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Hank and Jillian were in their Plattsburgh State dorm room chatting idly between sips of warm beer when Bone burst through the door, moaning hungrily, "Doe-nuts…" in his best Homer Simpson voice. "Dumpster... Donuts..."

Jillian, his brain saturated with suds, assumed the role of Dunkin' Donuts' recently retired baker. "It's time to make the donuts," he stated, as if possessed. (Fred, his brethren, would've beendd_fred proud.)

Excitedly, Jillian shot to his feet, tipped back his Molson, and, when the green bottle was drip-dry, joined Bone in looking at Hank, as if to ask, "You in?"

"Sorry, boys," Hank bowed out.

Tonight it would just be the two of them: Bone, a scrawny, anorexic looking dude with long, dirty blond hair (but looks wasn't why they called him Bone), and Jillian, a hefty, dark-haired boy that looked like a football player.

Jillian, The Baker grabbed his jacket, and he and Bone were off. They were not on a beer run, nor to pick up chicks. They were on a mission – a midnight run for munchies. And they were headed to Dunkin' Donuts, which in this tiny upstate New York town, had already closed its doors for the night.

En-route they cut through a small strip mall left over from the 70's, and when they reached the overhang, Bone suddenly skipped ahead. Swirling and twirling and leaping in the air, he sang "Jump," his favorite Van Halen song, all the while strumming a crowd-pleasing air-guitar solo. With metallic sounds screeching from his mouth, he fell to the ground and finished off a kick-ass virtual-guitar solo. On his back!

The crowd went wild as airy sound effects came from Jillian's mouth. "Air-r-r-r."

Bone picked himself up from the cement, where he waited for his fan club to catch up. Suddenly, in a vacant doorway, something moved. Bone squinted for a closer look. There, two storefronts past the liquor store, he saw Alice the Bag Lady huddled on the ground in front of a long-abandoned shop. Her head was tipped down and bobbing as if drunk, high, or maybe sleeping; in her hand was a paper coffee cup.

Doing a double take, Bone, the charitable contributor, dug deep in his pocket for his favorite homeless person and pulled out a dime, a green penny, and a wad of lint. He ran over to the doorway where Alice slept and dropped what remained of his weekly stipend into her cup.

Splash! The cup fell from Alice's hand, sending a brown, steaming liquid spilling into her lap and on the cement. Alice the Bag Lady awoke with a scratchy cry, "Bah, get atta here!"

Bone and Jillian scattered quicker than Jillian could shotgun a beer. After they were around the corner, "What did you do?" Jillian asked Bone.

"Thought she was, you know" – Bone shrugged innocently – "looking for money."

A minute later, Bone and Jillian arrived at D&D, where the doors were locked, lights off, and not a soul around. Inconspicuously they walked past the front door and, convinced they were alone, slipped around to the back. Bone, leading the way through the blinding darkness, stopped at the end of the building. And when he did, Jillian smacked into him.

The stench of coffee – Columbian, Arabica, and flavored hazelnut – made Jillian's mouth water. He soaked in the malted aroma until, seconds later, what they'd come for came into sight. There, in front of them, was Dumpster Donuts, the beneficiary of all the donuts not purchased over the counter during the day.

Dumpster donuts - open 24-7Unable to take his eyes from the dumpster, Jillian, The Baker gnawed on his lower lip, already tasting crème- and jelly-filled donuts. God, was he hungry!

By now, Bone was coming down, not from his high, but with the worst case of the munchies. He needed something to eat, and he needed it now! So he checked one last time if anyone was watching and, seeing only a slobbering Jillian, he tiptoed to the left side of the dumpster and slid open the side hatch. Jillian took the opposite side and the two began rummaging through the trash – black plastic garbage bags, empty cardboard boxes, a pair of woman's underwear.

"Panties!" Jillian exclaimed, as he caught Bone formfitting a new peace hat on his head.

Bone shrugged and then dove back in swan-style with his ass and legs straight up in the air. In one bag he finally hit pay-donut; he fished out a day-old chocolate cruller and proudly held it up. "Oldies but goodies!" he said, service-with-a-smile. Jillian slammed his side shut, ran around to Bone's side, and snagged himself a powdered oldie-but-goodie. He stuffed the donut into his smiling mouth.

Bone made room next to him where the fish were biting, and together he and Jillian bellied up to the hatch. They scoured the hotspot until another white powdered donut appeared. With a quick-draw right hand, Bone snatched it. But he hesitated – a fatal mistake. And Jillian seized the opportunity, snatching it and dispensing the evidence in his mouth. Floury sugar dusted acrossJillian doing the swan-dive... his happy face.

But Jillian's smile didn't last long.

"What?" Bone asked, ready to give him a Heimlich maneuver.

Jillian touched a frosted finger to his lips, but not because it was sweet. "Shhh!" he hushed, sending white powder puffing from his red cheeks like water from a whale's spout.

Bang! Something knocked against the dumpster. It came from the other side.

Bang! And then a grunt, a human-like grunt!

Through the open hatch on their side, they saw the hatch on the other side push open, and through the blackness and sour stench of coffee, across the trash, appeared Alice the Bag Lady.

"Bah," she hollered in her cracking, weathered voice. "Get atta here!" A single stained tooth dangled from her upper gum. "Go find your own spot…"

Jillian slammed the hatch and bolted, with Bone close behind.

Back on the street when they were in the clear, Jillian, The Baker summed it up. "Guess we weren't invited to dinner…" The boys let out a strained laugh, but neither thought it was very funny.

They walked back to the dorm in silence and, when they got there, filed for Chapter 11, ending their Dumpster Donut days forever.

***

Copyright March 16, 1999 by Thor Kirleis

Dedicated to those partaking in the late night Dumpster Donut runs.

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