Barista Darwinism; Survival of the Hippest

HipsterOh, to be a worldly and erudite coffee shop barista!

If you live in a big city and buy coffee at one of the countless cafes contained within, you’re bound to encounter a 20-something, overly-tatted-and-pierced, uber-hipster barista with goofy hair who looks with barely-concealed disdain and contempt upon all the “squares” of humanity. We the customers (and I am totally a square!) are not sure what great crimes we’ve inflicted upon the denizens of hipsterville to get treated so crappily by these mopey little coffee-grinding dopes–even if you tip them like a mafia don in Vegas!–but, really, you just have to laugh it off as a generation gap where you’re on the adult side.

Just wait 20 years and you can bet that this hipster will have children and a mortgage and will be spat upon by the next generation of “cool kidz” who will probably have to amputate arms and legs, pierce their livers and other major organs, and get skinned like the victims in Hellraiser II to look “edgy.”

Having said that, if some wise-ass kid did this to me at a friggin’ Starbucks, I’d demand to see the manager immediately and start threatening to sue if he or she doesn’t fire the prick who did this. Because, really, wanting to slap a little creep like this barista would probably be charged as aggravated assault, as these effete, tubby, pasty-faced kids today would crap themselves at even the hint of getting beaten, let alone any actual act of violence coming their way.

We’re too civilized for that kind of response anyhow, right? I’ve been tempted mightily to give an old-fashioned back-handed slap to many of the a-holish, rude idiots out there, but then I realize I’m better than that, more civilized and gracious than they are, and I set a better example by being gracious and magnanimous even when it pains me to hold back my worst instincts.

My father, who was a giant of a man at 6’4″ and full of muscles, and who’d been raised to be hardened like titanium in the South Side Chicago ghetto during the Great Depression, moreover who survived the madness of World War II, always treated any kind of rudeness he faced with a smile and grace, no matter how ugly the other person became. Dad’s charm was that he could usually win over even the biggest assholes (perhaps aided by the fact he was a big man). In the past I may have not followed the old man’s methods, but as I grow older I have definitely learned to be more like him in these situations. Some jerk sneers at me or almost runs me over, I just smile and move on; they are not worth my pulse racing over their idiotic behavior.