Keith Snyder
Door always open.

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Big meanie

Man, I'm just cantankerous this week. I don't know if it's the New York winter or what, but I'm being entirely testy and intransigent in several online fora. In real life, I'm a little irritable, but I'm being perfectly nice to people--

Well, except for the guy today who tried to enlist my aid in bothering a pretty girl at Starbucks. She kept saying she had work to do; he kept saying he understood, but that people come to coffeehouses to have chats, and then he'd ask some leading question, and she'd say, "You're putting me on the spot, and I do have work to do," and he'd say "What are those colored stickers for?" She was maybe twenty-two; he was maybe forty and toadlike. Not a clean toad.

"Don't you agree?" he said to me over his shoulder. His chair was at my right elbow. He had his back to me.

I said, "Sorry?" and pulled my headphones off.

He said, "Don't you agree that there's something wrong with a world where a pretty girl sits alone and no one talks to her?"

I said, "No, that sounds about right to me, and she's got work to do, so why don't you shut up and leave her alone?"

Even when I'm not crabby, I don't enlist well.

He said something or other to her--I don't know what; I had my earphones on again, but it was clearly halfhearted--and then left. She said thank-you. I said you're welcome. The older lady at the table next to her had a twinkle in her eye, which she'd had since the moment when, after the girl had said "You're putting me on the spot," and the toad had said something that made it clear that that was okay with him, I'd suggested "You could put me on the spot," and smiled in a way that was probably exactly as carnivorous as I'd intended.

So I'm not entirely evil. It's more like cabin fever. Now that I'm thinking about it, although the New York winter hasn't been particularly severe, there's something about months of cold and gloom that turns the meekest of Angelenos into slavering, wild-eyed fiends.

Which is fun, and everything, but really only for the fiends.

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