Cafe Witness

Monday, May 01, 2006

Passing Observations

Nothing makes me reach for the headphones and some iTunes faster than the opening strains of Black Sabbath's "I Am Iron Man."

However, the landlord to my left is giving Ozzy a run for his money in the Race to Drive Me Insane.

Kids: When your landlord calls you to tell you that your mother is being unreasonable (or "an asshole," as he puts it) in her demands for your apartment (such as, "The windows don't open"), you should seriously consider finding a new landlord. (Favorite line: "This ain't the Taj Mahal." Well, obviously. The windows work in the Taj Mahal.)

He's been on the phone with his business partner for twenty minutes now, bitching up a storm about this woman's "unreasonable demands," after having squared things away with the actual student who's going to be living there and getting the kid on his side. I'm sure the kid thinks it's in his best interests to side with the landlord, since it's the landlord's roof he'll be living under next year, and perhaps he wants to distance himself from a potentially overbearing mother. But it may also come to pass that she's only looking out for her son's well-being by pointing out things like, "The carpet is horrendously stained and needs to be replaced"...


At a nearby table, an Overweight Mother and her 6 or 7 year-old son are relaxing with the woman's friends.

Overweight Mother to son, who will presumably be enabled to skim by on the minimum in order to meet expectations in life: "You can't have the cake until you finish the muffin." Note: the muffin is a chocolate muffin with a cream cheese center.

[Three medical students sitting nearby seem to be laughing to themselves as the woman relates her soft tissue damage injury to her friends, which involves cartilage damage if I'm overhearing correctly. I believe the students find the concept of an obese woman and her soon-to-be-obese son complaining about soft tissue injury to be too ironic to pass up.]


Earlier in the week, there was a woman sitting outside in a small group of friends. She was wearing an eyepatch.

Is there a better conversation starter than an eyepatch? Sure, a cast is a safer bet -- it's almost impolite NOT to wince upon sight and ask, "Ooh, how'd it happen?" -- but an eyepatch has added glamor. Perhaps it's the pirate factor.


Speaking of music, the switch to WDVE in this cafe is a change of pace from the ubiquitous BOB FM, whose claim is, "We play anything."

What they actually mean is: "We play a steady stream of the 300 most-popular songs according to some half-assed marketing survey we subscribed to, considering only the Top 40 hits of the past 40 years, with extra weight given to the currently-vogue '80s revival."

So, in a nutshell, "We play anything" translates to an inordinate amount of Hall & Oates's "Rich Girl."


Final thought: On MySpace, there's been a prevalence of Bush-related Flash animated ads lately -- the kind where you need to click on something to "accomplish a goal" (usually like "shooting a target" or "catching a fish") in order to win [a chance to win] a free iPod, PSP, etc.

The problem with these Bush ads is, in every case, you're required to help George win a contest. One has him trying to out-lift Arnold Schwarzenegger. Another has him in a boxing match against Mike Tyson.

I'm sorry, but the value of a free iPod pales in comparison to seeing an animated George W. Bush get his ass handed to him by an animated Mike Tyson, over and over and over...


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