“I GOT ARRESTED once,” Daniel said, cheerfully.
The charge was “disturbing the peace” and carried a fine of nearly $400.
“For selling candy??” I asked.
“For selling candy,” he said, shaking his head and gesturing toward his box of Skittles.
He agreed to 11 hours of community service, but still ended up paying a $175 fine.
“For selling CANDY,” he repeated.
The other riders packed into the Blue Line shook their heads in disbelief.
“I’m not disturbing the peace…I walk through fast saying, ‘Fifty cents. Two for a dollar. Fifty cents. Two for a dollar.’ I keep going…” he demonstrated, walking up and down the aisle. “If people want something, they stop me. Otherwise, I don’t bother them.”
Passengers behind him nodded. To many regular riders, he and other vendors are part of the landscape — and not necessarily an unwelcome one. Within two stops’ time, he had managed to sell the half a box worth of Snickers bars he had been holding when I first spotted him at the Washington-Grand stop. By the time he reached my end of the train, all he had left were a few citrus Skittles, and people continued to approach him for candy while we chatted. Read more…