“Your observations don’t interest me.”

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So I just hunkered down in a local coffee shop, and to my left is a woman going through papers with a blue pen, crossing through words, making little Xs and check marks. She looks like either a journalist, or a former journalist now teaching. So I smiled and said, “We do that the same way.”

To which she glanced at me, harrumphed and looked back at her work.

It was masterfully done.

As a coffee shop regular, I get it. There’s always some guy sidling up to your table, wanting to talk about sports or politics or the weather. It usually begins with him spotting something in front of me. A book. Maybe a folder with an athlete on the cover.

“You a [FILL IN THE BLANK] fan?” he asks.

“Not really.”

“Oh, who do you like?”





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