I was walking down Blair Boulevard, amazed at how much the strip has changed in the last ten years—primarily from pretentious urban commodities like whiskey-fusion bars, coffee-fusion kiosks, designer beer, farm-to-table restaurants, Mexic-Ital-Yemeni fusion cuisine, Califor-Nigeri-Armenian fusion cuisine, electric tricycle showrooms, designer tacos, sushi restaurants that seat six and have no windows, meatless pizza fusion (designer version), sushi burritos, raw Mexican food, designer tattoos (wait, that’s redundant), ice cream fusion, The Reality Kitchen (whatever that is) and the vintage arcade, which is totally badass—and stopped into the organic grocery store. I’ve gotten a pretty good coffee there before. Chubbelina Chubbs was working the register. I’ve got a thing for Chubbelina. Given her a name out of a fairy tale of my own creation, I have.
And, lamentably, she’s not the brightest character in the cast. And though it really was a turn-on, my parole officer advised me to try to see beyond it and find beauty in other aspects of her.
Because in the Little Boy’s Book of Ice Pick Fantasies they gave me to help with the urges, it reminds me, on page 31, that the beauty of a woman lies not in her full frontal lobotomy but in her other, more tangible qualities.
The first girl I ever dated in high school kind of had a Chubbelina look. Not covered with tattoos or dreadlocks or in a torn, sleeveless hemp shirt and facial piercings, but face-wise, body-wise: kind of man-faced, bat-faced, kind of Batman-faced, heavy, kind of a dumpy butt. I’m thinking the next girl I date I kind of want to have a dumpy butt like that, that never seems to fill a pair of jeans, that’s totally fine. There’s just something about it I like. Maybe a couple of ingrown hairs.
It’s a personal choice of mine.
So I walk in and ask her if they had any iced coffee. And she looks over and she’s like, “Man, yeahhhh, I don’t…,” and she’s trying to be helpful, too, which is what made it bad, “…think…. Well, we used to have some…iced coffee?”
And I’m like, “Oh, okay. Yeah?”
She looks over at the cooler, “Over in the cooler over there. But now we just have energy drinks.”
I said, “Oh. Okay. Well, so, where’s the next closest place? Do you know?” I’m just tossing her a softball, because I know they got coffee somewhere in this building, and I’m pretty sure with a little prodding she could remember where it is.
“Well, there’s a coffee place over there,” she pointed across the street, “but it closed down.”
“Oh. Well…is there another place you know of? I mean, maybe in the back? Like in the deli? If it’s somewhere in your building, I’ll buy it from you, you know, and, like…you know?”
“I think the closest place…,” she said.
“Yeah?” I said, yanking those coffee memory teats of hers, trying to bypass that cerebral mastitis she seemed constantly afflicted by.
“I think is like…Dutch Bros.? On…10th?”
As soon as she said Dutch Bros., I stopped listening. It was two miles away. And I said to myself, ‘Man, I don’t even want to cum on this chick’s face, she’s so dumb.’ She’s not normally that dumb. She had the kind of stupid going on that made me think she got a really bad sunburn the day before. You know how that goes? Your brain just shuts down and all day you’re like, ‘Heywwooommnnggghhh.’
So I decided to go over to the new place I just read about. It’s paleo, keto, vegan, organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, kefir-based, they make every single thing in there by hand and since something had to power those people all day in between their 300 calorie waffle-ized plant fiber veggie wraps, and since all I wanted was a cup of coffee, I figured I wouldn’t be getting in too far over my head.
And it was, like, right across the street. I go to cross Blair, but I stop because there’s a car approaching—brown Ford Maverick with blacked-out wheels and two, long cracks in the windshield. I’m watching it, and a little before it gets to me its hazards suddenly go on. It slows down almost to a stop right as it passes and this really crazy-looking obese lady glares to the left, then right out at me. And she was super heavy and super weird looking, and then she speeds up, almost spinning her tires in the process. And then her hazards turn off.
It was all just to get my attention as she passed.
I’m thinking it was the mustache.
Mine, not hers.
‘Oh, honey’, I said to myself. ‘You have no idea. Get out of my dreams and let me get into your car…’
So, I walk into the place and the guy behind the counter is like, “Hey! How’s it going?”
And I ask him, “Hey, do you guys have any coffee here?”
And he says, “Well, we got a 16 ounce Americano.”
I said, “I’ll take that. Let’s milk that coffee cow and make some coffee memories together, bro.”
“Cool, cool,” he laughs. “For sure.” And he pours me the coffee and then suddenly frowns. He looks up and says, “I can’t sell it to you.”
And I say, “It’s because I’m Jewish, isn’t it?”
And he goes, “No.”
Then I said, “It’s because I brought up a cow, isn’t it?”
And he said, “Nah, it’s just…too lukewarm.”
