Sunday, March 04, 2007

Radio talk-guy

I stopped off at Dunkin' Donuts this afternoon for some coffee on my way home from running errands. I told the incredibly unfriendly woman behind the counter what I desired, and she went off to retrieve it.

While I was waiting, a couple walked in a stood in line behind me. They were neo-hippies from the looks of them, wiry and long-haired, probably a little older than me. They stood and talked to one another about the menu. I got the impression they had never been inside a donut shop before, or a coffee house for that matter. I started to listen in earnest when I heard the guy say that his brain was "frazzled," a word I don't believe I've ever heard anyone say outside of fiction. I had to say it in a play once, but that's as close as I've come.

After "frazzled" came a question from the guy to the woman about the differences between espresso, cappuccino and latte. His companion said something about milk that was close to the right answer, but not quite it. I turned around and quickly explained the differences between the three drinks.

"Wow," the guy replied, looking deeply into my eyes. He was not being facetious. "Are you a professor or something?"

"No."

"Radio talk-guy, then," he decided. I honestly have no idea what made him say these things.

"No." By now I was laughing a little. Weirded out a little, too. I apologized for intruding on their conversation.

"No, man, we'd have been here all day."

The woman started to sneeze. She seemed to control them, as only the inhale half made a noise. She did this several times.

"You'd sell that better if you did the 'choo,'" the man said after her third orphaned "Ah."

He asked me as I was departing whether the espresso drinks are any good at Dunkin' Donuts. I told him I've never tried them. His face fell. He had lost his guide.

Out of my house for less than two hours, and still I manage to disappoint someone.

12 comments:

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Well, you didn't disappoint ME. I read with increasing incredulity, wondering what planet these people were from, and your last sentence was sheer delight.

Chris said...

I've never been in a dunkin donuts but I believe I can say with full confidence that the espresso would be awful. I do beleive there is a guy out there in cyber space that has a website dedicated to how truly bad the coffee is at that chain.

One of the things I love about Glasgow is that every place that sells coffee has one of those big expensive real espresso machines. So if you just order a plain black coffee - what you'll get is an americano. I've yet to see a place that has a percolator.

Who knew?

baralbion said...

My father used quite often to say he was "worn to a frazzle". But that was a long time ago.

swimmer6foot4 said...

Ouch! I so rarely go into one of those places that provides an option on how you want your coffee (other than with-or-without-milk) that I get frazzled too. And my eye sight is so poor I can never read all those menus, written in tiny type face, stuck behind the counter either. And I get fearful knowing that a queue (line) is building up behind me. So that could well have been me thanking you for the help you so freely gave.

I wonder why he asked if you were a professor? Maybe you were wearing spectacles. I used to get called that.

I can understand the reference to the radio-talk guy though.
Click and Clack impress the hell out of me and beat any PhDs I know, hands down.

Reading the Signs said...

Oh this is very funny. Are you sure they weren't English? Because I hear "frazzled" quite a lot and use it myself. And that question about whether you were a professor: it also has a particularly English quality of, not facetious but, sly humour that is directed as much toward oneself as anyone else. On the other hand they may have been extra-terrestrials just landed from Planet Zob. I think this is actually the most probable explanation.

goodthomas said...

This is great, Mr. T. Another wonderful case of fact being stranger than fiction. You could not think up these characters, this scenario. They are just too perfect. Wonderful stuff.

No disappointments here.

basest said...

Okay...I sort of get the idea that you might be some sort of professor. Professors know stuff. Normally, it's stuff pertaining to their area of study. But maybe you're a professor of Coffee.
Or you specialize in Columbian and Italian socio-economic studies.
I really don't get the Radio-Talk-Guy thing. Are talk radio people really that well informed? And don't they have people to get their coffee for them?
I'd think he was making fun of you by asking if you were some sort of professor, but the Radio Talk Guy thing really throws it all off.

The Moon Topples said...

HinSF: I am glad not to disappoint you. Also: we're the first two marshmallows from Lucky Charms, in case you didn't notice.

Chris: I actually like Dunkin' Donuts coffee. That's why I was there. Although I do like the places that serve nothing but espresso. They haven't caught on in the States yet, I guess.

Baralbion: Glad to know someone was using it.

Swimmer6ft4: Sorry you have difficulty. I suppose that's sort of why I chimed in, out of a desire to help my fellow man or something.

RTS: I can assure you that he was totally sincere in his professor question. If there was anything in his eyes that betrayed humor of any kind, this wouldn't have likely made the blog.

GT: Well, I probably could think up these characters now that I've met them. In fact, I think they'll be the heroes of my next novel. A crime-solving duo with no knowledge of contemporary society.

Basest: I assumed the radio thing was because I have such an unusually pleasant speaking voice, and because I expressed myself so incredibly well. I don't think he meant the shock jock people who make their money by being loud. I thought he meant it more like NPR.

nmj said...

hey moon, like rts, i want to add that frazzled is quite common here in the uk . . . also, you didn't disappoint your neo-hippies, i reckon you made their day!

basest said...

okay...i've been giving this a lot of thought. I think the tweed jacket with the suede patches on the elbows that you undoubtedly were wearing would convey either a professorial image or that of an NPR-type radio guy.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

The first two marshmallows from Lucky Charms... Please explain. You're talking over my marshmallow fluff head.

The Moon Topples said...

NMJ: I hope so. I'd hate to think that their day was glowing until I came along. And I'm glad to learn about words in use in the UK, as I'd still love to move there one day.

Basest: Weirdly, I do have a tweed jacket of which I am quite fond. I bought it in London and I wear it quite a bit. At the Dunkin' Donuts, however, I was dressed more like a shaggy woodsman. A Worker recently described my look as "well-kept homeless person." Obviously, I murdered her.

HinSF: The commercials always began (describing the varieties of marshmallows) "Pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars, etc." So you're the heart and I'm the moon.