Cup of Dan, Please

@ernie

3 Hags’ Doughnuts just re-opened for take-out. Hence Theo and myself spending our precious lunchtime power hour standing in a socially-distanced, sheen-maintained line for, you guessed it, doughnuts.

“It feels like forever since we were last here,” Theo comments.

“That’s because it has been forever,” I reply, and glance around disappointedly at the place. The once-cozy gingerbread house patio with its handcrafted wooden chairs and colorful umbrellas of whimsy has been converted into a winding queue roped off and marked by multiple signs telling everyone to, “Please keep six feet apart. Customers must practice fundoshi or nudism, and must maintain a proper sheen at all times. Spray bottle required to enter. Card only.” It’s not a total bust, though. You know those bleach-blond Mallomar Bay chicks with the perfect bodies and brilliant smiles who titter around beachfront bakeries or ice cream shops simply looking good, but who never actually buy anything? There are a handful of them here today. Except instead of doing their thing in their usual skimpy sports bras and yoga shorts, they’re completely naked, and are seemingly no more aware of their utterly excessive sexiness now than they were before.

But I’m aware.

“Hey, #BlackAndWhiteLivesMatter,” I tell Theo. “Let’s take a selfie.” I put my arm around his monochrome shoulders, swivel him around so that our backs are facing the naked chicks.

“Dude, social distancing,” Theo replies, and starts to squirm free.

I hold him tight, grab his arm, palm the back of his hand, lifting it up so that he can aim his phone at our ugly mugs. “Relax. It’s not like we’re making out or anything.”

“But—”

“Just take the damned picture, junior!”

With hostage-like enthusiasm, Theo wakes his camera, frames the two of us following the rule of thirds, snaps a pic.

I tilt the camera up, bringing more of the lovely ladies into view. “Take another, please.”

Theo starts to recompose—

I tilt the camera back up again, tap the shutter button.

Theo frowns, reviews the shot. The naked chicks fill the frame, while me and Theo are merely floating heads at the very bottom. “Ernie, that’s terrible composition…” Then it hits him who the true subjects of the photo are, and he shakes his head, glowers at me, taps the delete icon. “When are you going to get your own phone?”

“The very moment my shitty, outdated grandparents finally kick it.”

Quickly enough, we make it to the front of the line, where the greeter sprays us down, waves us inside.

“Cup of Joe, please,” the guy ahead of us tells the cashier.

I glare at him while saying to Theo, “That’s dumb.”

“Huh?”

“‘Cup of Joe.’ Why do people call coffee that? Did some guy named Joe invent coffee? Is ‘Joe’ German for coffee or something? Does this guy have a speech impediment and meant to say ‘java?’”

Theo scowls, resumes his assessment of the gluten-free options. “I’ll ponder that while you order.”

I continue to glare at the cup of Joe guy. When it’s my turn to order, I step up to the register and say, loudly, “Chocolate Schnauzer and a cup of Dan, please.”

“Excuse me?” asks the cashier.

Now making direct eye contact with the cup of Joe guy: “If we’re going to arbitrarily assign first names to beverages, then I’m going to call my hot chocolate ‘Dan.’”

Love is a little red pixel heart

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Dookie, a cheesy horror novel by Jesse Gordon

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Jesse Gordon

Geek. Writer. Supreme overlord of the SUPERMEGANET pseudoverse. Author of THE OATMEAL MAN, DOOKIE, and other such wasteful nonsense.