I Bought A Homeless Man An In N’ Out Grilled Cheese Sandwich And Asked What He Thought About It
In the holiday spirit, I bought Jimmy, a homeless man in San Diego, In N’ Out.
There are a lot of positives about In N’ Out: trans-fat free cooking oil and whole potatoes sliced in-store for the never frozen fries. I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich with raw onions, fries and a coffee.
I first saw Jimmy pushing his recyclables-filled cart, covered with a big plastic bag, in the rain along Broadway. He combed trash cans.
“Would you like an In N’ Out grilled cheese sandwich, some fries and a coffee?” I asked.
“Yeah,” the large man said.
“Is it cool if you tell me what you think of the meal? For an article…”
“Yeah, that’s cool” the man said in his deep, scratchy voice.
I gave him the juicy, full-flavored grilled cheese. He situated everything on his grocery cart.
“So, this burger, what is it? It’s grilled cheese?” he asked about the near-artisan sandwich.
“Yeah, sorry about that,” I replied.
“Yeah, that’s all right. Better than nothing.”
He began digging through the bag and ate one solitary, salty fry.
“How’s the fry?” I asked.
“They’re good,” he nodded.
He peered at the grilled cheese.
“So this burger is a grilled cheese, huh?”
“Yes,” I re-confirmed.
He starts taking bites out of the burger while we chat. I ask him if he is from around here. He is.
“What do you think of the grilled cheese?” I asked.
“Ya know, it’s good,” he said. “It’s something new, it’s different.” He liked it alright. It had lettuce, In N’ Out’s sauce, juicy tomato, raw onions, subtle yet tasty melted cheese and sponge bread.
“It’s a vegetar-yawn burger,” he pronounced. “No meat, but it’s all good. I’m hungry anyway, I ain’t eat nothin’ all day.” He took a sip of the late-night diner quality Kona blend coffee.
“How’s the coffee?” I asked.
“It’s good,” he replied. “It’ll keep me warm.”
He looked up to the sky as it started to rain, shaking his head with chagrin. I asked him about the recyclables. That’s his hustle. He doesn’t wish to return to prison, he said.
He eats about half the burger, and some of the fries. He wants to save the rest. I give him a few bucks and a Ballast Point. We fistbump and I go my way, he his. He pushes his cart in the drizzle, looking through each trashcan.