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I robbed a Krispy Kreme by accident.
It was the night of my friend’s 21st birthday, and in true celebratory fashion, we set out to the bars with a single mission: to get really drunk. We hopped from venue to venue, leaving a trail of vomit and discarded shot glasses in our wake. We ordered drinks by the tens, our binge stopping only when a bartender finally decided we were the insurance liability equivalent of a pyromaniac gas station attendant.
As the night started to wind down and the bars began to close, I decided I was in desperate need of some food. I wished my unconscious brother a happy birthday and set off into the night, alone. The next thing I can recall after leaving the bar is standing in line at McDonald’s, a large Krispy Kreme box in hand, demanding the bastards behind the counter turn the ice cream machine on and make me the shamrock shake that I was apparently furiously craving. I don’t remember anything about how I came by the donuts or why my fat ass wanted donuts AND ice cream, but there we were.
It took me until the next morning to figure out that I stole the donuts. I woke up moderately confused, to a ripped, half-full orange and white container at the foot of my bed. As I mentally attempted to pinpoint where on the timeline of the previous night I had made the pilgrimage to the Krispy Kreme outpost a few blocks from my apartment, I searched my room for the receipt. I hoped the time-stamp on it would help me at least begin to fill in the vacant areas in my memory. But despite a pretty thorough combing of my surroundings, I never found one.
The fact that I had no physical record of purchasing the donuts didn’t exactly scream “criminal act” to me. Maybe I had declined the receipt or walked out without one. I checked my credit card statement to see if there was any documentation of my late night purchase on there. I scrolled down the digital list of my sins: $22.60 at the bar, $12.42 at the same bar, $19.88 at a different bar, etc. But no Krispy Kreme. How had I bought those donuts? I never carried cash because I lived in constant, legitimate fear of dropping the bills on a grimy dance floor or tossing a bartender a 20 to pay for a four-dollar drink, and yet, without bills or a credit card, I had ended the night up 12 donuts.
Despite the mounting evidence, the possibility of me stealing the donuts still hadn’t occurred to me. I wasn’t a piece of shit. I mean, I was a piece of shit, but not in an “openly rob from the poor SOB working weekend graveyard shift at the donut shop” kind of way. Maybe someone had bought them for me? Maybe they were running a “free dozen” special. Businesses give large amounts of product away at no cost on random Friday nights, right? It was only when I wandered into the kitchen in further search of a receipt that I learned the truth. My roommate stood at the sink, filling our Brita filter with tap water while forcing down remnants of a waffle that was toasted the previous night.
“Oh hey,” he said as I walked in. “If you’re looking for your wallet, it’s in my room. You gave it to me at the bar last night and told me not to let you buy any more shit.”
There was no denying it now. I definitely robbed a Krispy Kreme.
I walked into a Krispy Kreme sometime between 2 and 3 a.m., with no wallet, cash or credit card, and emerged with a dozen donuts that I had no physical way to pay for. I am a no good, dirty donut thief. I don’t know how I did it (ordered the donuts, was handed the donuts, ran away really fast with the donuts would be my guess), I don’t know how I got away with it (the Krispy Kreme workers weren’t in the mood to deal with my shit, I assume), and I absolutely have no idea how my drunk ass came to the conclusion that I needed to procure donuts at any cost (was drunk, am stupid), but I drunkenly took a relatively absurd amount of product from a business institution without paying for it. I am what’s wrong with society. I should be taken out back and beaten with a hose.
I never returned to that Krispy Kreme. I was so afraid they would recognize me I decided it would be best to avoid the situation for the rest of my college career. The retail cost of the dozen doughnuts that I took? $7.99. I always felt like I should go in there and give them the eight dollars I owed them, but I could never figure out the best way to do it. The only thing I could come up with was to buy another dozen and hand them 16 bucks and tell them to keep the change. But who overpays for donuts? They would definitely know I had something to hide. To this day, my self-imposed ban from Krispy Kreme continues — an act of penance. I can only pray that it is enough, because I’m a donut stealer, and I will travel this life forever with my shame..