December 30, 2009

At the Stray Words Café...

In a bowl by the cash register, there are words to contemplate:


There's advertising on the floor:


And a fully painted mural where for years there was only a half-painted one:


So drink up!


Anonymous said...

If you take those cards out and arrange them randomly on a tabletop, you get the Democratic Party Action Plan for 2010!

Chase said...

except for the word "honesty", Julius.

It doesn't translate for Democrats.

David said...

"Lassie, Lassie, where are you, Lassie?"

Anonymous said...

@Chase- Oh it's only how they see themselves, and what they want to do... Democrats are all about self-image and desire, you know.

Incidentally, has anyone ever thought about how coffeeshop culture has changed politics? People go there and don't talk too loud, we eat carbs and drink caffeine and surf the Internet, we insist on having our $4 drinks exactly the way we like them.

Seems like the coffeehouse way-of-thinking has become the American way-of-thinking...

Unknown said...

I love that idea - Thought cards, pick one (or three).

Interesting way to get to know someone.

I wonder how many women would love to have a device like that when they meet a man who seems intriguing.

WV "hysingen" How Frankie Valli used to make a living.

Irene said...

The "stray words bowl" reminded me of something from my past.

When I graduated from high school, an English teacher who had inspired me gave me a lidded pottery crock as a graduation gift. In the crock were fifty or so folded papers. On each paper, the teacher had written, in her studied calligraphy, phrases from poets and philosophers.

At the time, I thought, whoa, this is weird: funky, hippy pottery with stoner poetry!

Thirty years later, I look into that crock almost every evening before I go to sleep.

Chip Ahoy said...

Hi Chris.

stray Althouse words at the café 12/30/2009

And in case you might have missed it earlier in the Electric Café thread hidden amidst the discussion on how whacked the service at Starbucks is, The Electrified Electric Café anim.

Michael Haz said...

Odd. I look at that bowl and think GERMS!!!!111!!

vbspurs said...

Guys, I'm going to be busy tomorrow, so I wish Ann, Meade, you guys, and all your families the happiest and safest of New Years!!

Here's lifting my once yearly glass of bubbly in your directions tomorrow. :)


Irene said...

Happy New Year, Victoria.

vbspurs said...

Thank you, Irene!

chickelit said...

Cheers Victoria!
And Happy New Year if we don't cross electrons until next year.

Michael Haz said...

Happy New Years, Victoria (and Boxing Day, too).

Lem said...

Mega Dittos beloved Victoria.

wv - connest

Peter Hoh said...

Julius, what exactly is it that bugs you about coffeeshop culture?

Do you think that customers should not be getting exactly what they want when they pay their $4.00?

It's not like those of us who don't drink coffee are forced to support those who do.

Mark Daniels said...

Was it possible to form the oxymoronic phrase, "damned cool" with the words made available at the Stray Words Cafe?

If there really were a Stray Words Cafe, would there be a wall devoted to everyone whose careers were destroyed by their stray words? Would Janet Napolitano's assurance that the incident in Detroit on Christmas day proved that "the system worked" be included?

Donna B. said...

Irene -- what a nifty gift. I may have to steal the idea for my grandchildren (and I should start working on it now!)

blake said...


Just some stray words.

vbspurs said...

Thank you, Chicken darling! Much love Michael! You're so nice, Lem. :)


bearbee said...

Thirty years later, I look into that crock almost every evening before I go to sleep.


1. That you kept it for thirty years, and
2. That you treasure it.

I hope that English teacher knows it.

bearbee said...

BTW, who controls what word cards are placed into the bowl?

Can anyone add a new word card?

Is there censorship for naughty language, pc, violence, other?

Bob_R said...

