I spend a lot of time in coffee shops.

It’s not the coffee that keeps me coming back . . . If you’ve seen what I do to coffee before I drink it you’d call the CDC (Coffee Defamation Committee). The sheer amount of dilution I instigate on a cup of coffee will make you wonder why I even buy the stuff in the first place. I’m addicted to it, of course. But it doesn’t mean I have to enjoy it. Sheesh!

I love the smell of coffee–I will go out of my way to walk through the coffee aisle at the grocery store just to inhale the lovely pungent aromas wafting about playfully there. But pour a little water through it and it tastes like yesterday’s soggy Amazon shipping box after it fell out of the FedEx truck, got run over–twice–peed on by a wombat, rained on for three days, gnawed on by a rodent destined as tomorrows roadkill, pecked on by a chicken on its way across the road, and finally rescued and served to you in a cute plastic cup that tastes just like a cute plastic cup.

But, to stop making a short story long, it’s not the coffee that brings me here.

It’s the table. That long smooth expanse of polished wood just crying out for the warmth of a laptop, hard drive thrumming excitedly, the sheer delight of a stack of books to be joyfully riffled and absorbed, the orgasmic joy of a mechanical pencil set upon its ready surface, or–OMG–a couple of Pilot G2’s. Sure, splash it with coffee, get coffeecake crumbs on it! It can handle the degradation for the sheer joy of feeling someone create upon it’s trembling surface.

funny-squirrel-drinking-coffeeOkay, maybe I need to stop drinking so much coffee . . .

Actually, the table is nice, but it’s the people I’m truly placating my addiction for coffee shops: I may seem shy when you encounter me, deftly staking out my corner of the table, but I need my daily people time to fuel my creative reserves. I guess that’s why I call myself a shy extrovert.

Not only does the energy of fellow humanity inspire, but they’re friggin’ hilarious to observe, too. They do all kinds of silly things when they don’t pay attention to themselves. And it’s my job to duly note these things and write a blog about them . . . or include it as character seasoning in a movie screenplay, coming soon to a theater near you!

I shouldn’t talk about it, but that’s a well-kept secret* of how writers can make such quirky characters you can identify with so well . . . by watching you!

Keep up the good work!

[ * My editor called and ragged me out for letting the cat out of the bag. Actually I think it was a wrong number, I’m not sure why they had a cat in there in the first place. People are so weird. ]

Four out of five narcissists agree: the human race is an imperfect lot. Even our DNA earns its keep by making errors . . . what we call “evolution”. Like most humans, I carry with me a plethora of dysfunction wherever I go. A few are physical—most are not. They don’t eat much, but they help make me who I am, for better or worse, so I proudly call them my own.

This is their story …

Asparagus, Broccoli & Shellfish—Oh My!

Okay, I admit it. I eat like a five-year-old.

My texture issues followed me like hungry kittens into adulthood: where foods like kiwi or mushrooms or cooked squash are too slimy to be beheld; where my bitterness sensitivity make bell peppers (only the green ones), capers and grape leaves inedible; and where a strange genetic mutation transforms guacamole and sour cream into an inert, tasteless nothingness on my tongue.

But these maladjustments barely scratch the surface of my culinary weirdness …

Shellfish, no matter how gourmet in preparation, smells to me like decomposing garbage. To think of ingesting it as a food is to risk projectile vomiting. I had to type the previous sentence very carefully.

Asparagus, on the other hand, has nothing more than a bitter aroma to me, but my throat closes up just to be in the same room where it’s cooking. Attempting to eat any of it would be improbable at best. And asparagus has a unique way of taking over the sweat glands of its victims, so if you’ve eaten some of it in the last few days, please don’t be insulted when I move far away from you.

I don’t want to talk about broccoli, other than to warn you: Do not under any circumstances allow me to eat this in your presence . . . unless you wish to be among the crowd running for the hills soon after. If anyone has seen the movie Godzilla and the Smog Monster, you know what I mean. Failing to heed this advice may be construed in some countries as a terrorist act.

You have been warned.

“Foibles” was a creative writing class exercise that went awry. It was meant to brainstorm prompts for future writing projects, but I think my instructor stepped back in fright when she saw how long my list was getting. There’s enough foibles here to fuel a year long blog, but I think I’ll scale it back to a foible or two a week (welcome to Foibles Monday).

I don’t want to take you away from the normal things I usually write about here. ~giggle~