Friday, January 28, 2005

expensive latté

After a meeting in Lawrence today, I decide that I need a hazelnut latté.

I head for the closest of several coffee joints within spitting-distance of each other in downtown Lawrence--La Prima Tazza. What luck that just as I drive up, a car parked right in front vacates a parking space. That is a relevant fact later in our story.

As I approach the counter, a guy was having a conversation with the barista who is obviously a friend. I only catch the very last line of the conversation, but I step right in

Guy: "I like the hazelnut flavor."
Barista: [mystified look of disdain]
Me: "Me too! I'd like a hazelnut latté, please"
Barista: "Ok. Would you like a mystified look of disdain as well?"
Me: That's fine, but it may affect your tip
Barista: [perky affectation] "I love hazelnut too!"
Guy: "Hey, I never considered that your negative attitude might actually affect what you get paid. I just assumed is was all part of the package."
Me: "They don't call it "La Pre-ma-tentious for nothing."

The now-chipper barista brews me a lovely hazelnut latté. It costs $3.00. After our conversation, I feel obligated to tip, so I put a dollar in the till. Then, I head for the car. As I mentioned, I pulled in just as someone pulled out. It didn't even occur to me to check the meter--it would still have time left over, right? Besides, I am not going to get a ticket in the five minutes that it takes to froth a latté, right?


The standard $2.00 ticket with convenient yellow envelope is pinned underneath the windshield wipers.

All-told--a $6.00 latté. Half-way through, I remember that it is Friday and I should not even be drinking lattés.

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