So I live down the street from an all-girls Catholic school. Back 20 years ago, this surely would have excited me.
In 2010, it annoys the hell out of me.
There are two spots within walking distance of my house where I like to write. One is Starbucks, the other is Cosi. Starbucks is ideal, because I have a gift card with a gazillion bucks on it, the manager is a friend and the big window up front lets in a ton of light. They also boast the Pumpkin Spice Latte, which I love this time of year. Cosi—not as good, but solid. Nice staff, one excellent table by the front (if you get here early, it’s yours. I’m here early. It’s mine). The music absolutely, positively sucks (Yanni-esque jazz bullshit), but, hey, nothing’s perfect.
Anyhow, school started last week, which means my two joints are now overrun by the annoying, loud, messy, inconsiderate girls of St. Francis Academy. They scream about Justin Bieber (He. Must. Die.), increase their already raging hormonal boost with XXL coffee drinks, leave their shit everywhere. I’d be annoyed were I simply kicking back. But with a book due, well, I ain’t happy.
I actually took the ultimate Grandpa Pearlman step a few days ago, firing off an e-mail to the headmaster about her minions. This is what I wrote:
My name is Jeff Pearlman. I’m a local resident who writes books for a living. The majority of my time is spent in the Cosi on Smythe Road and the Starbucks nearest to your campus.
Another school year has started, and already your students are driving people crazy in these establishments. I can deal with the loudness—teenagers are loud. I was. But what always jars me is the lack of decency and empathy. The vast majority of employees in these establishments make minimum wage … and all they wind up doing is cleaning up the garbage left behind by your students. It’s a guaranteed fall ritual, right there with the leaves following. The St. Francis girls show up, are incredibly loud, order sodas and coffee and such—then leave a complete and total mess for the employees (and customers) to clean.
Anyhow, I know you have a nice school. But, if you have a welcome-to-a-new-year assembly, it might be a worthy point to bring up. The community would be greatly appreciative, I assure you.
OK, I’ll admit—pathetic. And old. And lame. But they’re killing me … just killing me.
PS: She responded with an enormous FUCK YOU. Her reply: “Thank you for notifying me.”