There is a brisk little business going on at Starbucks, and it ain’t coffee.
There is a husky little blonde running a full scale SAT cram group. Let’s call her Blondie.
There are 5 of them, usually at the big table if its available. They are there from 7 to 8.
Blondie runs a tight ship. She barks her orders and the girls march in lock step.
I have no idea what she charges, but if she can whip these dipshits into high SAT scores, she deserves a frickin medal. There are a few girls that I honestly wonder if they attended, much less graduated from, high school.
You always hope girls this dumb either marry well or lose their looks young. Otherwise, they are just a few months away from swinging on a pole for a living.
Pretty good rule of thumb is that is that if your job involves baby oil and glitter, you’ve made a pretty serious vocational error somewhere.
Not to bash strippers. Any girl who is willing to dance for a living, just to pay for college of course, should be commended for their work ethic.
Plus its hard for a man to criticize a woman in a G-string. Its an instinct thing.
But most women hate strippers. I have never been able to understand that, and in a weird way, I don’t really want to know why.
Back to Blondie.
You have to admire the entrepreneurial spirit.
But how does it stack up against old and bitchie?
Let me explain.
The big table at a Starbucks is the only area of the store that customers often have an agenda for sitting there. Business people, students, and those that feel the need to spread out.
And then there’s the Penguins.
The Penguins are a trio of little old ladies who come in every other morning to play cards. They order their tea, bitch unmercifully about the price, and play a card game that looks suspiciously like gin rummy, but I am not sure, because they cover their cards like high stakes poker players.
They look like they are from the old country. Not my old country, but somebodies old country.
I call them Penquins they always dress in dark colors, are kind of thin in the shoulders and broad in the hip.
I first noticed them one morning while walking to work. As I have mentioned previously, I park about a quarter mile from my office and walk down. As we are the last office building before the beach, parking sucks like no place else.
I noticed the three old ladies walking in front of me. They waddled along in a line. As an obstacle got in their way, they would waddle around it, still playing follow the leader.
And then it hit me. Penguins. I would have called them Lemmings, but I was unsure about getting them to walk over a cliff.
Some people have no sense of humor.
They went right into Starbucks. By this time, I was following along, having been unable to get around them without resorting to old school hockey checking.
They got their tea and complained in their little old biddie fashion, and then sat down to play their cards.
That is when the bitching began.
What was amazing was that it almost seemed that they were having 3 separate conversations, each one complaining about different people.
It was like a bitchie support group.
Blondie was mid chastise with one of the girls about her lack of understand of basic algebra, when the Penguins came in.
Blondie didn’t notice, but the Penguins immediately saw that their usual spot was occupied.
The Penguins waited in line, casting ugly looks at the main table.
It was developing nicely, but I think I was the only one that was getting the situation.
I love this.
The Penguins waited until they all got their tea, properly creamed and sugared them, then marched, I say marched damn it, over to the main table.
“You can’t have the whole table.” The head Penguin’s voice was a combination of shrill and crackly. It was an perfect combo of menace and wicked old, like a witch, maybe.
“We were here first.” Blondie didn’t even look up. She was a business woman and I respect that.
“We want to play cards.” The head Penguin tossed her cards onto the table like she was throwing down a gauntlet.
Blondie looked up. “What is it you want me to do about that? We were here, and we’re not done.” She stared for a few seconds more, then looked down at her book.
The girls, the students, were looking back and forth like anxious little animals, just about to bolt at the first sign that this gets out of hand. Its the smart move. Survival, more than algebra, seems to be their skill.
The Penguins were outraged. There are several things that I can see happening.
They might trade blows. I said might, I didn’t say it was the most probable, just might. And it would be the funnest to watch.
The Penguins should leave. They could go to Coffee Bean. Besides, the crowd at Coffee Bean was much closer to their age. Hell, they may even pick up a few more players.
And then, they did the unexpected.
Without saying a word, the Penguins moved as one to an empty small round table right behind Blondie. The little round tables were way too small to play cards on.
But they had no intention of playing cards.
They started complaining.
All three of the Penguins began chastising Blondie, discussing her lack of manners, rudeness in general.
And then it got ugly.
The Penguins got nowhere attacking Blondie’s behavior. The opening salvo was harsh.
“And not a pretty girl.”
5 words was all it took. Blondie kept staring down at her book, but I could see her eyes well up.
In that moment, they broke her.
It was over.
“We’re done for today.” Blondie closed her book, gathered her stuff and got up.
I thought she was going to head straight out, but she hesitated.
Blondie took one quick step and bent, her head about 6 inches from the ear of the head Penguin.
I have no idea what she said. Whatever it was, it was quick. She straightened, then walked out.
The head Penguin sat there for several minutes, saying nothing.
And then they played cards.
But the head Penguin never lost the haunted look.
Blondie’s parting shot messed with her for awhile.