Mrs. Hendy: Do all philosophers have an S in them?
Mr. Hendy: Yeah I think most of them do.
Mrs. Hendy: Oh... Does that mean Selina Jones is a philosopher?
Mr. Hendy: Yeah... Right, she could be... she sings about the Meaning of Life.
Mrs. Hendy: Yeah, that's right, but I don't think she writes her own material.
Mr. Hendy: No. Maybe Schopenhauer writes her material?
Mrs. Hendy: No... Burt Bacharach writes it.
Mr. Hendy: There's no 'S' in Burt Bacharach...
Mrs. Hendy: ...Or in Hal David...
Mr. Hendy: Who's Hal David?
Mrs. Hendy: He writes the lyrics, Burt just writes the tunes... only now he's married to Carole Bayer Sager...
Mr. Hendy: Oh... Waiter... this conversation isn't very good

Old RPM Daddy said...

Food any good?

Anonymous said...

What's the "Okay to Eat, 3,5,or 10
Second Rule"?

michaele said...

The news story I most wanted to check when I got up this morning was how Rush Limbaugh was doing. I felt genuine relief when I read he was resting comfortably.

KCFleming said...

The 3,5,or 10 Second Rule:
How long food that is dropped can remain on the floor before you can no longer eat it.

Personally, my time rule varies by food type and the presence of onlookers.

KCFleming said...

Who you're with has a role: brother, buddy, your mom, your girlfriend, your boss.

The type of floor figures in, too (wood, tile), as does the location (kitchen, bathroom, outdoors).

So many factors, it seems to call for an iPhone app.

Old RPM Daddy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Old RPM Daddy said...

"Personally, my time rule varies by food type and the presence of onlookers."

Especially food type. A lollipop dropped on a shag carpet in a house that contains a dog will probably wind up in the trash. The lolly, not the dog.

wv: blexter, which sounds like a food processor used to prepare something yucky, like asparagus.

traditionalguy said...

Catch you guys and gals again next year. WV: designated driver.

Anonymous said...

Not a word from AA re UW's triumph over Miami? Puzzling.

Ralph L said...

That mural is unappetizing and rather phallic.

AllenS said...

The Professor isn't into sports, Lars. I watched the game. It was great. Go Badgers!

former law student said...

That mural is unappetizing and rather phallic.

I was thinking that the mural was butt-ugly enough to discourage loitering and thus raise revenue. Many times I've walked by a coffeehouse, seen every table for four fully occupied by a solitary laptopper, and decided to move along.

Laptops -- another way to be alone in public.

Unknown said...


Yes, life is Amerikkka is so bad.

I would put a "capitalism" card in there just for fun.

Chase said...

I was thinking that the mural was butt-ugly enough to discourage loitering and thus raise revenue. Many times I've walked by a coffeehouse, seen every table for four fully occupied by a solitary laptopper, and decided to move along.

Am so with you on that one, fls.

I was in the Pasadena Borders week before last, with $660 worth of gifts I was prepared to buy. Since it was the only time I could grab a bite for the next 6 hours, I ordered at the cafe. There was not one table unoccuppied, not by other shoppers, but by students alone or in groups of 2, all with laptops and school texts, and only half of the students had drinks or purchases. I thought colleges were out on break! but sadly, not one table or seat left for a paying customer who wanted to eat and spend over $600.

So, I took all of my purchases to the front register, let them ring them up, said "first, I have a complaint", told the cashier - a manager was nearby and came over while I was talking, and then watched as the manager feigned sympathy - I'm so sorry, we're so busy this season - but no offer to in any way help or make up for it.
So, I said "Nice. How much do I owe you?"


"Good. Now you thoughtless busy people can put it all back. Merry Christmas."

I saved $48 buying all but one of the items on Amazon.

The moral - stores that supposedly empower their managers don't have a clue. On the other hand:

Tiffany's was a fantastic experience, and I only spent $350 on a very rushed Monday before Christmas at South Coast Plaza. They treated me and every other customer I saw wonderfully regardless of how much was being spent. I am going back there this Saturday to buy more. I am now a huge fan. Wish Tiffany's management would take over Starbucks and McDonalds.

I have a far better story about Tiffany's - the best run service stores in the country.

MadisonMan said...

PatCA, there's a story in the local free weekly this week about a young woman with cancer, who works at a coffee shop. I think she'd be happy to get a "Healing" card -- maybe she put it there.

Unknown said...

Oh honestly, MadisonMan....

just have a happy new year.