Thursday, February 11, 2010

From Russia with Love

As previously mentioned, I work in Bumfuck Egypt, for those not familiar with that location, follow the sound of the banjo and the smell of burning leaves and eventually you'll run into it. I have come to terms with the fact that the majority of the population will forever make the word, "tall" into three syllables, "Tah-Wo-l" and that's fine. But what I don't like is when people come in that you don't expect, that throw you off your game. For me this is a group, I will refer to only as, the Espresso Mafia.
The Espresso Mafia, is a group of Russian men, who come into our litte BFE Starbucks, and order only shots of espresso. The exchange usually goes something like this.
Me: "Hi, what can I get for you?"
EM member: "Double Espresso"
Now, this seems fine, but you must picture a towering, furry-knuckled man, dripping in gold jewelry, who sounds like bond villian saying it. It's funny isn't it.
I'm not exactly sure why BFE has such a large concentration of heavily-accented Russian men ... okay that's a lie, I have a clue ... They're in organized crime. Oh yeh, I said it. I mean I have no proof that they are in the mob but I mean I've watched, "The Godfather" like 3,000 times and am obsessed with the Sopranos, so I mind as well be a scholar on the matter.
I don't care if they are, but I'd like for them to tell me stuff, you know, who they whacked, or maybe I can be their mob secretary. I'd like to just be something more than the girl who sells them espresso.
No, not like their “gumar” because they all have equally interesting wives that I would not want to cross.
My favorite wife looks like she should be on one of those "Real Housewives" shows. I'll explain, She's tall but wears stilettos, buxom but wears a pushup bra, blonde and teased with long acrylic nails. She says nothing, rarely makes eye contact but her husband always looks like he is about to proposition you for a threesome, so it evens itself out.
I don't really know what my fixation is with the Espresso Mafia as a whole, but I think it is based on the fact that they look so out of place amongst the Tim Tebow jerseys and John Deere hats. Although, I guess I should have learned by now to never be surprised by our cast of characters because they're all a mystery. But, secretly I hope that one day the Espresso Mafia, will open up to me, and tell me what it is they really do ... probably custom banjo makers.

My mother's a half-Jew, my father's a Southern Baptist and I started drinking at 15.

After seeing a community theater advertisement for the Steve Solomon production, "My mother's Italian, my father's Jewish and I'm in therapy," I began to think about my own level of "mut-ness." Let's start with my mother.
Madre: She a half-jew hippie, who looks like an Aryan princess. Blonde hair, blue eyes, the whole package ... basically Hitler's wetdream, our whole family makes extremely inappropriate jokes about this. I think if born a little earlier, she may have possibly been a real-life version of Shoshanna from "Inglourious Basterds."
Padre de Gato: He's an Irish, Southern Baptist, good ole' boy surfer, who plays blues guitar and refuses to stop using the term "hollaback." Unfortunately, I inherited his Irish skin and religion. Fortunately, I inherited his Irish tolerance for alcohol, which makes the whole Southern Baptist thing a lot more bearable.
Now, I've never seen, "My mother's Italian, my father's Jewish and I'm in therapy," so my opinion is basically based on the title (which I can do because it's my blog) but I don't see why this guy is so pissed. I mean you have good food and Hannukah/Christmas combo. That seems pretty badass. All I got was pale skin and fiscal responsility, not to mention the whole don't dance or you're going to burn in hell thing.
So, having decided that Mr. Solomon is a cry baby. I am going to create a one-woman show about what events really drive someone to therapy, such as being told by your 2nd grade teacher at your Christian school, that Power Rangers are evil and if you play with them God will be mad. (Yeah, I remember. Thanks for ruining Power Rangers for me, you bitch!)
Having said that, look for my production of, "My mother's a half-Jew, my father's a Southern Baptist and I started drinking at 15," on a street corner near you.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

To Catch a Predator: Coffee Shop Edition

Do you ever see someone and know that they own a van with blacked out windows and an endless supply of twizzlers in the back? Well, I see about three a day. Sometimes more. Although, there is one person in particular. He is skeeviness personified and I often refer to him as the "man we will one day find out has bodies in his freezer." Everyone realizes there is something not quite right but he is a regular and for that reason we must be pleasant and hold conversation.

