Thursday, April 3, 2008


Killing time before a showing of Shining City, we stopped by a local Starbucks. As usual, the place was packed, but I was able to find a small table with a single chair. I wandered around the shop in search of a second chair and came across an old man doing a crossword puzzle. Two extra chairs (no extra coats) were at his table.

"Excuse me, are you using this chair?" I asked politely.

The old man didn't look at me and simply nodded slowly at his crossword. I mistakenly took this to mean, "Please go ahead." As I reached down to grab the chair, his head snapped up and he barked, "Don't take that! Someone's sitting there!"

I apologized and circled another table instead. Irked and very suspicious, I watched his table from afar. Eventually an old woman sat down next to him, "Someone just tried to take your seat..." he was telling her.

I may be a young, dumb-headed whippersnapper, but even I can count:

3 chairs + 2 people = 1 extra chair (that, incidentally, remained unoccupied the entire time the couple sat at Starbucks.)

I recognize that when people get old, they get crotchety, but was it necessary to be so rude? To be fair, the old man could have been blind in his right eye and not seen the third chair at his table. One should always be given the benefit of the doubt.


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