Sunday, October 11, 2009


You would think that ordering a cup of coffee would be easy. Mindless. Something a monkey could easily be trained to do.

Think again, my presupposing post-primate.

Today I visited my local Barnes and Noble. Following the lead of Mrs. Jerry K, instead of actually buying books and contributing to the local economy and supporting the authors, I begin a book in the bookstore, make a note of what page I stopped at, then continue at said page on my next visit.

Hey, what do you want from a guy who actually washes and reuses plastic forks?

So, I grab my book and head to the in-store Starbucks area. Now, as everyone knows, your penance for sitting in this most hallowed of areas is that you have to purchase something. Bastardos!

The area is usually filled with high school or community college students who gather there to work on homework. Except that 90 percent of the time, they are too busy talking to get any work done.

And that is why we need to immediately stop funding all educational institutions! Shut ‘em all down, I say! That's the only logical conclusion.

Anyway, I just want to buy the cheapest thing possible and read a book that I’m too cheap to buy.

Now, I considered embellishing this little exchange in order to make it—I don’t know—funny. But I swear on the life of my pet chicken that the following actually happened and that I am repeating it verbatim.

Can I have a small coffee, please? (I refuse to say dente or stupende or schmente or whatever made-up words they have up there on the menu.)

Would you like room for cream?


Would you like to have anything from the display case?

I would, but I better not. (That’s me being friendly and reaching out to my fellow human beings. Usually results in blank stares.)

Would you like to also purchase your book?


I’m sorry, did you say you wanted room for cream?


There’s a fresh pot brewing. Would you like to wait for that?


Do you have a Barnes and Noble membership card?


Would you like to purchase one? It will save you ten percent off your purchase today.

No thanks. (Notice how polite I am?)

What is your name? I will call your name when it’s ready.


Did you say “Garry”?

No, JJJJJJJJJerry. (That’s a hard “J” sound, folks. Pretty common name, wouldn’t you say? Yet, you would be amazed at the questions I get. “Is that Jerry with a “J” or a “G”? “Is that J-e-r-r-y or J-e-r-r-i?”)

Now, I ask you: What about all those movies when a guy walks into a diner and asks for a cup of joe. It’s always such a simple transaction, and usually goes something like this:

A cup of coffee, please.

Comin’ right up.

That’s it! That’s all! Sometimes the counterperson says nothing at all. Instead, I get a freakin’ interrogation.

It’s enough to make you think that movies aren’t like real life.


  1. You have to put these in a book. They're hilarious...'cause we've all been there, done that.

  2. Geez did they read you your rights to?!?!?!

  3. Life is getting just too complicated with way too many choices. Go to a supermarket & try to figure out which milk or o.j. you takes forever. Milk; lactose free, lo fat, no fat, 2% fat, soya??!! OJ...with pulp, without pulp, from concentrate, not from concentrate, Florida or California??!!