So there you are, sitting in your car waiting in line at a drive-thru coffee or fast food restaurant here in Bismarck or Mandan. You have your money out and all set to pay for that grande extra latte - one shot of whatever drink. Then your world changes, just for 30 seconds or so.

"Hey you are all set, that guy ahead of you bought your drink"

Really? Perfect, well wait, now I have some questions. Here is where the "Paying it forward" game comes into play. Of course, your first thought is do I know that dude who bought my drink. The girl at the window says that this marvelous weird tradition has been going on now for almost an hour. Now am I going to be the oaf that stops this chain by NOT "Paying It Forward" - That's the part that sucks you in.

This predicament was presented to me last year

I was puffing on a cigar, in my 2001 Chevy Impala (that goes 0-60 in 6 minutes), at City Brew Coffee on a lazy Sunday morning. I was told that my coffee was free, paid for and, I proudly acclaimed that it was my very first time (trapped) experiencing this - "Let me go ahead and take care of the car behind me" I boasted. Turns out that their order was just a tad more than mine - "Great, that will be $14 dollars and 14 cents"

My $4.00 coffee wound up costing me another $10 bucks

Hey, I could have said "Forget that" and sputtered away - but then I would have been known forever has the Bismarck grinch of "Paying it forward"


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