Friday, October 15, 2010
Went into one of my favorite people watching spots today to have a cup and a gander. For a cup of coffee and a cookie (Yeah, my dieting skills suck) I paid six bucks.
I don't want to sound cheap, but seriously? I know how much a cup of coffee costs. I know how much you pay for it, I know how much it costs you in overhead to make it, and I know damn well that it's nowhere near what you charged me. I sighed in defeat though, took my portion of chemical energy, and went to sit down and plug in my computer so I could get down to why I really came here: Free internet.
I had been sitting for maybe thirty seconds before a little old man tottered up to me and motioned for me to remove my headphones. Pandora hadn't kicked in yet so I figured what the hell. I did so and he looked at me with a straight face and asked me in a deep baratone: "What's my name?"
I looked around for the screaming monkeys and ninja cowboys to see if I was in some sort of weird brain fugue state again, and seeing none, I replied that I had no idea.
He shook his head, lifted his cup of coffee a few inches to indicate what he was talking about, and said: "I'll tell you what it is. My name is Don, but if you ever see me in here again having bought a cup of coffee, I want you to come up and call me by my new name - Stupid."
He didn't wait for a reaction, didn't smile and wink to let me know it was a joke, he just tottered off to sit on the patio. I almost fell out of my chair I laughed so hard. After he sat down, one of the employees walked past his table. He raised his cup in a toast and sang out "Stupid!" so loud that everyone stared. I couldn't help it. I went up and sat down with him. We talked about his life, my love of the scenery (Lot's of Coeds), and inflation. He was a fascinating old curmudgeon, and prone to fits of loud and obnoxious commentary on everything around him.
Don, AKA Stupid, eventually got up and left without any long, drawn out goodbye. "People to see." He said without a backwards glance.
He's kinda my new hero.