The RV Project

"There Are No Wrong Roads to Anywhere"

TNT: Shadow’s Guaranteed Free Coffee Trick

Today we have a guest post from someone you’ve probably seen somewhere. Shadow spent the last two years in Bishop, CA and is now living at the Red River Gorge for the summer. He lives on the road and has been doing this road-tripping thing for a long time, so we asked him for some advice for our Tips ‘N’ Tidbits section. We are excited to bring you this tip for free coffee!

Dog’s best friend is a man who loves a dog. Shadow and Sumo discuss coffeeshops.

Life on the road can be tough. The freedoms and liberties of being nomadic may come easy, but for how long?

We would all love to ride off into the sunset without a care in the world and do whatever we want for as long as we wish, but without a source of income, the money eventually runs out. The term ‘dirt bag’ didn’t get its name for nothing and climbers have built quite a name for themselves over time.

I have been living out of my van for almost five years now and I have learned countless lessons, met amazing people, and found a home within the homelessness. When my friends Spenser and Vikki asked me to share one of the things I have learned from my mobile lifestyle, I smiled.

Shadow, after getting caffeinated, works the moves on his project Banksy.

I’m not going to give away all my tricks and secrets, but I can offer up a free hot cup of coffee when you really need it and you are out of cash. Providing your own coffee mug will only ensure your success in this matter. I have done this dozens of times and it has worked every single time. It goes like this.

The Coffee Trick

1. Select a coffee shop. Starbucks, Peet’s, Espresso to go, etc.
2. Stand in line with your own coffee cup.
3. When you reach the counter remember to smile and make friendly small talk. I generally ask if they are having a good morning or comment on their hair or jewelry. You basically want to make them smile or have them share how they are feeling.
4. Eat up a little time making small talk before ordering your coffee so people in line begin to get a little impatient. You will find that most baristas like it when the line slows down, even when it is long. It gives them a chance to breathe and take a break from pouring shots and labeling cups at a rapid rate.
5. Order drip coffee and hand over your mug.
6. The easy order pleases the barista and they fill the order quickly.
7. When the barista asks for the $1.85 or $2.00 for the cup of coffee, reach into your pockets. You will need to act surprised, almost panicked that you lost your wallet.
8. Now do what is called ‘the pocket dance.’ Pat every single pocket on your body multiple times looking for your lost wallet with a deer in the headlights look on your face.
9. Now suddenly remember that you left your wallet next to your bed and explain this to the barista. Ask the barista if you can “get it next time,” and act a little embarrassed about the whole interaction.
10. Chances are that this will work every time because it takes more effort for the barista to say no and pour the coffee down the drain, which is also wasteful.
11. The most common responses are, “Don’t worry about it.” or “Just get it next time.”

* Remember that this usually only works once per barista.

Also, I only use the coffee trick when I really need it. Usually when I have no money and I am starving to death.


So there you have it. Don’t say we never taught you nothing! Stay tuned, as we have awesome footage of Shadow doing a new climb in the Gallery at the Red River Gorge. It’s an amazing climb and a great addition to a very aesthetic crag. The video will be paired with an interview with Shadow, where you’ll learn all sorts of personal details about this tattooed figure.

Shadow is sponsored by Asana Climbing, Sierra Salve, and Vertigo Bouldering Gear.


Single Post Navigation

2 thoughts on “TNT: Shadow’s Guaranteed Free Coffee Trick

  1. Pingback: An Interview With Shadow Ayala « The RV Project

  2. Pingback: An Interview With Shadow Ayala, and the First Ascent of Banksy « The RV Project

You got something to say?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: