Kit Kat Humbling
The coffee shop, I saw, looked more like a boardroom than a place to relax after finishing my grocery shopping. I stood in line for coffee. The two women standing behind me, wearing workout kit, were talking about their personal trainers. It was an interesting conversation that somehow came around to a discussion about cellulite. The first woman’s description was very vivid. I didn’t know cellulite was such an expansive subject. The second woman, laughing, clearly fancied her personal trainer. She’d never had a black trainer before. ‘Good looking,’ she said, ‘Tiger Woods’ teeth, beautiful,’ she said, ‘and muscles where men have no right to have muscles,’ she concluded. He had complimented her on her ‘attitude.’ They were giggling. There’s something quite mischievous about women in their forties giggling.
I ordered my non-fat extra hot latte, and paid for a Kit Kat. The women ordered two large peppermint mochas from the second Barista.
Now myself and the two women were in a group of people waiting for our drinks to be made.
The discussion had turned back to the subject of cellulite. By the time that conversation reached to the places I shouldn’t hear about, my latte was ready. The challenge now was to find a seat.
Yes. Over there, in the corner, against the window, a black man is reading the New York Times. A chair at his table is empty. I walk over. I ask if I may share his table. He lowers his paper. The first thing that strikes me is the brilliance of his teeth! Tiger Woods white.
I look back over to the counter. The two women are looking over here. I think they fancy me.
The chap lowers his newspaper and politely agrees to allow me to sit at his table. Then raises the newspaper. I’m wondering if he reads the New York Times, or is just hiding! I set my coffee down and then watch the two women leave the coffee shop, still giggling.
I think when you open the New York Times and raise it passed your eyes, you’re trying to say something, like: ‘I’m not here, go away.’
Being new to America, I spend a lot of time people watching. After a couple of minutes, I turn my attention back to my coffee and my Kit Kat…but wait just a damn minute, the guy is eating my Kit Kat. There’s only two sticks left! Okay, I don’t care how freaking bright your teeth are, you don’t eat my Kit Kat and keep smiling at me. He gives me an odd look, like I might be crazy. I stare him down. I don’t care if he’s six feet four, with muscles where no man should have muscles, I’m not going to take this sitting down. I consider for a moment. I could make my point by being facetious, maybe ask him if I could buy him another one? But by the time it takes me to consider my approach, he snarfs down the last two sticks.
Does this man know I’m Harry Hogg? Does he understand the present danger in which he has placed himself? I’m about to set him alight, watch his ashes burn down to the ground, and then beat those ashes with a big stick. While I contemplate what aggressive action I’m going to take, the man gets up from the table and heads back to the counter, which now has no line. He brings back a blueberry muffin. He gives me a flash of teeth, and walks away again, this time to the restroom. It might have been a move to save his life.
I looked at his blueberry muffin. It was just sitting there. Inviting. Okay, rather than set him alight, burn him to the ground, and beat his ashes with a stick, I took the hugest bite out of his blueberry muffin. You don’t mess with a Scot, my son.
Looking like a chipmunk, my cheeks bulging with cake, I picked up my coffee and headed out. I had left my slightly duller toothmarks in his muffin, if he had any doubts about his behavior being unacceptable. He could count himself fortunate I’m not from Glasgow!
I was feeling pretty damn smug as I walked toward my car. I kind of felt like, you know, the Hulk! Grrrr.
When I got to the car, I was still trying to swallow the mouthful of blueberry muffin. I put my hand in my pocket for my car keys.
Oh No! I pulled out my own Kit Kat!