Monday, April 02, 2007

The Handsome Cabin Boy and I went off and saw 300 last night and all I can say is yay rippling pectorals. That was some awfully yummy, oiled up manflesh er, really nifty Gerard Butler in leather briefs! cinematography. Well done adaptation of the comic, et bravo. I do not feel as if my $11 was wasted.

So I've been thinking. There are a few "types" who tend to patronize the cafe on a daily basis. Some of them are regulars who come in every day, and some of them are just archetypes, the faces vary, but the theme remains the same.

The Young Mom/Mr. Mom (baby in stroller) this denizen of the neighborhood cafe never stays very long. She always gets her soy vanilla chai latte in a "to go" cup, ditto whatever pastry she's trying to enjoy. Usually spends her brief cafe respite chasing toddler away from stage and draperies, saying, "NO." Depending on age of child, might order a "kid's hot chocolate" which we don't actually offer on the menu, but I am happy to make. Notable because of sheer amount of bagel or pastry crumbs left in lounge after fussy baby/toddler means mama has to pack up latte and go. Usually wearing designer yoga pants, has dark circles under eyes, and a short sassy haircut, while baby is sporting latest looks from BabyGap. If Dad, somewhat frazzled look in eyes, uncombed hair and untucked shirt, no latte or pastry, just a large black drip coffee and baby in interesting mismatched collection of things that are probably from BabyGap but were never meant to be worn together.

The Commuter Revs up to sidewalk in late model SUV, always orders something fussy and a complete pain in my ass like a skim half caf latte extra foam or a large dry soy cap*, is dressed to the nines and in a hurry. Often approaches counter while talking on cell phone.

The Student will hang out in the lounge for an entire day, studying, and buy one cup of coffee and a bagel with cream cheese, and they are so quiet that you forget they are there. Or, they are special snowflakes and want the music turned down and vegetarian substitutions on their Himalayan Roast Beef. Women's Studies majors nearly always fall into the latter category, at least in my experience.

The Slacker is actually usually (under)employed. Pays for small drip coffee in coins of small denominations. And lint. Takes five minutes to figure out what on menu they can afford. Usually ends up scoring with a large drip coffee (OOPS, I gave you a large cup. Oh darn.) and is directed to secret stash of $1 day old pastries because barista has fellow feeling and knows what goes around comes around. The Slacker always tips really well when he/she has money to spare, and then hangs out and provides amusing conversational diversion after.

The Uuuuummmmmmmm.... Can't Make Up Her Mind Has no idea what he/she wants. Asks annoying questions about everything and then ends up just getting a Red Bull. Should go to another coffeehouse down the street and stop ordering things in "grande" and "venti" sizes because this is not That Other Place.

There are more. These are just the ones I can think of for now. Working in a coffeehouse is a lot of fun and also a real study in human nature. You do a lot of people watching from behind that steam wand.

**soymilk does not foam. A cap is mostly foam, a little milk and a shot. A dry cap is ALL foam and a shot of espresso. A 20 oz dry, soy cap, that is a nightmare. That is several chisterns worth of steaming, sheer damn luck and a lot of bad words muttered at the steam wand.


Roxie said...

Love the character studies - especially Mr. Mom! More, please?

Mouse said...

LOL 300 sounds like a great movie.. I can't wait to see it.
I love the studies as well.. a friend and I used to do something similar when we would sit outside of a coffee shop in Athens. I much prefer independently owned coffee shops to that other place.. the coffee and service is usually worlds better.

Cambria said...

Sort of reminds me of my days at Mickie D's, or in the branch drive up... or some of the customers I dealt with as a call center customer service agent. In my new department it's a whole new animal. Lots of dumb people.

sopranospinner said...

300 certainly was some lovely manflesh!

Thank god, I no longer fit into any of your (so far) coffee categories, although I have been a student and a mommy with stroller at earlier stages.

What do you call the mother of young elementary school kids who meets her mommy friends and spends half of her lousy free half hour trashing the husbands and the other half trying to get the kids not to run around in circles?

Ragnar said...

A field guide to coffee drinkers...

I'm thinking glossy photos with quick reference tabs, and those bird watchers who don't have anything to watch since all the birds except for pigeons and sea gulls have left for less urban environs can start a new life list.

"Look dear, I think that's a red crested slacker. We haven't seen one of those yet have we?"

k8-t said...

your archetypes are spot on.
also, i've found that soy milk DOES foam, just not happily. and that much of it will certainly require multiple steamings. at least i hope he is not so picky as to the quality of the foam (airy vs dense) since he is such a pain the ass in the first place.

Will Pillage For Yarn said...

ragnar, I am splorfling over red crested slacker *giggle*

K8t, have you tried Pacific soy? It foams well, alas our bosses only buy Kikkoman Pearl which foams poorly. Silk also works well.