[Yours Truly and Johnny McNulty (of DG fame) walking into the local coffee shop – The Perk-u-later – during a break from their respective highly lucrative and fulfilling careers]
Yours truly: I’d argue that the so called ‘recession’ is nothing more than a self-fulfilling prophecy. People are so attuned to the presages of the alarmist media that they’re restricting their spending based on a model with no referent. The classic simulacrum. People just need to wake up and get moving again.
Johnny McNulty: Well I guess it’s a good thing we’re getting coffee then!
[Mutual, sophisticated laughter expressing deep, worldly intelligence and refinement]
YT: We’re so worldly and refined.
JM: Verily. Zowee! This line is long!
YT: Too long. I sure hope that we can overhear something funny to help us pass the time…
JM: Let’s try it out.
[In front of the handsome duo, a British man – identifiable by a well-tailored suit, a miniature Union Jack, and a foppishness not native to America - is at the counter, speaking to the barrista]
British Man: I-I-I’d like a, um, a coffee, if you please.
Barrista: What size?
BM: Let us see. Goodness! How, I say how can one measure the height of a liquid?
B: Tall means small.
BM: Oh, I see…My word, this is going to be more difficult than I anticipated…
YT: I swear I’ve heard that endearing awkwardness before.
JM: Why, it’s the beloved actor Hugh Grant!
YT: You’re right! Let’s listen in…
Hugh Grant: So, my good man, would you mind telling me more about your Breakfast coffee?
B: It’s light. It’s good in the morning. Hence breakfast.
HG: Hmm. Well. I see. Right. And what of the
B: It’s darker.
HG: That sounds just splendid, but I, I…
B: [Audible sigh] Yes?
HG: I was hoping for something a bit more – how to say it? – robust?
YT: I’m frustrated by the wait, but I find his stammering humorous.
JM: Shush, friend, I want to hear the barrista’s reply, which he’s apparently waited to give until we finished with this exchange.
HG: Robust, y-yes, robust.
B: A macchiato?
HG: My, that sounds positively decadent!
B: Yeah, sure. You want one?
HG: I suppose I might, I shouldn’t, but…Oh…
B: One macchiato,
HG: I’m not entirely…oh my…
B: That will be $2.82.
HG: Oh, um, ah, right. Here. That’s it.
B: Here’s your macchiato.
HG: Oh, ah, th-thanks, yes.
YT: That actor’s inability to succinctly place a simple order was at once comical and enervating, wasn’t it, John?
JM: It was. I suggest that you consider writing your next piece on this encounter.
YT: I might, friend, I just might. Who’s next in line?
JM: A copper-colored, British-accented robot from a classic space trilogy. He too seems to be having trouble expressing which beverage he’d prefer.
By CS Van Orden