John and I had the strangest experience in a Eureka Springs coffee house. As with most caffeine purveyors, there was a lengthy menu of offerings from the "Daily Brew" at the top of the chalkboard to the frothy, flavored frappe fixes.
"What's the 'daily brew?' " John asked.
"Coffee," replied the long-bearded guy behind the counter. I hesitate to call him a barista because, in my world, baristas are usually friendly, even jokey.
Honestly, I thought he was droll. Turns out he wasn't. I mean, isn't the "daily brew" something that changes? Daily? Columbian yesterday... Guatemalan today... Sumatran tomorrow?"
"Is it dark...? Or medium...?" John was trying to help out the guy.
"All our coffee is medium roast," kibitzed an impatient coworker. She clearly was anxious for us to get coffee and get out. She was really put out that John wanted cream because it meant crossing a portion of the just-mopped stone floor. You could just tell she couldn't wait for us to leave so she could finish swabbing the deck.
I wasn't ready for coffee just then, reserving that pleasure for later this afternoon.
"Better not wait too long," John said. "They close at 5."