Friday, December 17, 2010

Dude. Craziness.

So, this week I’m sitting at Starbucks, minding my own business (don’t all great stories tart that way?), typing away on my netbook in hopes of finishing my wip before Christmas. It’s pretty crowded at Starbucks, and at least 20 other people are milling around, drinking, working on their laptops, etc.

Then in walks this guy. It’s cold outside – almost winter even here in Cali – but he’s wearing no shirt, these weird cut-off pants, shoes with no socks. He walks in the door and yells – I’m talking at he top of his lungs – “You can all drop dead!”

Needles to say, a few heads popped up from their laptops. The pace goes silent. We all kind look at each other, wondering, “um… say what?”

The guy gets in line. And then turns to an imaginary person on his right and yells, “I swear to God, I’m going to kill you!”

Clearly the guy is a) unbalanced, and b) off his meds.

A few women pickup their cups and leave. A few of the bigger guys get up from their tables and move forward, kind of standing at the ready in case someone needs to subdue this guy. I see the manager step out from the back.

The guy keeps moving up in line, waiting for his turn for coffee just like everyone else. Except that ever couple minutes, he yells out – “Drop dead! I swear I will kill you!”

So, Crazy Guy finally gets to the front of the line, pays for his coffee and even stops at the cream/sugar station to spruce it up. We’re all feeling a little relieved that while he’s off his rocker, he hasn’t actually made any violent moves.


As Crazy Guy is heading for the door, a guy in a trench coat comes in and get in line. He’s just arrived, so he hasn’t heard Crazy Guy shout yet. Crazy Guy brushes past him on his way out the door and drops an empty cup. The guy in the trench leans down to help him pick it up. Crazy Guy snatches the cup, then get right in the Trench Coat Guy’s face – I mean right in it, like he’s gonna kiss him – and yells, “Drop dead right now!”

The whole coffee shop holds its breath.

Luckily, Trench Guy is mart enough to realize this guy is off, and just ducks his head away. Crazy Guy backs down, but on his way out stops at the faces of two more guys, telling each of them at point blank range to drop dead, too, before leaving.

At which point the urge to pee my pants finally leaves me. (Yes, I was cowering in the corner, trying to make myself small and inconspicuous behind my laptop. But no way was I leaving. I’m on a deadline!)

Luckily during all this the manager called the police and four officers were waiting at the end of the parking lot to detain Crazy Guy.

I think next year, I may need to find a nice quiet library to do my writing in.

~Trigger Happy Halliday


Christie Craig said...


My office is a good place to write. The only crazies here are my family and I'm kind of use to them. LOL.

Merry Christmas and get that WIP done.


Kathy Bacus said...

Two words: STORY FODDER!

Zita said...

Geeze, Gemma. I think he scared the "s" right off your laptop, too!

Jana DeLeon said...

LOL Gemma - I saw a guy like that once at Chick-fila. Even worse, he left and got on a motorcycle. I was thinking "not a good fit for someone who is not stable." Scary and fodder.

Diane Kelly said...

I'm thinking the guy just wanted to get arrested so he didn't have to spend Christmas with his family ... : )
It doesn't sound like he needed to get any more riled up. I hope he ordered a decaf.

TerriOsburn said...

I knew there was a reason I don't write at Starbucks.

I had a coworker once who often spoke to imaginary people in the room with him. Thankfully he was always agreeing with them. I told another coworker the day he started to argue with him was the day we needed to act.

That's when they'd start telling him to kill us all.

Gemma Halliday said...

I'm thinking the guy just wanted to get arrested so he didn't have to spend Christmas with his family
ROFLMAO! I love it!

The funniest thing about this to me was that it just goes to show you that EVERYONE needs their morning Starbucks. ;)


Tori Lennox said...

You have GOT to use this in a book. :)

Cheryl said...

As a Librarian I should warn you, those crazies come into the library too...

The Kid In The Front Row said...

It must be difficult to have everyone label you as a crazy person every time you do so much as go for a coffee. I wonder if he had a label for you.

It's funny because, the stuff he was saying; I think most people, at some point, are thinking; it's in their inner dialogue on a really really bad day. Where do you draw that line? Maybe it's more honest to say it out loud. Maybe he's a wonderful guy who's had a big amount of trauma in recent times. Maybe with the right medication he's the most wonderful person you could ever meet.

Or we could label him crazy and label him crazy and label him crazy, it'll certainly make us feel more sane.