Glutton for Punishment.

Earl is out of town on business this evening, though just moments ago he surprised me by saying he was taking a late flight tonight instead of coming home tomorrow afternoon as originally scheduled. Naturally I’m delighted by this news. Unfortunately he isn’t arriving home early enough to join me for supper. I wasn’t really in the mood for popcorn and beer though I did briefly consider the temptation. In the mood for an internet cafe experience I ended up heading to our local Panera, where I have been irked on several occasions earlier this week.

I guess I’m a glutton for punishment.

The restaurant is packed to the gills with people this evening. There’s a wide selection of screaming kids, big haired women and hyper macho men that think talking as if they’re from Brooklyn makes them exceedingly sexy. What do I know, perhaps the big haired women like these guys. They’re not my cup of tea though.

The cutie bear that was working on his PowerBook this past Monday night in the corner is still there tonight, even though it appears that he changed his clothes. I am seriously considering taking a picture of him with the iPhone though I fear that may prove to cross some line that I’m vaguely aware of.

I did notice that the “courtesy” cups I mentioned from my last visit here at no longer available. So much for giving the customers a free cup of water. I guess the old adage of “You abuse it, you lose it” holds true in this case.

I have to admit that I love eavesdropping on the conversations around me. I guess that’s why I don’t have bionic hearing, I’d probably abuse the privilege. Since I have plain ol’ human hearing (that’s holding up quite well) I’m forced to limit my eavesdropping to the tables around me but the chats I’m hearing are quite interesting. I’m intrigued by the liberal use of the f-bomb at a table seemingly populated by a family. Now I use the word quite a bit in everyday conversation but these are going quite crazy with it. This is interesting to me because the family looks like the type that was offended by Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction that seriously fucked up broadcast television and radio.

The other thing I’m noticing with these conversations around me is the accent. Aside from the Brooklyn wannabes, there’s the overpowering flat “a” sound that’s quite common in this area (merry, mary and marry all sound the same here). I guess that’s to be expected, since I’m the native land of that sound, but there’s also quite a bit of what I call “fake Italian” going on, where they drop the trailing vowel off of every word that ends in a vowel. “Cannoli” becomes “canole”, “ricotta” becomes ricott, marinara becomes “mon-non” (both syllables rhyme with “on”) which I don’t find in Upstate New York outside of our immediate area. I’ve never been to Italy so maybe what I perceive to be “fake Italian” could be the real mccoy but I’ve never heard anyone portraying an Italian character on television speak this way.

I guess this Panera experience has moved up a notch from frustrated/irritated to perplexed. The feeling isn’t unpleasant.