Where everybody knows my name

In cafe.

It’s a new manager’s first day.

He’s been here a couple hours, but one of the other managers decides to give him an official tour of the facilities.

To my surprise — I am the first stop on the tour.

“And first — this here”, he says gesturing in my direction, “is Zero. Zero, this is Chris.”

“Hi Chris. Nice to meet you,” I smile. “Yes, I am a semi-permanent fixture here.”

“Nice to meet you… Yearo?”

“Zero. Like the number! If you’re ever in doubt, you can just read the sticker on my laptop.”

“Got it! I’m Chris. Big Chris.” (Chris is very tall and has a handshake like a bull. A hoofshake, if you will.)

Introductions out of the way, they proceed to the next stop on the tour, the outside patio section where Chris was introduced to the little black bird bread beggar gang (a flighty lot, that bunch).

Anyway, I must say, it’s kind of nice to be in a place where everybody knows your name.

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RE: Where Everybody Knows Your Name (video)

The bandwidth glutton


That awkward moment you look around the cafe you’re in to see if you can spot the person hogging all the Internet.

Oh yeah. It’s definitely that guy right there.

He only looks innocent.

That’s how you know he’s up to something.

Shhhh. My logic is flawless.

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*In reality, this whole cafe has its bandwidth throttled per connection. It maxes out at around 130kB/s, though you can rarely ever get that high. So really, it’s probably not one single person hogging all the Internet. It’s all the people’s hogging all the internets! O_O

Zero in command


That awkward moment the manager of the cafe you’re in turns to you on his way out the door and says,

“I have to run an errand, Zero. I’ll be back. Hold the fort while I’m gone.”

And I’m all like, “I can’t do it by myself!”

And he laughs.

Which is good, because it was a joke.

Of course I can do it by myself! MUAHAHAHA!

I’ll have this place running in tip-top shape by the time he gets back! He won’t know how he did it without me.

My first order of business though: Taste test all the pastries to make sure they’re still good.

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From the comments:

Vik: “New Zero-Style Pastries: The Only Pastry with a Bite-shaped cut”.

Zero: LOL. “We can still sell these. Just let me pick a bit more off the edge.”

Cafe roulette

Walk up to cafe counter. Order a bagel.

New guy, Caden — who already knows my name — is ringing me up while one of the staff, Gabe, is helping him with his first time at the register.

Caden takes my card and Gabe tells him how to slide it through the machine. The machine doesn’t read my card the first time, so he slides it through again.

I decide to help, too, because it’s what I do…

“Yeah, my card doesn’t always go through the first time.”

Caden slides it again, but it still doesn’t read.

“Yep, slide it again. But quick. You only have about 40 seconds to make this transaction before the system automatically voids this entire order and we have to kick someone out of the restaurant.”

Caden suddenly looks a bit nervous, “Really?”

I just look at him.

He smiles, “Thanks for being my first customer, Zero.”

“You’re welcome.”

My card goes through. He hands me my receipt.

“Thanks Caden. You did good. Perfect transaction.”

He smiles.

If he can handle me under pressure, he can probably handle anyone. ;)

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Coffee weaver


If someone asked me if I was manly enough to drink coffee with a spider floating in it, my initial thought would be, “Hell yeah!” and “Coffee should just come with spiders in it by default!”

But after a few moments of consideration — and more importantly — a few glances at my coffee cup…


I’m not that manly.

Not yet anyway.

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Overeager achiever


In cafe.
Manager walks over.

“Hey, Zero. I made the wrong bagel for someone. Do you want it?”

Not wanting to seem overeager, “Oh…” *sigh* “Oooookaaaay.”

Immediately followed by, “YES I WANT IT!”

This is what happens when I try to be cool (failure).

Doesn’t matter. Still got a free bagel, my precious.

And I did make him laugh (my intention), so it’s still a win.

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Confection defection


Walk into cafe. Go to order coffee.

One of the staff is talking to a manager while holding a pastry, “What do you think about this?”, he says, pointing at something on its surface.

The manager takes a close look at it, “Looks like chocolate.” (the pastry obviously bumped into something that had chocolate on it at some point in its journey)

I speak up, “Oh man. That’s terrible. You should probably throw that out –”

Which they do whenever they have a “defective” product…

“– but if you do, you should just toss it over the other side of the counter over there,” I say, pointing to where my laptop is set up.

They laugh.

I finish ordering my coffee and go back to my table.

Where a defective, but delicious, pastry is waiting for me.


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What's his face

Walk into cafe.

The older couple I’ve written about before see me and wave. They’re sitting in “my” spot.

“We’re saving your table for you again.”
“I see that! Thank you.”

I get some coffee and sit nearby.

The couple finish and come over…

“Hey, do you just want us to call you Hey?”, asks the woman, with a laugh in her voice.

“Well, you can,” I say laughing, “But my name is Zero.”

“Yup. But my last name is Dean. You can call me that, too, if you want.”

“Well, Zero is probably better. We saw you come in and I said, ‘Hey, there’s what’s-his-face’!”

I laugh.

“I’m Frank.”, says her husband, “And this is Irene.”

I smile, “Frank & Irene. I will remember that!”
“You better!”

Love these two. And now they have names.

Even better.

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The first rule of time travel

In cafe.

Laptop in front of me.
A couple older women sitting behind me.

“Vivian, the conversation I’m about to have with you, I had with you a couple days ago.”

There is a pause. Vivian says nothing.

“We had this conversation a couple days ago. The conversation I’m about to have with you.”

“We were at work.”

“And I said…”

The details of the conversation don’t matter.

What matters is, the first rule of time travel is you don’t talk about or reference time travel. And you especially don’t do so while in a public place. O_O

That’s justification enough to have your time-travel license revoked (permanently!).

And also — for the record — if you do time travel, you really need to keep your timeline straight, because present-day Vivian isn’t going to remember a conversation you are about to have with her that you had with her a couple days ago.

That’s just basic Time Travel 101.



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*Ok. So it turns out the woman speaking to Vivian isn’t a time traveler after all. :-/

She was simply referencing a dream she had and it took her a moment to reference that part. At which point, I put my headphones in — totally disappointed.

Relationship update: "It's complicated"

Walk into cafe. Get coffee.

See one of the staff and wave. She waves back and comes over.

“Hey, so you’re my boyfriend now.”
“I am?”
“Yes. They started calling you my boyfriend here because you come in every day. And I wanted you to know.”
“Ok. I’m your boyfriend.”
“Ok, but wait. I had lunch with Nigel yesterday–”
“I know. He told me. He’s the one that started it. He said, ‘I had lunch with your boyfriend.’ Now everyone is saying it.”
“But don’t tell anyone.”
“Oh. I won’t. I won’t tell anyone.”

And then I laughed like this:


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