Short Change

In late August, hundreds of coffee drinkers showed up at various Starbucks locations in Denver with a coupon for free, and unlimited, grande iced coffees through September 30. But they soon discovered that the too-good-to-be-true voucher, which had been distributed across the Internet, was a hoax. But for anyone who was taken in by that phony offer, here's a new one: Jamba Juice has apparently launched a new promotional campaign in which it pays customers one hundred dollars to drink one of its smoothies.

A hundred smackers! Seriously?

Well, no. Still, one guy managed to get away with it on September 4.

That day, a middle-aged male described on a Denver Police Department incident report as slim, tall and having "bad teeth" ordered a drink from the Jamba Juice at 1685 South Colorado Boulevard. The 22-year-old cashier made the smoothie and rang it up for $3.19. The man handed over a hundred-dollar bill as payment, but then "verbally confused" the employee into giving him $96.81 in change as well as returning the Benjamin. Before the cashier could put together what had happened, though, Mr. Bad Teeth had already disappeared down the street on foot.

The report didn't say what drink he was sucking down while he made his escape. Strawberry Nirvana? Mighty Cherry Charger? Mango Mantra? Mmmm, more like Smoothie Operator. — Jared Jacang Maher

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun