My blog contains a large number of posts. A few are included in various other publications, or as attached stories and chronicles in my emails; many more are found on loose leaves, while some are written carelessly in margins and blank spaces of my notebooks. Of the last sort most are nonsense, now often unintelligible even when legible, or half-remembered fragments. Enjoy responsibly.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Coffee Shop Inhabitants (add to me)

While sitting at a coffee shop I realized that there are several distinct personalities that tend to frequent this type of establishment. So I started the list below and it has since been added to by people more talented than I am. Please feel free to add to it:

The first and most obvious is the Loud Talker. This male, and it's usually a male, talks to everyone in a voice more properly suited for a canyon echo. All within ear shot cannot only hear the entire conversation that the Loud Talker is conducting, they've created an internal dialog with him over a) how they would respond to the other side of the conversation and b) all of the different ways in which they would like to tell him to shut up.

The next is the Living Room Dweller. Conducting business usually reserved for the privacy of ones own house on a work at home day, this model tends to spread out and claim all areas surrounding him. No topic is off limits, no conversation inappropriate, and no business accessory has been excluded from his table. This model is inclined to take off shoes, hoard all power outlets, and, somehow, make an entire fax machine materialize out of his bag.

There is always the 2+ Gaggle of Gossiping Girls who, no matter of what age will chitter on endlessly about the most inane things possible and increasing decibel and pitch. At some point their conversation we'll degrade into a high-speed squeaking with only an occasional comprehensible word about celebrity, personal hygiene, or shopping.

You can always identify the iPod Human because of the white wires leading from their dramatically places iPod directly to their down turned head. Occasionally this person will fumble with said iPod in a combination gesture to make sure that you see that they do indeed own an iPod and because they cannot find the right song to express the ambiguity of their contentment that they have a soundtrack to life and you must deal directly with people in your non-musical hell.

The Writer is there to be inspired to write. To let the pages flow in a rhythmic procession of nuance and substantiated prose while building to a crescendo of literary gold that can only be fueled on by caffeine and the knowledge that everyone is watching them write. They know that without the external stimulation through everyone's acknowledgment of the fact that they are indeed writing, the writer would be writing for nothing besides themselves.

The Regular is there like clockwork on a specific day at a specific time. He or she knows the name of every one of the proprietor's children, grandchildren, and pets, and will be the first to bring in any newspaper clipping containing mention of any of the above. The Regular's drink is always out on the counter before he or she steps into the establishment and, speaking in tones almost on par with the Loud Talker, ensures that everyone knows that he or she knows the owner and his or her family personally. This makes the Regular a more important customer than anyone else. On the day that the Regular doesn't show at the prescribed time, it is assumed that he or she has gotten into some horribly disfiguring accident and the coffee shop will expressly fold without his or her patronage.

If you are missing any of the current events magazines or newspapers from the rack, they are undoubtedly at the table of the Waspy Couple. This husband and wife, usually middle-aged, is easily spotted at the coffee shop after church on Sundays in their finest. They will calmly discuss the week's news over swapping each section of the paper, and not a visit to the coffee shop goes by without the husband asking the wife, at least once, to remind him to pencil in this or that auction or event into his calendar when he gets home. No topic is off limits or, like the Living-Room Dweller, inappropriately too private. Though they do not expel bank account numbers to the entire shop, they will make sure the whole place knows how much they donated to the trendiest charity last month.

The Student has decided that the school library, a room built with the sole purpose of allowing a student to have the resources, space, and comfort for optimal studying, is just not up to the standard of their educational needs and has sought out a busy coffee shop as a reasonable alternative. Unfortunately, the Student will spend most of their time casting divisive glances and threatening sighs towards everyone else who dares to breathe too loudly in this public place. Not lasting long, the Student will give up and move to a new coffee shop every 30 minutes.

LAN Party Over Here! is almost always present in the form of several younger people, located within feet of each other, typing frantic messages to the person within arms reach. Also easily recognizable because of the occasional outbursts of synchronized laughing and occasionally laptop swapping. Expect this group to consume the largest amount of caffeinated beverages and make the biggest mess. Most coffee shop LAN Party Over Here! groups emanate from being outcast from one, if not all of the group members' parents' homes.

An uplifting member of the coffee shop culture is the Happy to be Breathing. They are overjoyed at everything. If the little old woman asks the little old man if he wants a prune spiced bran muffin, he will excitedly say, "Yes! I'd love a prune spiced bran muffin!" and after consuming said muffin he will wipe the saliva off the corners of his mouth with a hankie and proclaim, in as booming a voice as his shriveling vocal chords can manage, "That was the best prune spiced bran muffin I've ever had!"

1 comment:

Brian Hamilton said...

Therapist all booked up? Take your friend to the coffee shop and be like the Inappropriate Private Conversation in Public people! It doesn't matter who sees you cry, you're invisible in that back booth even though the barista keeps coming over and inconspicuously leaving more napkins. Sure, you have a living room and even a car would be the better place to break up, but the atmosphere counts here people. A good cry about how you have no control over your own life doesn't have as much impact in your Geo Metro as it does when you are everyone else's afternoon entertainment.

The Clutch of Post-Menopausal Crows all have shoulder length hair, sunglasses on top of their heads, and a comfortable unhappiness towards life. These relaxed and secure contemplators know how to fix the country because have spent the hours previous to their gathering introspectively reading classic literature and organic gardening magazines, deriving lessons ranging from spirituality to mysticism in them. They would be able to apply their newly discovered piety, if they could only find a pant set with waists high enough to comfortably complete the job. Sitting and occasionally lightly touching each other for shared comfort and reassurance, this group will stay for hours nursing their teas and ruefully sighing into the void that is their contentedness.

Gaggle Of Knitting Middle-Aged Gray-Haired Overweight Lesbians. This one is self-explanatory.