Too tight for cool

Too tight for cool

So my wife and I are a couple of progressives. We live in a somewhat-gay downtown neighborhood in a little 1949 bungalow. We drive small cars and I often cycle to work. We also tend to vote lefty.

Our TV screen is only 21″ wide.

But I’m a little wired, as Monday night at the local farmer’s market showed. Stardust Cafe sets up all sorts of pavilions, bands, crafts and whatnot in their parking lot. Since we are proud neo-urbanites, we walked over. It had just finished raining and a low fog hung on the ground. We passed the little league field where the tykes were batting balls all over the place and the parents were screaming like a Scottish clan. Low rock music pulsed from the nearby tavern and the last of the yuppy fuvs flashed down Corrine, racing to make their suburban McMansions before primetime.

The market was pretty light that night, the rain having chased most people off. JB and I looked over the eclectic selections and settled on Filipino; spring rolls and such. Ordered our food but found that drinks had to be purchased inside. Told JB to finish getting the grub and grab a table near the desperate musicians – I’d snag some sodas.

Bad move.

Stardust is kinda like the Honeycomb Hideout, all edge and mood, with lots of ironic junk dangling on the walls. There were five new-age people in three groups in line in front of me. Lots of lip-studs, lots of anime-hair, lots of retro-sneakers. That’s fine – I’m a weedy academic with wild hair so I add stability to the line. How long could it take?

There are three stages to coffee-house beverage ordering:

1) When you get to the counter, look up from thumbing your iToy (or from your flesh-conversation if you are Borg-deprived) at the big, big menu chalkboard and say “Ummm… Uhhh…” with all the innocent surprise of a newborn.

2) After some mental thrashing and consultation with your partner/Facebook, select whatever takes a dozen ingredients, judicious mixing, a trip to the storeroom and a consultation with the barkeep.

3) Once the drink is delivered, worm your fingers into your tight purse (or anchor-chained wallet) for your credit card. After all, Visa works best on $5 orders.

Bonus Round – After running your card, realize you didn’t add a tip and ask for a $1 swipe. Drop the pen and grope around for it for even more points.

Of course, this really plays well with the dink at the end of the line, the guy desperately cranning a look out the front window at his seated wife and cooling dinner

What can you do but slowburn? And once you are mad, how can you not get mad at getting mad. After all, all these people are groovy happening cats, at peace with the world. And now I’m having my own anger reflect off my own self-image back at me. I feel like a barbarian in a temple or a mime at a funeral. I am totally out of phase with my locale. I should have just shouted “Get off my lawn, you kids!” and been done with it.

So we sat outside on wet seats and chewed our lukewarm (but otherwise good) spring rolls. And I learned a valuable lesson about life.

Next time, I’m packing a can of coke in each jacket pocket.