Tirade Tyrant: I Just Want to Fit In

by David Benoit

Another Atlanta coffee adventure occurred this past week.

I have to ask, I have to: What is the deal with this city and the independent coffee baristas thinking they’re above the world? Am I the problem? Am I the asshole? I swear I’m not. Here’ s my step-by-step every-morning rendezvous with various coffee shops, regardless of which:

 I walk in. I wait in line. I walk up to the counter and exactly the following words are released from my vocal muscle memory of my mouth: “May I please have a medium coffee?” I say please to ensure personal accountability of local customs, and I smile for the same reason. I’m not trying to be creepy, and I’m not trying to flirt. I don’t want to have a conversation. I don’t want to answer the question, “How is your morning?” I Just Want My Cup Of Coffee.

Why do I do it this way?

Today, I went for my morning cuppa at some dancing mammal-themed independent joint. It’s a cold morning out, but something about it reminds me of commuting back home. That same smell perhaps: radiators and heaters turning on for the first time in the season. It smells like… reality, I guess. After a few minutes, it became a little chilly, so I stepped back in to warm up for just a few.

“Excuse me, my coffee got really cold out there, would you please hit it with a little steam just to warm it up?”

“Um, no. I can’t do that. Use the microwave.” The dreadlocked Portland, Oregon remnant said with a dead stare. He’s most likely not from Portland, but probably really wishes he were. He strikes me as the kind of fellow that joins in drum circles, maybe juggles to try woo his burnout counterparts. The word “partake” is most likely a reoccurring word in his vocabulary.

“Ok, go fuck yourself,” I said in my head and walked over to the microwave. I had worked in the restaurant business for roughly 15 years. How about a reason from this guy? How about a Southern hospitable “sorry?” No. I get a burnout with an ego protecting his coffee fiefdom because I probably don’t look cool enough to warrant hospitality. At the end of the day, these dinkus, coffee assholes wonder why people flock to Starbucks. It’s consistent and I don’t have to deal with a Northwestern hippie burnout with an attitude.

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