yesterday, stopped for coffee and some sugar at one of the local cafes.
An older guy comes in, humming tunelessly. Starts shucking off the coat. Mid-shuck, he suddenly wheels on me:
"WHAT is THAT -fantastic- THING?"
I swallow. "Um. Chocolate cupcake."
"It's a CHOCOLATE CUPCAKE!! My GOD."
sadly, he doesn't indulge in one himself. places his order. then, the humming turns into singing, and then, LOUD singing:
"Ave...ave ave ave...ave Mar-eeee-eeee---aaaAAAAAAAAA..."
The counterpeople are giggling openly, but then they seem to do that pretty often anyway. Guy keeps going, seamlessly shifting in the same off-key:
"Iiiiii'm dreeeming of a-ofawhiiiiiiiite....Christmaassss...."
By now I've given up trying to read my book, and am just watching to see what happens when he starts to eat. Sure enough:
(a bit quieter, but not much)
"Iiiiiii'm..." (slurp) "dreaming, of a whiiiiiiite..." (mouthful of sandwich, pause, swallows) "Christmaaassssss..."
I think the counterpeople are probably wetting themselves. No one else seems to even notice, although of course everyone does; it's the same dynamic as happens on the subway. The woman who's been steadily reading and drinking coffee all through this looks up, casually, at some point; i catch her eye and we both smile. Briefly. Then--too much eye contact, I might be as crazy as he is--she's back to the book, hardly missing a beat.
As I'm getting my shit together to go, the guy's finished his food and, as he goes to throw away his plates, starts boogieing to the radio (yes, the radio's been playing all this time as well. Loudly. Not Christmas carols. Top 40). Goes he, to one of the counterpeople,
"Care to dance?"
She shakes her head, laughing.
I give him credit for gender equity, he makes the same offer to the other counterperson, a dude, (with his arms full of trash bags)
"Shall we dance?"
Counterdude: "Hell, no."
Doesn't seem to faze him. I get the hell out of there before he notices me--hell, I love to dance, I might actually say yes...
As I'm leaving, I hear:
"Is that all there is...if that's all there is, my friend, then let's BREAK OUT THE BOOZE!..."