March 13, 2007 4:18 PM
Subtitled: The military coffee cake complex.
On my way home today I stopped by the U-Store to get a book and was tempted by some coffee cake at Bulldog News on the way back down the Ave.
Just as I was starting to order I heard a man coming up the Ave toward me shouting loudly “One, Two, Three, Four! Who’s against this god damn war?!?” repeatedly. He made it up level with me just as I had ordered my coffee and was starting to inquire about the cake when he paused, looked at me, and repeated his slogan. I stopped mid pointing and proceeded to adopt my full on city mode and loudly ignore him, but he wouldn’t have it. “Are you against this war?”
“…” I started to try to recover myself and begin to point at the coffee cake I’d like as the Barista and I kind of look around wondering what we are supposed to do, frozen in the middle of the transaction.
“Don’t buy that! Before you buy that, think! … Are you against this war???”
“…Um… Yes, actually…”
He held his hand out and, not knowing what else to do, I shook it simultaneously looking at him for the first time and realizing that he smelled like lots and lots of really old beer. As I shook his hand he said “High five! Now… ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, Who’s Against This God Damn War!” clearly expecting me to join in and then he walked away.
After a stunned moment the Barista and I laughed, decided that it was ok for me to order now as long as I promised not to tell him so she wouldn’t get in trouble for selling something to me, and went back to the beginning of the whole ordering process. Of course now I realized that I’d shaken this not so clean guy’s hand just before ordering coffee cake that I really wanted to eat right now, but I tried not to think about that too hard.
The strangest thing about the whole episode was where it was happening. I mean, running into a young guy in jeans with a messenger bag on the Ave in Seattle you aren’t very likely to find out that he’s for the war. Of course, drunk and crazy as the guy seemed, I’m not entirely sure he knew where he was much less what war he was talking about. Maybe he was trying to recruit people to his side against the war on poverty or something.