the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

Donut Shop Redux (Now with Sprint Phone)


Six months ago, Sprint invited me to become part of the Sprint Ambassador program. I received the Samsung SPH-A920 phone and free service for six months.  Sophia, being my blog editor, received one as well.  They were interested in feedback and let’s be honest — me blogging about it (although this wasn’t a requirement).  I really like the phone — it has great sound quality — but Sophia LOOOVES the phone and the service, especially now that she is in NY, working as a Russian Dialect Coach par excellence on an independent film. Miss Lansky uses it all the time and is totally turned on by the fact that you can download music, watch TV and movies, read the NY Times, play Ms. Pac-Man, get talking walking directions, find restaurants, etc. all on one phone. Of course, if we had to PAY for all of this, we wouldn’t be able to eat.

Sophia, being Sophia, thinks we can wrangle our way into getting another SIX months with the phone. I told her it was a six month deal, and everyone seems to have gotten the same email recently that “time was up.” Sophia does not understand those words.

“Maybe if you had blogged about the phone more, Sprint would let you keep it.”

“How many times can I blog about it? I did blog about it.”

“You blogged about it ONCE — using the camera phone to take a photo of your c**k. That’s not the type of publicity Sprint wants.”

“The official phone of Neil’s…”

“That’s not funny. Write about them one more time. Maybe they’ll extend the term.”

“I’m not going to do that. My readers will see right through that. I’m always complaining about how bloggers are sell-outs. They’ll lose all respect for me.”

“How much “respect” do they really have for you anyway? You don’t think THEY would sell you out for some free phone service?”

“Never. Brooke maybe. But no one else.”

“Just do it for me. Just write about them one more time.”

Now, as most of you know, “pleasing a woman” is my middle name. So, since most of you didn’t read my story about the donut shop from a few days ago, I’m now going to rewrite it, showing you how much more of a better “experience” it could have been if my Sprint Ambassador Phone had played a bigger role in the story.


Near my home is a little independent donut shop. I’ve never seen one person inside other than the owner — a petite, middle-aged, Korean woman. After being woken up in the morning by the alarm on my Sprint Ambassador Phone, I went out to get something to eat. As I was driving, I decided I was in the mood for a donut. I used the Garmain GPS I downloaded onto the Sprint Ambassador Phone to lead me straight to my local donut shop. I went in, ordered a jelly donut and cup of coffee, and sat down at the bright orange, plastic, uncomfortable, table/chair thingamajig that’s bolted to the floor. I used my Sprint Ambassador Phone to read the New York Times and my favorite blogs on Bloglines. The donut and coffee were truly the worst coffee and donut I’ve ever tasted. As I sat eating my disgusting donut, the owner watched some infomercial on a 13″ TV sitting on the counter. I thought about downloading some tunes with my Sprint Phone, but I decided on watching the owner instead.

The infomercial was one of those get-rich-quick schemes:

“Use my stock market technique, and within two weeks, your two thousand will be two hundred thousand!”

As one “success story” after another gave his testimony, I could see the eyes of the donut woman widen. She was totally enraptured by what was being said. I made a voice recording on the Sprint Ambassador Phone reminding me to call the TV network and complain about them showing this type of crap on air, and I used the Sprint Ambassador Phone to email my attorney uncle in San Francisco about taking legal action against them.

I began to feel bad for this woman. She clearly had no talent in making either donuts or coffee. I used the Sprint Ambassador Phone to IM my friend at El Camino Community College to see if there was some type of “refresher course” this woman could take. This woman was probably losing all her money in this awful donut shop. I used the calculator on the Sprint Ambassador Phone to do “the numbers.” It looked bad. And this type of infomercial preys on a woman like this — someone who may be uneducated or part of an immigrant community. It is these innocent people who don’t realize that it is all a scam. I took a photo of the woman with Sprint Ambassador Phone so I would always remember the sad moment, and emailed Sophia a copy.

“I put two thousand dollars into the stock market, and soon I was able to quit my job,” said some overly-eager male voice on the television. “Now I don’t spend time behind a desk, but behind the wheel of my new yacht!”

I felt anger at this scam artist on TV, with this modern era three-card Monte swindle. (is it monte or Monte? I used the dictionary on on my Sprint Ambassador Phone to figure it out). I was so furious that I squeezed my donut with my hand, shooting some jelly onto my shirt and the Sprint Ambassador Phone (but the sturdy plastic is easily cleaned).

What was I to do? I had to warn her. I saw her writing some information on a piece of paper. Was she actually going to call these crooks?

I knew this really wasn’t my business, but I felt it was my duty to speak up. As an American citizen. As a Good Jew. I walked over to the counter. She pointed at the pile of donuts.

“Donut?” she asked.

“No, thank you,” I said. “I just wanted to tell you to be careful with these types of TV shows. They might look like real shows, but they are commercials. Don’t believe everything they tell you. You weren’t thinking of calling them up, were you?”

“Donut?” she asked again, being that it was the only English word she knew.

Luckily, I had my Sprint Ambassador Phone. I contacted Sarah, an Asian-languages professor at UCLA, and downloaded a English-Korean dictionary from the internet. I was able to explain everything to the woman in Korean, who revealed to me that she was about to invest her life savings with this crook. She was so grateful for my help that she offered me free donuts for life. I was honest and told her that her food needed improvement. I told her about this “Donut Shop” course they had at El Camino Community College. We quickly enrolled her online with my Sprint Ambassador Phone, grabbing the last spot in the class.

Meg (the donut owner’s name) now runs a chain of donut stores in Redondo Beach and is a great success. We also became lovers while Sophia was in New York. We send cutesy text messages to each other every day. Thank you Sprint Ambassador Phone. Think what else I could do with six more months of free service!


