Embarrassing coffee ignorance

Recently my coffee ignorance led to a pretty embarrassing situation. On Tuesday Katie and I found ourselves in Tacoma for the day. We had the afternoon off before meeting Katie’s high school best friend and her husband for dinner. While waiting we decided to look for a coffee shop that would allow us to spend time together. One of the requirements: free refills on coffee. I found a place gave them a call. Let’s jump to the interesting part of the conversation:

  • Me: Yes, do you guys have free refills?
  • Coffee shop: Yes on drip coffee.
  • Me (wondering if “drip coffee” is different than…I don’t know…regular coffee): What’s drip coffee?
  • Coffee shop: (pauses and then in obnoxious, arrogant, annoying, high-pitched, squeaky voice): Uhhhh coffee you make by dripping. It’s coffee that drips. The way you make coffee by dripping it. The coffee drips into a pot. Drip coffee. Coffee that’s made by a drip system. Coffee that’s made by dripping coffee into a pot. Hence “DRIP” coffee.
  • Me (feeling stupid): Oh…okay…sorry…I didn’t know if it was different than regular coffee.
  • Coffee shop: Dial tone.

It gets worse. We get to the coffee shop and Katie goes to order. She overhears the guy behind the counter telling another employee:

“You’re not going to believe what happened. Some guy called and I told him we had free refills on drip coffee, and he was like, ‘What’s drip coffee?’”

Then they both laughed hysterically.

What happened when I met the guy familiar with my coffee ignorance?

Katie came back with a huge smile on her face and said, “You’re not going to believe what just happened.” She tells me, so I walk up to the counter, grab the skinny-little man by his long sideburns, pull him over the counter close to my face and say, “Tell me the story about the guy who asked about drip coffee!”

Actually, that’s not true. My flesh wanted to do that, and it’s more exciting than what actually happened. Katie later went up to the counter and told the little man she was the wife of the “drip coffee” guy. He said, “Well, you should tell your husband not to waste people’s time with such silly questions.”

Katie came back and told me what he said, and by that point I had had enough. I walked up to the counter. He saw me coming, and he knew I was mad, so he quickly threw a pot of hot “drip coffee” at me. My cat-like reflexes allowed me to move just in time for the pot to shatter against the wall. The other employees and people in the café ran over to see what was happening. It was about to look like West Side Story…actually, this isn’t true either.

Katie told the guy she was my wife. He stared at her life, “Uhh…I’m going to lose my job.” He brought our coffee over to us, and I tried to start a conversation with him by joking with him about him being friendly. He didn’t really say anything and walked off. See, the other versions are more exciting!

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