Monday, November 19, 2018
The Bread Man of Alcatraz
Dave's parents owned a bakery, she said, and ever since his mother had "something in the oven," that something being Dave, he wanted to grow up to bake bread. But in his youth Dave turned out to be a bad seed, was in and out of trouble, and finally his parents threw him out. While he was homeless and drifting about, he would find a bakery, wait until it closed, climb in through the roof or jimmy his way in through a window, bake some bread and then leave. Until one day he fell asleep in a Dunkin Donuts and suddenly he heard a loud 'Time to make the donuts!' and the jig was up."
"He got arrested?" I asked.
"The judge looked at his priors and threw the book at him," she said. "He got sentenced to 15 years in prison."
"Wow," I said, "the poor guy. What was the charge?"
"Baking and entering," she said. "But luckily, he got a job in the prison kitchen, where he met a lifer who had developed a secret recipe for baking what he called 30 to Life Bread. Thirty to Life was so popular among the inmates that some of them would beat up other inmates just so they'd be punished by getting nothing but bread and water."
"Wow," I said, "can I have another pierogi?"
"Sure," the sample lady said. "This lifer's bread was so popular..."
"How popular was it?" I asked.
"It was so popular," she said, "that seven death row inmates requested peanut butter and banana sandwiches on 30 to Life for their last meal, and one of them had his sentence commuted when his lawyer argued that the prison substituted Pepperidge Farm 15 grain bread."
"That's pretty impressive," I said, "but how did Dave get the recipe?"
"He bought it from the lifer for a carton of cigarettes," she said, and 14 years later, when he was released, he convinced his parents that he was reformed and they took him back into the family bakery. The rest is history."
"That's quite a story," I said. "He should write a book."
"He already did," she said.
"What's it called?" I asked.
"The Bread Man of Alcatraz."