Friday, November 19, 2004

Little Tom and His Short Temper

I was ordering my iced venti decaf soy latte this morning when I heard the distinctive sounds of smooching and kanoodling behind me. I turned around to see the source of the PDA (public display of affection) and what I saw will be seared into my memory for all eternity: a tall redhead with a nose ring embraced in a lip-locked death match with a leathered-out biker dude who was – no joke – a good eight inches shorter than she. Picture Nicole Kidman making out with Gary Coleman and you’re in the right ballpark.

I have lived in Southern California for my whole life and that means I have had to see a lot of really weird shit and a lot of really strange people. I once saw a kid pull his glass eye out of his head, put it in his mouth to clean it off and then pop it back into his eye socket. I was once browsing in a sex shop (for the articles, of course) when a 400-pound woman with a purple Mohawk and a tongue stud, an employee of the establishment, walked over and asked me if I had any questions about the merchandise. I played pool in a bar one time against a guy who had iron cross tattoos on his face. On his fucking face!

Yet in spite of the daily parade of freaks and weirdos and outcasts that has passed in front of me, I have never before seen a guy who was so completely dwarfed by his girlfriend. His head was looking straight up at her and hers was straight down at him. And they were kissing and holding hands and crushing on each other like minxes.

You know what came next, of course: suppressed laughter. It was as if someone had farted in church.

The barista who was taking my money saw the look on my face and we both looked away from one another immediately. Eye contact would have unleashed a torrent of laughter neither of us could have stopped. We didn’t want to make a scene.

So I got my receipt and stepped aside while they made my coffee and you know what came next, of course: that little bastard order chocolate milk. Chocolate fucking milk!

Well, at this point I just lost it. And the barista lost it. And the guy who was reading the Wall Street Journal in the big, cushy brown chair lost it. And the three teenagers immersed in their before-school bible study lost it. And the little chocolate milk guy looked around, wondering what everyone was laughing about.

Through the cacophony of laughter and tears and snot and people mouthing the words “chocolate milk” to each other in silence, the barista asked Little Chocolate Milk Guy what his name was so she could write it on his cup.

And he said his name was Tom. Tom! As in “Tom Thumb!”

And you know what came next: Little Tom The Chocolate Milk Guy got pissed. He discovered that we were laughing at his little ass and his little boy drink and the pathetic way he looked up at his girlfriend and he just went batshit. Straws and napkins and holiday knick-knacks started flying everywhere. I got drilled in the ear by a biscotti. A piece of jellied orange from the top of the holiday gingerbread went flying through the front page of the guy’s Wall Street Journal. Yep, Little Tom was having a little tantrum.

After a few minutes, Little Tom’s big girlfriend picked him up by a belt loop and got him to calm the fuck down and find his happy place. She leaned down and kissed him on the top of his little over-Moussed head and convinced him to just finish ordering and leave. He agreed, in part because she was way bigger than him and he didn’t have much choice.

And you know what came next, of course: the barista got down real low, looked Little Tom right in the face and said, “So did you want that chocolate milk in a sippy cup, little guy?”


At 2:19 PM, Blogger Trickish Knave said...

Absolutely brilliant writing. Your site is now on my favs.

At 2:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I laughed so hard I had tears streaming down my face!

I live up in Canada and we don't have weird freaks like least not ones that go out in public.

I want to vacation in California just to see stuff like that. ;P

You're definately on my favorites list. Thanks for the laugh! :D

At 4:01 PM, Blogger Jacqueline said...

LMFAO...I think I just ruptured my spleen. Pictures...we need pictures!

At 4:22 PM, Blogger Lala said...

Dan Dan, you'da iced venti decaf soy latte man!!

At 7:47 AM, Blogger Lexagirl said...

See, now there you go, apparently size does matter.

At 10:57 AM, Blogger HDawg said...

at least it now appears that your barrista knows you, AND your order! after all this time, finally, an incident like this brings you closer to your coffee-jerk!

At 2:21 PM, Blogger honestyrain said...

i think i need to start drinking coffee. sounds like the source of much madcap hilarity.

At 7:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They do have freaks in Canada. Go to, most of the people on there are from Canada or England.

At 9:59 AM, Blogger Fadedpaperdoll said...

This is too good to be true man! Little Tom Thumb. See you tall guys always bullying the small people!

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Bronco Buddha said...

Hilarious story and great writing. But I gotta say (and have said before) I dig chicks who are taller than me. Not 8 inches, usually, but 3-5 is ok. I don't usually order chocolate milk, though.


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