  1. Jessica

    ‘Spring’ may not want that type of publicity but I’m willing to bet that Sprint would be all over it (sorry…couldn’t help myself).

  2. Neil

    Fixed it, my anal friend.

  3. tamarika

    Actually, I *did* read your donut shop story and thought it was great. One day over coffee somewhere I’ll tell you why.

    Now that it has turned into an “infomercial” … well … it’s still good. A man’s got to do what a man’s got to do … I guess.

  4. Becky

    much better ending. totally believable too. You could sell it as an episode of… of…something. (damn! I gotta start watching more TV…)

    thanks for the laugh. (and DON’T sell out!)

  5. fringes

    I wasn’t going to say anything, but Jessica started it. While you’re fixing confusing typos, change “I’m not going to rewrite it” to “I’m now going to rewrite it.” ‘Cuz I was like, not expecting you to rewrite since you said you weren’t going to, but, then, there it was. Typos are da debil.

  6. Alison

    Remind me to drink coffee before reading your posts.

  7. treespotter

    if Sprint comment after this post, do let us know what they say.

    how come you’re getting all these free stuff? can you tell them that i also need a new phone?

  8. Jessica

    YES! I can FINALLY put that masthead up I’ve been wanting to use:

    “Daughter of Opinion – anal friend of Citizen of the Month”

  9. peefer

    Is it bad that I clicked on “photo of your c**k” before I even finished that paragraph?

  10. Lux Lisbon

    i don’t know if that donut story was any better than the first (as i only read the first 4 lines of the first) but if sprint gives you another 6 months for it i’ll be dipped in dog shit.

  11. wendy

    Do all men just love to take picture of you see Karl in that Superman outfit with the large ish super buldge? for his b-day dares series..Anyway..there’s another shout out to you on my blog…and also your SWEETIE..dooce….Dooce schmooce…

  12. Blonde Vigilante

    You know…I clicked on the link to see a picture of you c**k and I got nada. You shouldn’t tease a girl like that. It’s just wrong.


    If only you and your Sprint Ambassador Phone had a cape, ya’ll could crusade and rescue immigrants and naturally ignorant citizens from financial ruin.

  14. Dave2

    And to think… I always pass up on offers like this! How many people could I have saved if I had only done things differently?? Bless you Neil, for showing me the light…

  15. V-Grrrl

    I enjoyed reading this updated version of the Donut Shop post on my Sprint Ambassador Phone.

    Did you get my text message about giving up donuts and trying croissant instead? My Sprint Ambassador Phone keeps us connected, even when I’m in a sidewalk cafe at Place du Luxembourgh in Brussels, where use of cell phones is scorned and frowned upon.

    Sign me,

    Your Favorite UGLY American and BLOG CRUSH OF THE DAY,


    Thanks Neil! I’ll send the photos of my underwear soon : D, if your Korean girlfriend doesn’t mind.

  16. EEK

    That was hilarious. I’m still confused about how a donut can not taste good, however. Is that possible?

  17. Bre

    Hmmm… I wonder if N*xtel would be interested in a glowing review of my beloved blackb*rry? ……

  18. plain jane

    Hilarious. Loved it. But “Meg, the donut owner’s name”? I thought that she owned the donut shop, not just a donut (since we are all picking your post apart). And a Korean immigrant named Meg? Very funny.

  19. Edgy Mama

    Hurrah! Now I don’t have to worry about the Korean donut dame cause she’s doing Neilochka!

    No one sent me a free phone, not even for 6 months. Pout.

  20. Neil

    That happens so often that people with beautiful sounding names from other countries change their names to something boring for their American customers who can’t pronounce it. Our favorite waiter in our Chinese restaurant is named “John.” Our mechanic is named “Bob” at Bob’s Auto Repair (but his real name is something like Hussein Bin Ladin, so I can understand that one — he just took the name of the previous owner).

  21. Jules

    Always a happy ending in Hollywood…

  22. e.

    that was very meta-commerical of you, Neil.

  23. justrun

    For the first time, I don’t think I know how to respond to this post. You just snuck in that part about “making her your lover” as if you made her some lunch. You saved Meg from so many things that day, sheesh!

  24. better safe than sorry

    actually, i did read your donut entry but this one is sooooooooooooooo much better. you sent a copy of it to them, right?

  25. Tara

    I bet Spring would have extended their offer if you really had shown a picture of your c**k.

  26. brooke


  27. Mr. Fabulous

    Man, I gotta parlay my blog into freebies…

  28. Leah

    I seriously hope you get a six more free months of service. That story was funny.

  29. Viscountess of Funk

    I have to confess, I like the original doughnut shop story better. And when are you going back to check on the Korean woman?

  30. Hilly

    Sprint’s customer service sucked however the phone you have now is the BEST cell I have ever had, even beats my Motorola Razr so hey Sprint…if you’d like to send me an A920 and give my ass some free service, I’ll make nice posts and uh, take pics of other things besides penii ;).

  31. psychomom

    Samsung? Neil sung.

  32. Caitlinator

    No kidding! If you can do all that in ONE DAY, imagine what you could do in a whole year!

  33. kapgar

    I can’t believe you’d whore you and your blog for a phone! For shame, Neilochka!

    WTF am I saying? I’m just jealous.

  34. Rabbit

    You know, I thought I’d be disgusted by you selling out, Neil, but I think this post is even funnier than the original story.

  35. missmckay

    nice rewrite. i’ve revised my grade book entry from a B- to an A-.

    (i do deduct for misspelling)

  36. Jeff

    If it’s any consolation, you should be able to download free j2me (java) games/apps that you can play on your phone.

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