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    Coffee Insult

    This incident happened to me a couple of years ago and got lost in my writing shuffle. Just found it. It made me chuckle. I may have even guffawed.

           At my local coffee shop, The Daily Brew in North Falmouth, I ran into somebody. When I say “ran”, I mean that literally. Not physically, but metaphysically. Who I Am ran smack dab into Who He Is. And sparks flew.
           I had biked from my house a few miles away. My attire was not unusual for an early morning bike ride in mid October. Spandex pants. Skin tight Under Armor top. A couple of ear rings. The ear rings might have been what threw him. Or the colors I was brandishing: bright. Maybe it was that I went to the counter and jokingly ordered a vodka martini and he was in a hurry. I don’t know what exactly irked him. I didn’t ask.
           I ordered my large hazelnut. He ordered his large, maximum density, pitch black ultra dark roast. I added cream, sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon to mine. He added nothing. Maybe that’s what did it.
           At the fixins table, as I’m concocting my cup, he’s grabbing a lid and looks aver at me. He scoffs. I didn’t interpret his action as a scoff at first, so, being friendly I just said “How are you?”. He said “What kind of cup of coffee is THAT!”. Although perplexed by the rhetorical question, I didn’t miss a beat and responded “It’s MY kind of cup of coffee. What else would it be?” He chose not to respond to my question and instead continued with his agenda. “It’s lame”, he said, half under his breath.
           Insults tend to raise adrenaline and testosterone levels. The first thing that crossed my primitive reptilian brain was “The gloves are off.” Obviously, I curtailed this primitive knee jerk reaction. I didn’t say or do anything. The Macho Male Ego part of me wanted to punch him. He was to my left, and my right hand was free. That meant that if I had hooked him with my right, I could have telegraphed it and he still never would have seen it coming. He might have been a real tough guy, I don’t know, but I’ve boxed before and I know how to throw a punch. And this one would have been a haymaker. I’m not proud that I momentarily fantasized sucker punching this guy. And these are not the kinds of thoughts that usually roll around my head in the morning.
           My pause was well rewarded, because my next action didn't come from my amygdala. My response to his “It’s lame” comment was “So am I”, and with that I walked away, sporting a fake but very convincing limp.
           I’m not in the habit of pretending that I’m physically challenged. But something in me had to continue this joke. Who the hell insults someone’s coffee? At 7:30 AM no less? I smiled at him as I limped off, dragging my right foot behind me as though my entire leg was completely inert.
           As I turned away, I could tell he was looking at me. I could also tell that his jaw was a little closer to the floor than it was just a moment before. He didn’t say anything, but I’m sure he wanted to. His pride probably got in the way. I sat down, went to work on my computer, and didn’t pay much attention to him as he practically ran out of the coffee shop.
           The rest of my day was almost as much fun.

    ©2013 Clint Piatelli, MuscleHeart, and Red F Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

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