The day after President Obama’s reelection, I was in an affluent neighborhood coffeehouse trying to work. A table of loud businessmen in their early sixties proclaimed, “If the Democrats want to tax the wealthy, we’ll dump our stock, layoff our workers, and move our businesses overseas. We’ll see how the middle class likes that!” The angry tirade reminded me of a two-year-old who didn’t get his way.
I do a lot of work in coffeehouses around San Diego. I try not to listen in on people’s conversations, but when they are loud proclamations I can’t avoid hearing, I sometimes write down the outrageous things that come out of people’s mouths.
Recently, I reviewed my notes and realized they are a psychological cardiogram of our city. I decided to publish the most outlandish conversations in hopes of exposing the anger behind them.
The San Diego I grew up in was known for its laid back and tolerant culture. It alarms me to see my city lose its mellow nature. Perhaps if people could hear how outrageous they sound, they might think twice before shouting in coffee shops.
The following are a few examples of conversations I have heard in coffee houses over the past year.
A security guard is talking to a gentleman outside the parking lot of a coffee establishment. He is screaming at a customer, “These rich bastards are going to force me to do bad things again!” Inside the coffee house I hear that customer talking about the security guard to another patron. “He claims to be an ex-gang member,” the man says to a woman. “He told me the other day that he nearly pulled a gun on someone who was looking at his daughter the wrong way.”
“It doesn’t surprise me,” the lady says, “He knows every gang in the city and told me the gangs are moving into wealthy neighborhoods to sell drugs to rich kids. He says he knows a gang member who employs women to stand on medians throughout the city with signs saying they are homeless. The gang member said he can make more money off of panhandling than he can from prostitution.”
A group of well-dressed women in their late 40s are sitting in a coffee shop having a Bible study. After a half an hour discussion about Jesus, one of the ladies asks if her friends want to hear about the extramarital affair she is having with her gym trainer. An overwhelming, “Yes,” is the response.
The table bursts into laughter as the ladies turn the conversation from the New Testament to the size of male genitalia they have known since they moved into the neighborhood. I note that all five of the women are wearing wedding rings.
In another coffee shop, five people in their early fifties are having a discussion about economics and politics. A gentleman says, “I don’t know about you, but I have found it impossible to start a new job without first having a city council member in my back pocket.”
“That’s the only way to cut through all the bullshit environmental laws in this town.”
“My broker is trying to get me to invest in silver,” another gentleman interrupts. “With Obama in office, I think it’s better to invest in bullets than precious metals. With the amount of debt our country has, it’s just a matter of time before the illegals take over.”
“We won’t be able to count on our government to protect us,” adds a woman, “Look at the victims of Hurricane Sandy! Those East Coast liberals are getting a good taste of their own medicine. These damn socialists have ruined our country. I fear what is coming. My husband and I won’t be easy to take down, I promise you that!”
A business owner is interviewing a potential worker for a job. He tells her, “To be honest with you, we don’t read resumes anymore. We simply take the names of prospective employees from their applications and Google them. Based on the information we find on the Internet, we choose who we are going to interview.”
A group of young nursing students comes into a coffee house. They are studying for a test. After 15 minutes of anatomy overview 20 year old girl says, “We got so drunk last night!”
Another friend says, “Yes I posted pictures on Facebook of our smashed friend grabbing the waiter’s butt. I can’t wait till she sees it.”
A middle aged man walks into a coffee house with a number of files. He loudly announces to a man several tables away, “Before Obama I used to have a huge office and 50 guys working for me. Now I have to work here! Isn’t this wonderful?”
Three well dressed business people are having a meeting in a upscale coffee house. They are planning what they refer to as a “non-profit fundraiser.”
J “I think we can get Mr. Y (a football player for the NFL) to be our centerpiece. Basically we are looking at clearing a half a million dollars easy. That’s at least ten grand a piece, tax free, for each of us. Not bad for a month’s work!”
An aerospace engineer is talking to two men in business suits. He is loudly bragging about a new component of a fuel system he has designed. He goes into great technical detail about the mechanics of his invention (and he does it so loudly anyone in the coffee shop can overhear it). The men in business suits ask if they can take his picture to celebrate their deal with the engineer.
The engineer says, “O, no I can’t have my picture taken. I was recently on a teleconference with our friends in Europe and they wanted to have a group picture. We had to fill out form xyz for security purposes and I don’t want to go through all that paperwork again.”
Two men in their 40’s are talking about the thousands of new agents Obama is hiring to go after people not paying their income tax. “I heard it on the Roger Hedgecock Show, and he is a trustworthy man when it comes to getting the news,” one gentleman says.
“What a waste of tax payer money,” his friend responds. “This is the end of our country.”
“A lot people think I’m crazy for buying so many knives,” he continues, “but when they are messing with the second amendment like Roger says, we are living in a state of tyranny. I hate to say it but it, but I’m afraid we are going to have to fight to get our freedom back.”
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