I was having a particularly bad day. I won't go into details but
imagine college freshmen year and you can fill in the rest. As I
walked towards my dorm
I saw the longest line I had ever seen and remembered that Beard Papa, the Japanese bakery that sold only cream puffs had just opened. A cream puff is the only thing that will cheer me up, I decided, and I got on the end of the block long line. After I stood there a few minutes, a homeless man, do-rag and all, came up to me and aked, "You waitin' in line for a cream puff?" He was astonished.
"Yes," I said.
"Now why you wana do a crazy thing like that?" he asked again.
"Well," I replied, "I really want a cream puff, and there's a line, so
that's what I'm doing."
"That's crazy. That's crazy, that's ridiculous," he muttered and walked off.
The line progressed and I got to the point where I was just inside the store. It was amazing. A factory line of the entire cream puff process was on display, complete with strange yet sleek machines and servers in baker's hats and yellow aprons. Two businessmen emerged from the immaculate store. "That guy was a fuckin' asshole," one suit said to the other.
"You talkin' to me?" My homeless man was right behind them. "What you say to me? You got something to say, you say it to my face."
"Yea I'll say it to your face," the suit replied as the two men got dangerously close and continued to yell at each other. Fights in New York are strange, because there are always a million spectators, yet no one pays any attention, they just give the fighters a circumference of space and let them on their way.
"But not here," I thought to myself. It was like bringing a Pay-Per-Vue fight into an animated version of Willy Wonka. It just didn't belong. The Japanese baker, the first man on the assembly line, opened his mouth, surely to stop the fight, I thought. Instead he started singing: "Get your cream puff, light and fluffy. Get your cream puff, light and fluffy."
The men got louder over the singing. Finally the fight subsided and the businessmen left the store.
Then he looked around completely lost. He scanned the whole line. I suddenly realized what he was looking for.
"Oh there you are," and he handed me a cream puff.
I looked down, I looked at him, and I looked at everyone else in line, who was now staring at me. I calculated how much more drama I would cause by rejecting it, so I took the cream puff, quickly said thank you and got off the line. As I got down the block just out of embarassment's way, I bit into heaven, and my day suddenly turned around.
Known as the bakery of the “World’s Best Cream Puffs,” Beard Papa’s has been a household name since 1999 when Yuji Hirota opened the first Beard Papa’s store in Osaka, Japan pumping out this unique cream puff to happy people.
by Kitty Kaufman