"How are you today, (I will refer to him as Creepy Coffee Man)?"

Now, Creepy Coffee Man has a voice that sounds like a mixture of Slingblade and Mr. Garrison from South Park. He never really makes eye contact and on the rare occasion he does, you're so freaked out, you feel like you've taken the red pill from the Matrix, and all you want to do is go back to your previous, simpler life.
CCM usually responds with one word only answers, such as "Alright," "Good," "Fine." All which seem to translate into ... I want to eat your face.
He orders the same thing every time, which is watered down coffee, in a mug he brought from his house, usually stained with wine, and then sits on the couch, and watches us. He occaisionally moves around from seat to seat, like he is in some strange one person game of musical chairs. He drinks his half-water coffee and makes sounds announcing he's about to go to the bathroom. Sounds, you ask...let me try to explain. SCHHEWWW. Yes, thats the sound. It haunts my dreams.
I know it may seem like I'm being awfully hard on CCM, but he is the most regular of creepy regulars. He comes everyday, with very gelled hair and moves from one piece of furniture to the next and ogles young girls. He is in a way as much a part of my store as any other object found in a coffee shop. Oh, there's the cups, there's the espresso machine, there's the muffins, there's CCM.
I pray daily that I'm wrong about him and that he does not Hannibal Lector people on the weekends, but just in case, I will continue to be nice to him, nice and completely detatched.
Because I don't want to take a ride in the van that he may or may not have because I really don't like the idea of being put in a freezer but am unsure if I have the willpower to say no to an endless supply of twizzlers.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Why is the kid from Deliverance in the corner of this Coffee Shop?

I love my job. And I just have to keep repeating that phrase so I do not throw scalding-hot coffee into the face of some perv who wants to know if he can stuff a dollar into my apron. This is a coffee shop, you creeper not Lucky's House of Jugs ... please leave or I will be forced to burn you.

As stated previously, I hold the coveted position of a barista, which in layman's terms means coffee bitch. I am all-powerful, holding the key to the yuppies existence. The latte.

Normally that would be all well and good, but I work in a special shop, and yes I do mean that kind of special. We wear helmets special. We eat paste special. You know, Sarah Palin special.

I say this because the the location of my store is someplace one would not expect a purveyor of the $5 latte to be placed ... that would be the sticks, in front of a Wal-Mart. Yes, it's as ridiculous as it sounds.

Most people hate our sheer existence in their town. We are everything they hate, which is fine, even understandable. But what kills me is that while hating us, they come, order their drinks, and let us know how much they hate us.

"Ohhh, this better be the best damn cup of coffee I've ever had since I just had to fork over my kids college tuitions to pay for it."

To which I want to respond, Come on, I know you weren't planning on sending your children to college.

But, really the complaints about the price is not that bad, compared to the personal assualts.

Whispers to friend:"This is why I'm making my son take AP classes so he doesn't end up pouring coffee for a living."

To which I want to respond, You bitchface whore, I'm not REALLY a barista. I'm an Journalism student who will soon be graduating with honors. I swear this is not my life, they just give me health insurance.

However, I've realizes that it doesn't matter because I will never say anything I want to say. I will never ask some people if their parents were brother and sister. I will never tell the pushy men that there's not enough daddy issues in the world to make me sleep with them. Or, if any of them know, that I could do any number of disgusting things to the product they are about to ingest. But like I said, those things don't get said. I just smile and deal.

And then, create a blog, so I can share all my stories. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll eventually lose faith in humanity, as I give you insight into my life as woman, a college student and most importantly a barista. Dammit.