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NOTES FROM THE COFFEEGROUND

I'm waiting here at Starbucks for Honda to finish with my 150,000 mile Civic.

i have a pretty decent cup of coffee, so at least i got that going for me.

The guy next to me though... he's...

i mean, he's probably a very nice person. But if he doesn't stop humming and singing, I'm going to SNAP and smash a milk caraffe into his face. i forgot my headphones, so I'm at the mercy of the PA and the people around me. THIS GUY is tapping his fingers & toes in my peripheral vision and he seems to know about half the words to the music -the other half he just kinda mumblescats. It sounds like they've got Dr. John, Patsy Cline, Lyle Lovett, Kings of Leon, Nora Jones, and the BeeGees on rotation here. The guy seems to be trying to have a Good Time here instead of just finishing up whatever business he's got on that laptop.

Those two girls over there are pretty cute, but they're laughing too much and too loud. They're going through some notebook stuff. Probably community college or nursing or something.

There's a dude with a shaved head and a fedora typing on a notepad. Can't tell if he's business or pleasure. i must say that i find his modified goatee pretty dapper.

There's some suit at the barista bar. He's reading a newspaper. Not an iPad, but a real pulp&ink paper. Prolly the WSJ. Grey hair, grey suit, grey socks, black shoes.

There're about a half dozen people in the back outta sight. When i was back there ordering, i noticed that all of 'em had laptops. Students and business people. One guy had a book. A real paper & ink book. Awesome.

"TALL HAZELNUT NON-FAT LATTE UP FOR HANNA!"
"SOY CHAI UP FOR WILLIAM!"

Oh, sh!te. Mumblescat man just engaged me. "Are you going to be here awhile?" Um... you're not here to pick me up, are you, dude? -Oh. Okay. He's just going to the restroom and doesn't want to abandon his laptop and coat to any scavengers. Got it. Cool. Yeah, i can keep an eye on 'em. It might be that tapping his toes to "Stayin' Alive" lead to the inevitable bladder control problems. The good news is that, when he got up, he knocked his coffee over onto my power cord. No electrocution, but it makes you THINK about it.

Indian couple just came in. They don't look like coffee campers. I'm guessing they're just grabbing something for the road. Wait for it... wait for it... Bingo. Two small coffees and out the door. Oh, but, wait. They're sitting down at a table out on the patio. Not too bad in Atlanta yet for that kinda thing. 55 degrees and no real breeze. I've been noticing a lot of wool and corduroy today. Oh, they're SMOKERS. No choice exCept the great outdoors. One quick smoke and they're off to their car. The open road awaits.

Update on Mumblescat Man: he's back and (as he waves his laptop around) it seems he's been browsing some jobs site. Poor bastard. Times are tough all over, right? Hells, my own wife has been downsized twice in the last year. Well, hopefully by next week he'll be stuck in some third floor cubicle bothering some new co-workers there instead of innocent by-standers here at the coffeeshop.

And yet another update. He seems to be singing THIS SONG alittle louder and more accurately. As the irritation level rises, he leans over to me and says: "You ever hear this guy?". i cock my head to one side, squint, and... is that Iron & Wine? "No. It's Damien Rice. Great singer. He's Irish. I went over there and heard him and brought back a CD. Now I hear it all over the place. He did the soundtrack to that Julia Roberts movie a while ago." Well, okay then. I guess you learn something new every day. Thanks. You seem like a nice guy, but if you don't stop singing, I'ma smash a caraffe in yo' face.

*http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgqOSCgc8xc
**http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0817230