“Sir, sir? Spare some change for a homeless veteran?”
Trying to look as helpless as possible, Jimmer jangled his extra-large Burger King cup at the passing pedestrian, to no avail. The man bustled right by without even glancing in the direction of the panhandler that was accosting him.
Jimmer, used to being ignored, wasn’t fazed. Now a woman walking hand-in-hand with her young daughter was approaching. “Ma’am, what a beautiful daughter you have. Can you help out a veteran?” Again, the pedestrian just walked a little bit faster to avoid the situation.
The cravings were getting more intense now, and after several hours of begging for change, Jimmer still didn’t have enough. Taking a break, he walked into the nearby Burger King. At the sight of the frantic, disheveled man, the counter person recoiled. “I told you, sir, we don’t have any. Now get out before the manager calls the police.”
“Fry sauce, please, I need…” groaned Jimmer, stumbling closer to the worker. “Just one hit. Just one. I promise, that’s all I need, then I’m off the stuff for good.”
Hearing the exchange outside his office, the manager came out to investigate the situation. Jimmer, fearing police intervention, quickly scampered back into the street. Now, he was desperate.
“Hey man, got any fry sauce on you?” he said to the nearest person, grabbing the man’s jacketed arm with both hands. As the man yanked his arm away, Jimmer followed him. “Please man. You got the stuff or not? Just one little dip, that’s all I need,” the frantic basketball player jabbered, taking out some cold french fries from his pants pocket. “One dip and I’m good.”
The man was now running down the street, away from Jimmer. Looking around for his next target, he saw a familiar hairstyle on the sidewalk across the street.
“Jimmer, what are you doing, man?” asked Luke Babbitt, jaywalking across traffic to get to his teammate. “What’s up with the cup?”
“Luke, my man, my friend, you know where a guy can get some fry sauce ’round here?” Jimmer asked with fake joviality, putting his arm chummily around Luke’s shoulder. “It costs $20 to ship it from Utah, but that’s too much for me, and I can’t wait that long man, I need some fry sauce now. You gotta help a guy out, man.”
“You know you could just go into that Burger King and mix some ketchup and mayo together, right?” Luke asked, lifting Jimmer’s arm off of his shoulder. “You don’t need to import it from authentic Mormons in Utah.”
“That’s not the real stuff, I need the real thing, you know, man, the real product,” Jimmer whined, holding out his cup again. “I know I’m a junkie. God will be the judge of me. Spare some change, man, please?”
Luke looked hesitant. “I gotta get going. Why don’t you just take it easy, all right, and I’ll see you at practice, okay?”
“Luke, come back!” Jimmer wailed. “I need some fry sauce!” But Luke had already gotten away.
Stumbling over to a nearby bench, Jimmer unsteadily laid himself down, the withdrawal symptoms become more pronounced with every passing minute. “Somebody please help me…fry sauce…” he whimpered, but nobody came to his aid. At that moment, Jimmer felt ignored by the world, and even by his own god.