Being in a coffee shop is like taking part in one of those Japanese game shows where they torture people for fun. They sell you liquid to drink, and then make going to the loo as hard as possible.
The whole experience is designed to extract as much humiliation as possible. Every little drop. Every last little squeeze of the coffee beans.
Wasn’t it bad enough at school when you had to put your hand up and ask permission and tell the whole class that you wanted to empty your bladder and avoid the long walk home in wet underwear? Wasn’t that bad enough?
Now you would think that as adults you wouldn’t have to do that anymore.”I’m a grown-up now. I can urinate anytime and anywhere – within reason – provided it doesn’t frighten the horses.”
Oh no. Now when paying enough to keep a small third world nation in military hardware for a year just for a cup of coffee, you still, in some shops, have to beg to go to the toilet.
You have to push to the front of the queue, deflecting the deathly stares in your back, and ask for the little key in order to have a pee. It’s poetic, isn’t it!
In some shops, the designers with perfect bladder control have created cafés with a single, unisex loo. You look around nervously to see if there is any near-toilet-activity. Then you rush to the door only to find it locked. And then what do you do? Try and pretend that standing outside a toilet with your hands between your legs, whistling while trying to look nonchalant, is entirely innocent and normal!
After your eventual relief, you need a double Espresso just to recover as you hear the Japanese game show audience laughing in your head.
Have you noticed the weird names they give drinks in these places?
“A flat white” – anywhere else and that would be a racist comment!
“A vanilla latte with chocolate sprinkles served in a conical mug” – that’s just a sloppy 99!
“I want a large mocha” – sounds like you’re inviting someone to seriously take the piss!
“An Americano” – sounds like a tourist who strayed south of the border and got captured by a Mexican drug cartel.
Coffee Shops – the new Quick, Quick, Slows of the twenty-first century. Drink a quick hit of caffeine, eat a fast route to diabetes, or make a single Espresso last for 3 long hours while you try to get an internet connection on your phone.
“No, I haven’t finished yet. There’s still a drop left.”