The manager of Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits placed a free sweet potato pie on my tray for me to split with a friend. He had overheard us debating whether its consistency would be closer to mashed potatoes or pumpkin pie while we waited for our roasted chicken bites. I thanked him and noticed that his Bojangles name tag said “Bill.” I asked if his last name was Robinson by any chance. He had no idea what I meant.
When we got to our table, my friend said that we had received a “good-guy discount.” She had recently heard about it on an episode of This American Life. On the show, Ben Calhoun asked cashiers point-blank for a “good-guy discount.” I got the free pie without asking.
We continued the conversation over lunch. I mentioned that strangers often speak to me. Sometimes they pull up alongside my car at a stoplight and ask for directions. Sometimes they just start talking to me in a store. It happens when I’m traveling and when I’m at home in Tennessee. I was once told that it was my aura but I think it’s simply that I must have a welcoming body language.