Hip To Be Square
A few days ago my wife and I took a walk around the new and improved Fort Worth landmark, Sundance Square. Beautiful place, well planned, functional architecture. Good job Bass boys.
After a few loops, we got a hankering for a cup of coffee and maybe a pastry.
We looked around and found a smallish but very European street café with the cute little sidewalk tables. Not our style, so we went inside.
Passing through the door, I caught the name on the storefront window, “The Door to Perception.” Thought a minute. I know that. Yeah, Aldous Huxley, the infamous beat author from the fifties. He and Jack Kerouac birthed the beat generation via literature. This might be a hip place.
We queued in line at the counter. The young man in front of me smelled of Petiole oil. An odd scent for a man. Didn’t mix well with my Old Spice. Hippie chick perfume is what we called it back in the day.
My wife nudged me and whispers “what kind of place is this? These kids all look alike.”
She was right. Every male in the shop had a similar symmetrical haircut, facial hair, garage sale chic mismatched clothing and skin-tight jeans. Birkenstock sandals seemed to be the shoe of choice. The girls were ditto, but without the facial hair. Stepford children they were. I knew immediately that we had stumbled into a Hipster coffee house. I told my wife to please be calm. This is no more dangerous than wading into a gob of old hippies at a Steppenwolf reunion concert. She wasn’t amused.
The Petiole boy in front of me was ordering his coffee. I caught the conversation with him and the barista.
“I’ll have a Trenta in a recycled rain forest cup, free range, green label, fair trade grown, Andean, but not from the higher region but the lower valley, harvested by virgins no older than 16, aged in a cave on the coast to a bold bean, roasted on a log fire made from non-endangered rain forest trees, lightly pressed, and kissed with a serious pour of steamed spotted Syrian goats milk, then ever so slowly, pour two Cuban sugars at the same time on opposite sides of the cup. Oh yeah, and Kale sprinklers. Don’t stir it, I need to experience the aura.” “Ahhhh… that’s my favorite, an educated choice sir” cooed the perky little barista.
We were stunned. What in the hell did that kid just say? I stepped up to the counter. “Two coffees with two creams and sugars each please,” I said.
What region will your coffee be from sir” asked the perky barista?
“How about from Columbia, you know Juan Valdez and his little burro, “asked I.
“Don’t know that one sir, don’t know a Mr. Juan Valdez,” she replied.
Got something from Mrs. Olsen or Mrs. Folgers ?” I asked.
“No sir, don’t know them either,” she said.
“Got anything that comes in a vacuum packed can?” I asked.
“No sir, our beans come in hand-sewn burlap bags from India” she replied.
“Do you have any coffee grown in the United States?” asked I.
She perked up and replied “Yes sir, grown in California, Big Sur area by the Wavy Gravy Mystical Coffee Co-op. I hear it’s harvested every third quarter when Jupiter aligns with Mars, and the moon is in the seventh house. You know sir, this is the age of Aquarius.”
“Yes I know the song,” I said.
“Is there a song sir?” she replied.
At this point, my head was about to explode, and I needed to wrap it in duct tape to contain the splatter. My wife saved me by stepping up to the counter and addressed the barista.
“Look Moonbeam, just give us two cups of that Gravy coffee and you pick out the sugar and cream, deal?”
“Names not Moonbeam mam, its Hillary” replied the barista.
“Of course it is, sweetheart, I should have guessed that. I suppose you have a brother named Bill too?”
“No mam, just a little sister, Chelsea.”
My wife shot me her “get me out of here before someone dies” look.
The barista sensed where this was heading and promptly pushed the coffees across the counter. I paid, and we left.
We stood on the sidewalk, took a sip of the coffee and promptly poured it into the gutter.
On the way home, we went through the McDonalds drive through for a red white and blue cup of coffee. Can’t go wrong with good old Mickey D’s. None of that Hipster crap.
“I’ll have two coffees with cream and sugar; please,” I said to the voice.
“Sir, will that be a Latte, a breakfast blend, a dinner blend, a dessert blend, an anniversary blend, or an I love you blend, a save the children blend in a reusable cup or an expresso, chilled or topped with sprinkles” the voice replied.
I pulled out of line, and we headed home to our old and extremely un-hip Mr. Coffee.