Must Be a Glitch

This morning as I was driving to work, I got stuck behind a big white van advertising doggie day care. I noticed the big yellow sticker on the back when I almost slammed into it; traffic had apparently stopped or slowed significantly in front of the van, which I couldn't see around. I merged right as quickly as possible and got off at Marsh Road. I hadn't planned to go to Starbucks this morning, but I decided that traffic stopping right at the Marsh exit must be a sign.

When I pulled into the Starbucks parking lot at Marsh and Bay, I noticed the white doggie day care van in the prime spot by the door, and wondered how it had gotten in front of me (I didn't think it had exited at Marsh). On closer inspection, I realized it was an SUV and not a van, and that the stickers were different. This was another white doggie day care vehicle, not the one I'd been following.

I went inside and was happy to see that the line ahead of me consisted of only three people, instead of the 8 I'd faced yesterday. Considering the speed with which they'd served all 9 of us, I figured this would be fast. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Customers #1 and #2 were a woman and an approximately 11 year-old boy. There were piles of coins spread out on the counter, apparently extracted from a plastic baggie, which held a few more. Between the woman and the boy was a small change purse bulging with $100 bills. There was much wrangling going on behind the counter; I couldn't figure out over what. The barista, meanwhile, managed to flag down customer #3 and ask him what he wanted. He had it (a tall caramel macchiato) in his hands before the drama at the registers had played out.

By the time the barista had served me my decaf tall soy 1-pump mocha, Customer #1 had moved on to the condiments counter with her Venti something or other, her Grande something or other, her change purse full of hundreds, and her baggie of coins. Apparently the 11 year-old, whose Frappucino was melting in front of him, wasn't hers (the coins, yes; the kid, no). He paid for his Frappucino, two madelines, and two snickerdoodles with a hundred dollar bill. I thought it was exceedingly odd that the woman with the hundreds would pay with coins, and a kid, whom you'd expect to pay with coins, would pay with a hundred.

It turns out the hundred wasn't his. As I left the shop, I saw him handing the Frappucino, the cookies, and the $89 in change to—you could see this coming, right?—the woman behind the wheel of the doggie day care van.

Posted by Lori in random at 10:46 PM on May 22, 2003