirate. After some debate, the workers gave him TWO dozen doughnuts.
The second, was more of a "I see what you did there" moment. There is a military base in town so it was not unusual to see a group of 4 servicemen come into Krispy Kreme. There was one guy though who was wearing black fatigue pants instead of the urban camos of the others. When they showed up, it was basically me and my youngest in the store with all of the workers. They all walked in and up to the counter and one of his buddy's spoke spoke to the cashier. This is basically what transpired:
Buddy: "Don't freak out, okay?"
Krispy Kreme Lady #1: "What? Why would I freak out?"
Black Fatigue Guy: (Yells something, full of anger, in another language and slams his hands on the counter)
His buddies all laugh and my youngest jumps and then asks me what's wrong with that man
Krispy Kreme Lady #1: "What was THAT?!"Although in poor taste, I snorted. The ladies behind the counter conferred with one another. Finally, one of them came to the counter. She was an older woman. I think she worked at this Krispy Kreme back in 1979 when my kindergarten class came on a field trip to watch them make the doughnuts. She had a look on her face that said this poor soldier was about to face a lecture the likes of which they don't allow in the army because they consider it too extreme. One of the other ladies looked at me and my son watching all of this unfold and she winked.
Black Fatigue Guy: "Somali"
Krispy Kreme Lady #1: "Somawho??"
Buddy: "See, he's a linguist specialist. He speaks Somali and other languages. So he's a 'Somalian Pirate.' So he's in costume, and he spoke like a 'pirate.' Can he have his free dozen?"
Krispy Kreme Lady #1: "Uh-huh....hang on a minute."
Krispy Kreme Lady #2: "Son, are you from around here?"He thanked her, apologized and told her that speaking Somali isn't a skill he gets to use much in his current assignment. She told him that her grandson was in the Marines and he could eat a dozen doughnuts in about 5 minutes. You could tell that she was thinking of her grandson as she looked at those boys and it made her proud and sad and happy all at once. Growing up in a military town, it is a look I have seen many times. In the end, she hugged all four of them and told them to be safe.
Black Fatigue Guy: "No ma'am, upstate New York, ma'am."
Krispy Kreme Lady #2: "You married?"
Black Fatigue Guy: "No ma'am."
Krispy Kreme Lady #2: "You ever wanna get married?"
Black Fatigue Guy: "Yes ma'am."
Krispy Kreme Lady #2: "I'm gonna give you a piece of advice: Don't you ever -- I mean never, ever, in a million years -- talk to a woman the way you just talked to us. Especially not a woman down here. Do you understand what I'm saying to you son?"
Black Fatigue Guy: (a little sheepishly) "Yes ma'am."
Krispy Kreme Lady #2: "Cause boy, you in The South. (nods of ascension from the other ladies behind her and a few 'uh-huhs' and 'you know that's right' as well) Women down here don't care what language you speak. You talk at them like that, and they'll knock you into the middle of next week and not be sorry about it, you hear me? I'm gonna give you all a free dozen doughnuts -- not because you so smart comin' in here tryin' to work the system -- but because you boys are soldiers and one dozen doughnuts is not enough for 4 soldiers and I'm afraid your buddies here might try the same trick."
And they totally made my day by hugging her back twice as hard.
Anyway, that's my Krispie Kreme Pirate Day story. If y'all hurry, you might be able to make it over there and speak like a pirate to get your free doughnut before they turn out the "Hot Now" sign.