“Well, do you think it’s warm enough to…melt sugar? Whatever happens to sugar when you put it into coffee—converts it to Catholicism, whatever the fuck happens to sugar when you put it into coffee? You think it’s hot enough to do that?”
He said, “Yeah, I think so.”
“Well, I’ll tell you what, set me up, I’ll pay you.”
And he pours me the coffee, gives me the sugar, and then he says, “Ah, I’m not gonna charge you for it.”
So I thanked him and left. Got me a free coffee, and I’m walking around the neighborhood enjoying the hell out of myself, getting wired, and then I run out. So I’m thinking, ‘Shit, I’m just gonna go back there and ask him for the rest of the pot.’
This is Eugene, man—you know the rules: Lock up your bike, don’t lend your shit to any of the eight 23 year-olds living in the house next door to you, if you come up to a 4-way stop sign half the people aren’t going to know how to navigate it and anytime you start giving stuff away to somebody, you know they’re going to be back.
I walk in, maybe half an hour later, and there’s a girl in there this time. And so I said, “Hey, I just came in here, and I know this may sound like a weird story all of a sudden, but the guy here gave me a coffee for free last time because he said it was…too cold. I don’t have any problem paying for it, but I’d like some more.”
And this girl was high as a fucking sky jump capsule. I know this not because her eyes were red or anything, but because she had no idea what the hell I was saying to her. At one point after pouring me the coffee I wanted, after accidentally starting to pour me a bowl of soup, she said, “Aw, I don’t feel good about charging you twice for this.”
To which I almost replied, ‘No, no one ever charged me in the first place’, but instead said, “Do you think you guys are gonna be making another pot anytime soon? I’ll pay for that one!”
And she wasn’t even confused anymore. She was obviously existing in this Schrödinger’s Coffee Shop where I’d both paid for the coffee and not paid for the coffee, so nothing I said fazed her.
Maybe when there’s not a customer they just go into an oxygen deprivation room, and something had malfunctioned today and the nitrogen ratio got messed up and she went mummy on them, all like the First Emperor of China and shit, and came out of it like, ‘Heywwooommnnggghhh.’
So, I’m talking to her, and I began to think, ‘You know, this girl is confused just enough maybe to give me a handjob.’ I have thoughts like that all the time about random people I meet, but this time it was for real.
“Hey,” I said, “so, I know I got that free coffee, and I got a free coffee twice, but…you guys don’t have any animals behind the counter, do you? Like, that I could pet? I like petting animals.” And that’s when I dropped into the whole keynote: “You like petting animals, don’t you? I like petting animals.” You introduce that mental thought. It’s a speed dating technique. Since you don’t know them and they don’t know you, you start drawing on memories that you know they must have. So then I said, “A mother’s hug feels wonderful, doesn’t it?”
And she laughed and said, “What?”
And I said, looking her right in the eye: “A mother’s hug feels wonderful, doesn’t it?”
And she shrugged and said, smiling, “Yeah. I guess it does.”
And there are these spots on their hand that you’re supposed to touch that will help them make the memory of you. And so eventually the plan was to have this girl winding up with a penis in her hand, thinking about her mother’s hug, or a Thanksgiving meal she enjoyed, or a time she might’ve won a hand of video poker.
It’s like mentalism—the actual target is actually up to the performer.
And nobody says it, but that’s where the whole missing time phenomenon comes in. Because all those alien abductees are former speed daters.
I’m telling you people, it was an alien! Giant, gray head, hairless body, black eyes. Gave him the CV number to my credit card and then wired him $2,000 for his sick grandmother in Yuma. Yeah, he drove an Alfa Romeo, why?
And as I’m looking at her like a secretary bird staring into the eyes of cobra, staring into the eyes of Siegfried Fischbacher staring back into the eyes of a surprised Marty Feldman, the bell over the door suddenly jingles. And I turn, startled, and who is it but Chubbelina Chubbs? walking right in.
And like I’m not even standing there, she advances to the counter and is like, “Uhhhh, yeah, can I get a 16 ounce macchiato with soy milk?”
And Schrödinger’s barista was like, “Awesome. Totally. You want it to go?”
“Uhhhhhh, yeah,” she replies.
And then, instead of moving to make it, the barista just stays there. And then, from behind the tapestry separating the employee area from (obviously) the oxygen deprivation room, out walks the dude who took my order half an hour ago, shirtless, shirt-in-hand, tying up the draw string to his cargo pants.
And as I’m starting to freak out, Chubbelina turns to me and says, “They got awesome coffee here.”
And the girl behind the counter says, “Totally.”
And the dude looks at me after putting his shirt on, like Bob Ross staring at really, really excited Doug Henning, and says, “Like a mother’s hug.”
And then, staggering outside, sweating, like the protagonist of a Twilight Zone episode, about to tear my shirt in half in a fit of weeping, I find the lady in the Ford Maverick, parked and waiting for me. And what does she say out of the window?
“Hey, Chubberella. Step in your shoe.”
My fate was sealed.