a long day's afternoon is upon me, and i need a quick fix to keep my wits. i stroll over to the local coffee shop to pick up a double espresso (yeah, i know). it's been pretty busy at work, so i'm hoping that the line will move quickly.
let me digress for a moment. i have been cursed. specifically, a dark, pestilent plague has been cast upon me when it comes to waiting in lines. its modus operandi is to make me wait in line as long as possible for no reason. and, for the most part, when i am waiting in said lines, i am in a desperate hurry. i'm not sure why i'm always in such a hurry, but i think the act of waiting in line in and of itself has something to do with it. and so, i will say this: i fucking hate waiting in line.
the nature of a line is like that of a reservoir, and a reservoir is the illusion of the polite management of pressure. millions and millions of gallons of water have been corralled and bottled-up, exerting unheard of amounts of newton-meters of force on whatever has been engineered to contain it. usually, this containment comes in the form of a dam. so, there sits a tranquil midwestern town, over which looms the tall shadow of the great dam. behind this barrier is our gigantic volume of water dying to release its energy and rush freely over what is currently an impoverished, dry river bed; this water yearns to replenish and restore what was once a fecund valley, now occupied by...say...a coffee shop.
people in line are no different. as more gather, the pressure rises. however, we're not as passive as our liquid counterparts. so, as the line augments, its members become raucous, perturbed. they too feel the need to embark upon their intended paths, but something is holding them back: the dam. this time, though, the dam is equally unique.
not only does it talk, but it has a cash register, an apron, and lingo. it has its very own fucking lexicon. and, it slings this ridiculous polysyllabic nonsense from its oral orifice at freakishly high volume, right in your face. this dam is running interference, trying to stuff its reservoir to maximum capacity.
meanwhile, this plague of mine, it festers and gurgles in the confines of my inner monologue and ultimately manifests as a throbbing neck vein. hitting something is usually the desired recourse and release. yet, as is the case, there isn't anything acceptable to hit. so i just stew, while the dam keeps spouting crap--the bottled up muck that results from stagnation.
finally, there's just one person--let's call him "Mongo"--in front of me. enter stage left, The Curse.
m: "yeah, uh, what are those there?" Mongo says, looking and pointing at round objects with holes in them, lying just beneath the glass counter top.
mind you, Mongo has no accent; he isn't from a far away place, untouched by man, dams, and coffee shops. all things considered, it in fact appears that Mongo is fairly accustomed to this procedure of ordering an object of which he is desirous.
d: "hi sir, how may help you?" as if the dam didn't just hear what Mongo had so astutely asked.
m: "yeah, those there," still pointing, "what are those?"
d: "those are donuts, sir," the dam replies.
then it enters into a long-winded exegesis, using the untranslatable lexicon to describe the history of said donuts and their romanticised journey. they started as sacred wheat in a remote african province and were blessed and harvested by anointed shamans (can you pluralize that?). from there they underwent an ancient, secret process by which they were combined with the rendered animal fat of sacrificial goats. bob's you uncle and, a dozen steps later, you got fucking donuts.
they're fucking donuts, not the holy sacrament.
m: "hmm, what was that you said about this one here," pointing at a donut that looks like this:
the explanation continues and, after another two or three wasted minutes, we get another gem:
d: "...and so that there is our luxurious glazed donut."
A glazed donut. Christ.
m: "okay, i think i'll have this one here. this one with the...uh...the stuff on it, right here. this one on your..."
Mongo turns around so that his right and left are synchronized with those of the dam. Mongo thinks for another minute, making sure the "right" he's about to refer to is in fact the same "right" of the dam. long pause--
m: "...the one on your right."
d: "the one here?" dam is pointing to his other right.
m: "no, that one, there on your other side."
d: "this one, here?"
m: "yes. yes, that one. that's the donut i'd like to order." Now all attention is focused on a donut that looks about like this:
m: "what's on that, anyway?"
d: "oh, i have no idea. it looks like..."
m: "yeah, gimme that one."
and here is my problem: who takes fifteen minutes to order something, let alone a goddamn donut, when he doesn't even know what it is? what if what he's just ordered isn't actually food at all? what if it was a mistake, and it's actually a mouldy cow patty that's found it's way from africa all the way to this counter? and, due to the intricate aging processes of mould, it just happens to resemble a donut?
what if Mongo is deathly allergic to not one, but ALL of the ingredients in this age-ripened-mouldy-cow-patty-donut?
what the fuck?!
i hope he chokes on that thing, has an allergic reaction, turns bright purple for ten days, then, a month later, his penis falls off.
i finally get to the counter.
a: "i'll have a double espresso, please." Gritting teeth.
d: "let me tell you about our exotic blends of beans..."
something has gone terribly wrong.