What It’s Like to Wait 3 Hours in 15 Degree Weather for a Dominique Ansel Cronut, by Patrick Schmitt
So today I decided I would wait in line for a Cronut. I’m somewhat picky about pastry flavors and being that today was the last of the month, well last of the year in reality, Chocolate Raspberry seemed like a flavor worth waiting for. Joyce and I had discussed going to get a Cronut for a while, and last night she agreed to come stand in line with me. I got up as usual at 5:15 AM to go to the gym for the 6AM class. I practically ran home once the class ended putting me back at the apartment at 7:10. As soon as I opened the door, I knew Joyce would not be coming. The apartment was black as night. I called out to Joyce just to make sure she hadn’t accidentally overslept. The resounding “no” I got in response left with me with a choice. Do I go it alone or roll the dice and wait for the January flavor and hope I like it. Screw it, I’m going. I took a shower as fast as I could, and threw on some clothes. I guess Joyce was awakened by my running about the apartment. She asked what I was doing, and seemed taken aback when I said I was still going. She might have been dreaming though as she often has conversations with me in the morning that she doesn’t remember. So running around the apartment I was still pretty warm, and figured a heavy coat would be enough. Mistake number one. The temperature outside was around 25, but the windchill was around 15. Again, I’m in a hurry and still warm, so ran out of the apartment in a t-shirt, jeans, a winter hat, and a heavy coat. That’s right. No gloves. No scarf. I’m a moron. So I hop in a cab and head to the bakery. Not sure if the cab driver recognized the address or what, but he drove like a bat out of hell. I was at the bakery by 7:40, and the line was very long. I got to the end of the line at the same time as another gentleman, and as is my nature, let him step in line ahead of me. Mistake number two. What the hell am I thinking? There’s a limited number of these things, the line is long, and I’m letting someone into line ahead of me. Seriously, I’ve got a mental issue or something. So I’m in this line and there are at least 100 people in line ahead of me and mistake number 1 rears its head amazingly fast. It’s fucking cold, and when that wind blows I can feel it on every part of my body. The people in line in front of me look ready for the Iditirod, and I’m standing here in a freaking t-shirt and what turns out to be not as thick a coat as I imagined. So here I wait in the cold for what seems like forever. Nope 20 min maybe and it’s 8am and they let in 15 people. I move forward about 4ft. I’m thinking, well this won’t be so bad. Refer back to my previously mentioned mental issue. I come to realize they are letting in about 15 people every 15 to 20 min. After the second wave heads in and I move another 4 ft or so, I start trying to do some math. My brain is frozen and I’m trying to count people from around a corner through a park fence. Also, these people were smart enough to bring friends and are taking turns going inside to get coffee. I’ll be honest, my first thought was these assholes have warm beverages. This should not be allowed. Stand in line like the rest of us. Oh well, not like I can really do anything about it, but it is messing up my count. How many of these things do they make again? I realize I’m counting and trying to come up with a number and I have no idea what the daily number of Cronuts is. I tell myself it’s 350, but I think I made have made that number up. So based on my best guess of people in line, seriously stop leaving and getting coffee a-holes, and my made up number of 350 Cronuts, I think I’m in a good spot. A few more waves head in, and it’s about 9am when a woman from the bakery comes out carrying a baguette. I mean why not. You work at a bakery, maybe walking around with a baguette is a thing. No, that baguette has a purpose. She announces she will be counting the line and placing a marker where they expect to sell out of Cronuts based on their current count. The few people in front of me all agree, it better not be the person right I front of us. She begins counting her way through the line. She’s getting closer and closer, and still has that baguette. Granted at this point I didn’t understand what the baguette represented, but anyway she still has it. Whew! She’s past me. All the people around me celebrate. We keep watching the girl, and she makes it all the way to the end. I think to myself, wow I guess everyone is getting a Cronut. She begins walking back to the bakery, and here comes another announcement. I will now give this baguette to the person in the cutoff position. Wait, WTF. Why didn’t she just do that when she counted. Way to get all our hopes up. Where does she go? About 5 people in front of me. Of course. I’ve been waiting in this line for 2 hours and I’m not going to get this thing? Sounds about right. She states everyone beyond the baguette is welcome to press our luck, as she has based her number on everyone buying 2. If someone buys only 1, well then there will be some left. My hands and feet are already numb, so screw it I’m staying. This is about the time they start torturing us. Not really torturing, but they keep coming out and counting and then tell us nothing. At this point, I’m cold and cranky. I know Joyce is home in our warm bed, and I’m waiting in line for a $5 donut. This thing better come with a gold bar or something. A few more waves go in, and the story stays the same. The baguette is the cutoff. I hate the guy with the baguette at this point. He says he has stood in this line 3 times and never managed to get a Cronut. So 2 things, if you have been in this line previously and didn’t get one, why would you get in line at 7:30? How much money would it take for me to get in front of him? Reminder, it’s cold. I’d pay $20 for this thing at this point just to be inside. 2 people between me and that stupid baguette decide to leave. Hahaha…morons! I know for sure I’m getting one now. Why wait in line for 2+ hours and then give up? They are going to have to tell me with 100% accuracy they are sold out at this point. I can’t feel my hands, face, or feet, so I’m not leaving. So it’s about 10:15AM, and they come out and do another count. Oh sweet they are moving the baguette back. Hell yes! Oh wait, the nice Asian man I let in line is now holding the baguette. Why the hell did I let this guy get in front of me? I could be holding a baguette right now, and he could be kicking himself for not being faster 3 hours ago. I hate myself. They let everyone in front of the baguette into the bakery. I’m the guy standing in front of the line of losers. They tell us they are pretty sure we aren’t getting any, but they will let us in a bit and we can order other things. Other things? I see them describing the rest of their menu, but all I hear is. You are the moron who waited 3 and a half hours for croissant. The same croissant people have been buying the entire time you have been in line. Oh well, I guess I’ll buy this DKA thing the a-holes with coffee earlier were eating. At least I can bring Joyce some kind of pastry. I also look up how far I am from Dough or Donut plant. Those places are awesome, and no stupid 4 hour line. For the love of all that is holy, I’ve been in front of this line for what seems like 45min. It was probably just the standard 15min, but being in front of this line of “almost got a Cronut” folks is maddening. Finally, we’re going in. I ask the guy if any are left. He says they sold out. Well, hell. I guess I knew it would happen, but it’s painful to hear. The woman who handed out the baguette meets me and walks me through the crowd to the back of the Cronut line. I ask her if any Cronuts are left, just to check. She says there are some left, but the people in front of me will have bought them all. Here are I am standing next to the Asian gentleman. Oh awesome, I get to actually watch him buy my Cronuts. Should I just slam my head on the counter now, or wait to get home? As he orders, I ask him if he bought the last 2? His response, nope…looks like you will. Wait…WTF? Sure enough, one box left. At this point the woman behind me has done the count. “Nooooo” I hear behind me. Hahaha…sucker. Waited in line 4 hours for a croissant. What a moron. I’m a genius.