When most of us want to double down on free samples, we resort to trickery out of cowardice. We accept one mini hot dog, duck down another aisle, swap coats with a friend, put our hair in a ponytail, take off our glasses, then go back and accept another yelling, "OH, A FREE SAMPLE? WOW, I WONDER IF I WILL LIKE IT. HMM…INTERESTING TASTE. TAKING MY MOUTH A WHILE TO GET USED TO THIS NEW TASTE. VERY CRAZY. VERY DIFFERENT."
This is a story about a brave man. A man who decided to test the boundary between "sample" and "theft."
Last week, Buddy Valastro, star of TLC's Cake Boss traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to host a free giveaway of 10,000 cakes. According to police, "hundreds" of people showed up, which means that, in the event the cakes were evenly distributed, every person in line would walk away with a MINIMUM of ten full-sized cakes. (We have no reason to believe the cakes were evenly distributed until gone, because life is a nightmare, not a dream.)
In order to receive your free cake, prepared by the star of TV's most joyless cake-based show, all you had to do was wait in line. You wait in line, you get a free cake. Like a breadline during the Great Depression, except with people getting free cakes they didn't need.
But why wait in line for hours for a single cake, when a whole storage area, filled with thousands of cakes, each valued at $26.99, lay just ahead?
Life is for the living thought William Davenport, 52, who was also drunk.
And official Cake Boss-branded cakes were for the taking.
So William Davenport cut the line. He strolled to the storage area, nice as you please, and stole one, two, three, four cakes. A cake for every season. A cake for every quarter of the fiscal year.
Unfortunately, as is always the number-one worry of rampant samplers, the management was hep to his game. A staffer who saw him steal the cakes alerted the fuzz. Police immediately confronted Davenport, who probably found it very difficult to conceal the four cakes he was carrying. He apologized and said he was drunk.
Later, in a statement, a police department spokeswoman confirmed that Davenport, a martyr of the revolution, had incited something primal in the crowd. Their ancient need for cake awoken, the humans began to fight amongst themselves like jackals:
"This incident stirred the crowd causing alarm and great commotion from the hundreds of people who had been standing and waiting in the very long lines. It is reported that throughout the event officers had to separate people and quell fights in the lines from people who attempted to jump the line in front of those who had been waiting for hours to receive a cake."
William Davenport had opened the crowd's eyes to a beautiful, gut-wrenching truth: that lines themselves have no inherent power; that it is the sheeple who give power to the lines.
And then he was taken away to prison, because, in a separate incident, he had stolen someone's laptop.