My Nutrition Report Card today would not make my parents–or my nutritionist–very happy. There were carbs, there were fats, there were caffeinated beverages. And in the afternoon, when I was feeling hungered at the 4 o’clock hour, I decided to do what the British do and give myself a tea time. I went to Caribou Coffee and had an iced chai tea with a nasty looking orange-currant scone:
The Caribou orange-currant scone is a scone without integrity. Its orange icing looks like dried up ink from a long lost Simpsons episode. The currants are like bastard raisins. The thing weighs a ton. It’s dry, it’s brittle and it feels like you’re eating a shoe. And yet–somehow–it hits the spot.
But that’s not why I brought you here today. I brought you here to talk about personality. Let’s go for a moment to one of my favorite scenes from “Annie Hall.” Alvy Singer is with his friends in his childhood home, reliving a childhood memory, when his mother introduces her sister as the “one with personality.” Tony Roberts says: “Bev, I hear you’re the one with personality.” She smiles somewhat battily and nods: “I’m the one with personality!”
This hits precisely on what I like to call People Who Don’t Have a Personality So They Pretend They Do Syndrome. These are people who are overly jubilant; who have catchphrases, memorizing clever lines of diologue from popular movies. These are the ones who have convinced themselves that an outsized personality is equal to a winning personality. These are people we hate.
The Caribou coffee that I visited today is notorious for employees with PWDHAPSTPTDS. The first perpetrator is a guy I like to call ENJOY. I call him that because when he hands you your coffee, he says in a long, drawn out condescending way:
He does it every time. He does it with a twinkle in his eye, and a grin on his face. I want to punch him.
The second guy with PWDHAPSTPTDS was working today. I like to call him TIP MONKEY. He is a tip prostitute. He inflates himself with fake personality air until you drop money in his bowl. I’d have paid $40 to get him to shut up.
I don’t even remember what he said. I said: “Which scones are fresher: the blueberry or the orange-currant?”
He took this as an opportunity to show off his personality.
“They’re all delivered at the same time,” he said. Fair enough. “There’s really not one that’s fresher. They come in in the morning. SO I mean both scones are equally good. There’s really no way to tell. I mean, sometimes we’ll have a scone that’s been sitting there a day, but we usually throw those out. But I mean, with scones, we sell a lot of them, so usually you don’t have to worry…”
I stood there nodding and smiling. My interior monologue was going something like this:
ADAM’S INTERIOR MONOLOGUE
Spotlight center stage. Enter Adam, in a red robe, smoking a pipe.
ADAM: Please stop talking. Please. Please. I want you to stop talking. I want you to stop. Please. Please. Can you please stop talking?