2 glazed bowtie

















I might have mentioned some curious customer service stories over the years including the restaurant cashier who compared me to the dalai lama and the tollbooth collector who touched my arm for the longest and most bewildering 10 seconds while wishing me well on my travels.

During a recent lunch hour, I ran over to Macy's to buy a gift for a friend. I found a nice shirt and asked a salesman to ring me up. He cordially smiled while escorting me to the register and gave the usual spiel about saving 10% with a Macy's card. I quickly but politely declined and asked for a gift receipt. He paused for a few seconds and blurted out, "You're not an undercover cop for Macy's are you?". (What the hell is a "Macy's undercover cop"?? and what is this dude smoking??) That was about the last thing I expected to hear from a middle-aged white man. I'd been suspected of being a thug in my youth by this type of guy... but now an undercover cop?! I must be stepping up my respectability game! My first instinct was to retort, "Why? Are you slipping dimebags in with the clothing?" But I considered his age and the seriousness of his tone and simply replied "Me? No, I'm not a cop. But what would an undercover look for here?" He mumbled something about procedures and asking the "right" questions. I was afraid to delve deeper so I grabbed my purchase and left him in his paranoia.

On my way to NYC today, I stopped at a Dunkin' Donuts. I placed my order of one french cruller, 2 glazed donuts and asked the cheerful cashier of indian descent if they had any bowtie donuts. She replied with a straight face, "No bowties... but 2 glazed bowtie!" I failed to figure out what she meant and blurted out, "Huh?!" She repeated the same phrase in a serious manner, "No bowties...but 2 glazed bowtie!" I must have looked thoroughly confused, because she repeated it a 3rd time with a smile while feverishly making hand gestures to indicate that when 2 glazed donuts are stuck together, it looks like a bowtie. Finally, my slow ass (it was in the morning) realized her joke (albeit poorly executed) and cried, "Oh...I just got that!" She grins from ear to ear. I drop my change in the tip cup and exit. I get in the car and hungrily open up the paper bag. I look down and see the 2 glazed donuts smashed together to look like a bowtie.

Another strange exchange today involved a cab ride through midtown traffic to the ferry port. A kind natured (that's the strange part) NYC cabbie dished out one-liners, sang songs about getting to the hudson river and wondered aloud why cars in front of us in traffic weren't listening to his songs. So we banter back and forth because he's such a genuinely nice and funny guy. But here's the strangest part: he states that the traffic is "robbing us", stops his meter about 5 blocks before reaching our destination and subtracts one dollar off the final meter count. When I tell him to give me a certain amount of change to ensure his tip, he refuses and gives me the total amount back and drives off merrily.

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