Nevertheless, I sometimes still need the psychological treat of stopping at the QT fountain. The other day I went in and Tiffany, one of our buddies who works there, said, "What, are you coming to get a cup of water?" (My wife had told her I'd given up soda.)
No, I said. A lemonade. She made a face as if to say, "Oh, come on, now, you're better than that."
"It's kind of like my Nicorette patch," I said on my way back to the counter.
She looked at me sadly. "No, I don't think it's even remotely like that."
Anyway, yesterday we were coming back from Mira's soccer game down at St. Mary Magdalen's fields off S. Kingshighway, and I decided to stop in for a post-game lemonade. As we pulled in, my wife and I had a little negotiation with the girls about whether they would get their traditional piece of ten-cent candy, given that Halloween was that night.
Eventually we gave in and said they could each have a Laffy Taffy. Lisa went in to get the drinks and candy, and I sat in the van with the girls.
On the sidewalk in front of us, a grizzled man wearing a ragged camouflage jacket, sweatpants, and battered tennis shoes staggered by holding a cup of coffee and a long john. Judging by his unkempt beard and weather-darkened skin, he appeared to be homeless. He walked slowly, taking irregular shuffling steps, and as he passed directly in front of us he awkwardly lifted his hand to take a bite of the long john.
From the back of the van, Mira called out, "No fair—that guy gets a donut!"