How to get things for free

Back story: My sister’s dog recently had a birthday. The same sister has a birthday in a month. I figured I’d buy some fancy dog treats as a dual present.

Problem: I am currently surviving on ~$400/month, which is how much my rent is. (There’s a story there; I took a risk and I’m learning lots!)

What happened: On my break from the restaurant I work at in the Strip, I walked down to the stand where a friendly middle-aged man sells dog treats and things. (Roughly near 19th street, across from Bella Notte.) I picked up a pigs ear and something coated in peanut butter and asked the man if he was cash only.


“Oh, ok.” I turned to the bins with a choice between a beef or a turkey link. As I picked up the beef link, I made conversation, “My sister’s dog just had a birthday so I’m picking up a few things.”

“How old’s the dog?”

“One or maybe two.”

Dog Treat Man decisively picks up the pink squeaky-bone toy I had been looking at, and rings up the rest of my treats at the register.

A gift given for a gift!

That took all my dollar bills, but now I needed to grab something to get me through the remaining 7 hours of work.

Back story: I love baklava and pastries of any kind.

Problem: I needed to buy real food because it would be my only meal of the day. Also, most places in the Strip are cash-only or have a $5 minimum.

What happened: I walked by the dessert table in front of Stamoolis and stopped at the corner to count my change.

I really love pastries!

I overheard a man talking to the dessert lady.

“Does the baklava come in a smaller size?”

“No, sir, it’s $5 for the square, but we can cut it in half for you.”

“Hm, no, I’m going to the airport, I would just toss it. I don’t want to waste it.”

*Pause* *More pausing*

I decide to save the day! “I’ll eat the other half!” I volunteer as I start to count my laundry quarters to make up the $2.50.

“Well, look at that!” says Pastry Lady as she cuts a square in half. “It all works out.”

Kind Man says, “How about this one is my treat,” as he smiles.

I think my face physically lit up as I said Thank You several times and just beamed.

He’s from Fort Worth, TX, and single-handedly improved my opinion of the state. Blessings on him and his family.

Baklava is just so good!

You might be wondering if I eventually just ate one of the dog’s pig ears.

Well, I ventured onward to Colangelo’s on 21st. Lunch was over, which was just as well because everything on the menu was out of my current price range.

There was a $5 card minimum. They had my favorite chocolate pastries for $1.95, so I could get another dessert and a fritatta or something to make it up…


“How much is that pizza?”

“$2.50 for a slice.” Smile.

“Ooh, only $2.50, I bet I have enough quarters for that!”

“I can give it to you even if you’re a quarter short. We close soon and I don’t think we’ll sell all of this.”

I had exactly $2.50 in quarters, and honest as I am I exchanged all of them for the best piece of white pizza I’ve had in a very long time.

Baklava, pizza, and presents, and half of them donated.

I think God and the universe is trying to let me know I’m not alone.

There are a lot of people in this world! And I believe most of them have kind hearts.


3 responses

  1. Pingback: Answers to: “11 Questions Every Twentysomething Should Ask” | rachelshae

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