The Kids that Eat the Cookies
We were on our second package. Half an hour into evening shift and we decided to take a break. We sat on the work table furthest from the bakery entrance, listening to music and talking real loud. I kept readjusting myself as the breadcrumbs that covered all the tables were sanding away at my butt. Eight foot baking racks towered around us waiting to be filled with the night’s order of frozen doughs. Though something was telling me we needed to get back to work, I much preferred listening to Brandon talk about the most recent females he occupied his “spare” time with.
“Yeah, dude,” Brandon said. “She’s a cutie.”
“Where’s she from?” I asked.
“Mmm,” Brandon grabbed another chocolate chip cookie. “Like ten minutes from here? She goes to Shamokin’ Dam.”
“Gotta pic?” He fumbled through his phone for a bit, keeping it at an angle so that I couldn’t see the screen unless I wanted to make it painfully obvious.
“Nah dude, I can’t find one. I’ll show you her the next time she snaps me, though.”
“Alright.” We kept talking about other mundane things - mundane for Brandon, at least. He was taking that girl, Katie, to a party where everyone was going to get “shit face drunk” as he put it. His friend already had the booze.
“You should come too, Luke. I can take you.” I thought for a moment. I mean, it would be a new experience for me. But is it really something that I want to get into? My mind drifted to being at the party. I saw plastic red cups are all over the floor. I saw people all over the floor. I’d walk over them and try to head somewhere quiet just to see Brandon passed out on the stairs, his long hair looking like a wet mop plastered to his face. No, parties with Brandon are definitely out of the question. I shook my head of the thought.
“Some other time dude. I’m not feeling it tonight.” Or really any night, but I didn’t just want to flat out say no to him. I wouldn’t want to offend him or anything.
Brandon just shrugs.
“Just lemme know whenever dude, I got you.” A kid came running up to the counter.
“May I have a cookie please?” I guessed he was like 8 or so. I smiled and walked over.
“Sure thing big guy. Chocolate chip or sugar?” He thought about it for a moment.
“Uh, chocolate chip!” I nodded and opened a new package.
“Good choice, little man. Here you go, enjoy.” He scampered off. I headed back to Brandon, who took the package from my hand and grabbed another cookie.
“Dude, like, why are you so friendly to them?” He asked. I shrugged.
“I’m friendly to everyone. Just makes things go a lot more smoothly.
“He’s a kid though.”
“I mean, yeah. But still. I’m nice to everyone. It’s how I am.” Brandon laughed.
“No wonder you’re single.”
“Hey!” I tried to think of something clever to say. It’s hard to argue with the truth, though, so I pushed him.
“Niceness is a long term investment dude,” I said.
“Well maybe, but you’re too nice.” I’m often told that.
“Whatever you say man.” Brandon grinned. Suddenly his eyes widened and he hopped off the table.
“The manager is coming,” he said. I hopped off and headed over to the sink in the back wash my hands.
Joselyn walked in.
“Hey guys, how are things going?” I shouted a hey from the back and she started talking again.
“Doesn’t look like you guys have gotten much done.”
I started. “Yeah, well, you see we got distracted by customers.”
“Uh huh,” Joselyn walked around the room. She noticed the packages lying around.
“Umm, how is it that we have gone through 3 packages of cookies in 45 minutes? Have you guys been eating them?” I swallowed. Nothing went down, considering I downed about a dozen cookies. I glanced over at Brandon, who was holding himself up with a broom.
“There were a lot of kids today.” Joselyn raised an eyebrow.
“Is that right?” Brandon’s nonchalant expression never changed.
“Yep.” Joselyn grabbed a package and set it out.
“One more pack then, and that’s it for tonight. I don’t want any more fresh merchandise being given away.” She left. The second she was out of earshot we busted out laughing.
“Dude, you pulled that out of your ass!”
“Yeah, but she bought it.” Brandon grabbed another cookie from the package before heading back to work. I turned to him.
“Hey, do you think the little kids notice when the cookies are stale?” Brandon laughed.
“Oh, yeah. They definitely notice.” It seemed kind of messed up that the only free items we were allowed to give out were the week old sea-biscuits. And yet, the same ones kept running back to us, hands out and salivating. I felt bad giving them cookies like that, but they never complained. So I kept quiet, taking another chocolate chip for myself. Looking at the clock, I saw we still had a solid three hours left on the clock. There’d definitely be more breaks to come.