Four Barrels of Fun

Four Barrel Coffee is a fantastic cafe.  Besides having great coffee and interesting decor (i.e., wild boar heads on the wall), it’s also a great place to creepily watch people. See below.

To the man with the beard,

First of all I commend you. That is a magnificent beard. If it were black, it would surely rival that of Blackbeard. In fact, I can quite easily picture you, black bearded, donning a frock and lacy shirt, macaw perched atop your shoulder, peg leg (ebony wood of course, only the best for you), hollering such things as “Yar”, “Where be my first mate?”, and “Who’s up for some rape and pillaging?” In fact, should your current job as a hipster barrista not work out, I urge you to consider a career in pirating. I think Somalia has some openings, I think.

A question: how long does it take you in the morning to get your beard into the shape of a giant door wedge? I mean, that thing is pretty solid, dude. It looks like you could keep a 2000 pound bank vault door open with that piece of chin beauty. If I were an elementary school teacher, I could use your beard to demonstrate a triangular prism (isosceles) to my students, although they may be distracted by all the flannel. I imagine that quite a lot of (facial?) hair product goes into the bushy growth on your face. I suppose your beard is to a hipster what greasy hair is to a douchebag, and not in a bad way. It just tells me that you care, but don’t worry I won’t tell anyone. It’s nice to see some personal hygiene here, even if it is limited strictly to the space between your cheekbones and your chin.

I aspire to one day be like you, minus the working in the coffee shop. Also minus the (ironic?) Elton John tshirt. Regardless, rock on, beardo.

To the man dressed as a sailor,

I will refrain from making gay sailor jokes here since, being in San Francisco and only 2 blocks from the Castro, there is a strong chance you are actually gay and that would be a faux-pas. I guess using the term faux-pas in this gayrea (or indeed any french words) can be considered a faux-pas for a heterosexual male such as myself. But I digress.

Was your grandfather or some even more distant ancestor a sailor? Is your outfit some sort of extremely sentimental display, an homage of sorts to your sailor ancestors and/or all men of the sea? If so, good for you! If not, I wonder why you think a wearing a sailors cap, horizontally striped sailor’s shirt, and red suspenders is appropriate attire for a coffee shop worker. I see the anchor tattooed on your forearm but, listen – just because you made a mistake one drunken night in Tijuana and got an anchor tattooed on your forearm, that doesn’t mean you have to stick to the mistake and start dressing like it was intentional. You should really just cut your losses and move on with your life.

Nice suspenders, though. I thoroughly approve of those and not-so-secretly lament that it is no longer generally acceptable to wear them in public. If this is all just a ploy to set off the resurgence of suspenders, best of luck to you my sea-faring friend.

To the diminutive Asian guy in the corner stealing awkward glances at me,

Dude, I’m pretty sure that’s a woman’s jacket. The buttons are on the wrong side. Moreover, the leather trim under the collar is pink – Barbie pink. Not to mention the pink “Miss Taken” label hanging out of your collar. I don’t mean to be presumptuous, but you might want a wardrobe change. Right now. Here, take my sweater. The bathroom is over there. No, I will not come with you. Yes, I’m serious. Quit touching my leg when you talk to me.

It can’t possibly be comfortable to sit with your legs crossed like that (at the, erm, crotch). Assuming, of course, that you are an anatomically correct male, and you are seriously hurting your chances of producing children at some point in the future. Hell, you are hurting my chances of producing children just by being in my presence.

You’re awfully close to me. I’m going to slowly inch away now.

To the guy in the tweed jacket who talked to me beside the sugar and cream station,

Would you really lick coffee off of the floor here? You seemed like you were in earnest when you said that you would. Yes, I get it. This is your favourite coffee shop, even though you are “from here” (good for you by the way!), and you really like the coffee. But would you really lick it off of the floor? I was just kidding earlier when I said “5 second rule” after you spilled a little. You might have guessed this from my uncontrollable laughter after I said it. I’m fairly certain that the industrial warehouse motif here isn’t really a motif and that this was or is, in fact, an industrial warehouse. San Francisco is cool like that – taking buildings intended for uses other than coffee shops and converting them into coffee shops, like warehouses, hardware stores, bars, prisons, hospitals, and day cares.

Anyhow, just because you smoke a pipe and look like a certain savvy detective, this doesn’t excuse you from licking an ambiguous brown liquid off of a floor that looks like it has recently experienced Pamplona’s famed running of the bulls after having been used as a medieval torture surface for several hundred years.

I feel dirty standing on this concrete, and here you are tempting me to dare you to lick it. Are you high? Oh, you are. Well that makes sense.

To the black guy who looks like Wayne Brady,

Are you Wayne Brady? You really look like him. More importantly, you sound like him and have his mannerisms – namely, the mannerisms of a small-town Maine weatherman. Your whiteness perturbs me. It’s like hearing a toddler croon in a deep baritone. Or Pharrel.

To the girl dressed like a 1960’s stewardess,

You must be confused. This isn’t a costume party, although it certainly looks that way. You’ve made an honest mistake, to be sure. Oh, wait a minute, you work here. You’re serving coffee and bending low at the waist to talk to the customers, seductively revealing ample cleavage. I see; you are helping this coffee shop attack that very small niche market – men who enjoy the cleavage of stewardesses in the 1960’s.

Pure kink. I approve. Hey, could I get a coffee? Sorry, I have a throat infection and can’t speak any louder, you’ll have to come closer. Yes, a coffee. Wait, is that a tattoo of an airplane crashing into your “twin towers.” That’s in poor taste, and yet I can’t look away.

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