Old Mack’s Tales

June 12, 2011

I Can’t Drink Starbucks Coffee

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ron McKinney aka "OldMack" @ 11:20 am

But their parking area is shaded by the building early in the morning.

A shady parking slot is a necessity if we want to drive away after Chris drinks her coffee; she actually likes their thick, bitter brew.

There is a relay in my Volvo’s electrical system which when overheated prevents the car from starting. My mechanic, Scotty, and I have both tested every one of the ninety-nine relays and their connections in search of the culprit without success. So I look for a shady spot to park the car and then raise the hood to let the breeze, if any, cool the funky relay. There just happened to be a shaded slot in front of Starbucks main entrance.

The coffee house provides half a dozen tables-for-two on the sidewalk out front for their customers who have to smoke while drinking their coffee—but they haven’t provided any ash trays for their butts. The smokers flick their ashes into the privet hedge between the parking slots and the sidewalk giving the joint the odor of a filthy ash tray. As I was raising the hood, Chris was listening to the men seated at the smokers’ tables talking. Two swarthy gents seated closest to our car and the entrance were speaking Polish. As we were passing them to go indoors, Chris said something which sounded to me like: “Ya Shi Mash” with soft vowels. The two husky working men with black stubble and dark hair replied; one in Polish and the other in Russian. I comprehended their reply: “Jin Dovre,” as it’s a phrase I hear on Sundays when we feel up to attending mass at the Polish National Catholic Church in South St. Pete. I was holding the door open and Starbucks rotten coffee odor and conditioned air was flowing past us as I placed my hand on her shoulder to usher her indoors.

One of the men loitering with his back against the plate glass window spoke to us in guttural broken English: “You are Polish or Russian?” Chris ignored the question and walked to the end of the line at the service counter. And I breathed a sigh of relief.

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