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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Aw fawk!

The studio came to a complete halt.

My decidedly New York-union commercial crew was mesmerized by a post that hit the grip’s Twitter account. "Cashman just told A-Rod he should just shut the fawk up on Twittaw. He’s a badass."

From there it was wall-to-wall Noo Yawk Tawk, because after all, there are only two places where sports will stop a commercial shoot: Boston and New York.

Before you get all sideways and call your local Teamsters rep, let it be known that I am a decidedly union guy. My grandfather worked a union job for thirty plus years and I’ve never crossed a picket line; never will. That being said, I was super pissed because the only thing worse than an actor that can’t remember his lines is an unprofessional crew. Unprofessionalism turns art into soap opera.

I called for the mandatory break on the set and needed to break free so my head wouldn’t explode. Luckily Manhattan has just a few Starbucks close to filming. Now the only decision was to go to the shop on the southeast corner…or the one on the northwest corner…or the one, well you get my drift.

I opted for the fancy mom and pop shop three doors down mainly because the line wasn’t out the door. Still with a dozen people in front of me, I had some time to simmer down and wonder why my proofer Monica was always upset at me, craft a guide to coffee dating in my head, AND wonder where all of these fu-fu coffee orders were coming from. Here were the first three orders taken (give or take):
  • Large café mocha, no sugar, no whip, extra dry please, with half skim and half whole milk, one pump hazelnut, extra hot.
  • Medium caramel macchiato in a large double cup, triple whipped cream with three shots of espresso and three extra pumps of caramel.
  • Small soy mocha, half iced, not blended with six pumps of vanilla, stirred not shaken. 

At that point I was screaming “shut the fawk up” in my head, but really unsure if I had just let those rude, yet truthful four words fly out of my grill. Please eat what’s left of my brain and take my order for six large regular coffees, Holy A-Rod I need a cell phone scrambler on my next New Yawk shoot! My mind slipped away as the poor girl struggled to get those orders right while openly mumbling about covering someone’s morning shift after staying up all night studying for her LSAT’s.

How many of us have been on coffee dates? How many of would have run if your speed date would have ordered one of those beauties. Yeah I know she’s cute, but the maintenance and upkeep may make yours look mighty easy. This is why they invented the Coffee Date. It’s essentially a reason to have an inexpensive 30 minute conversation with your crush buddy a midst the sweet aphrodisiac of coffee aromas. You don’t have to worry about deep convos or shaving your legs because this is not about s-e-x. It’s a quick assessment where you don’t have to worry about pickups, being too late or too early or deciding between the scampi appetizer or sharing a Caesar salad. And, just like reading the directions on the side of the shampoo bottle, do this:

Get the drink order. Order the drinks. Pay.


Sit. Drink. Talk. Flirt (level two and lower, only). Repeat.

Keep it short. When you hit your high note, say your goodbyes (like George Costanza):

Make sure you follow-up and plan a real date if you have any semblance of chemistry and your crush buddy is not a coffee snob.

Speaking of coffee snobs, the carnage in front of me continued…
  • Large no-foam half-caf non-fat mocha soy latte. 
  • Medium half-skinny half-one percent extra hot split quad shot latte with whip.
  • Fill a large halfway with one hundred forty degree coffee; fill the rest with cold milk, sugar-free hazelnut syrup.
Yikes. This is some serious coffee drama. What does it all mean?
I remember a talk with author James Moore who surmised that coffee picks go past personal taste. He said that these mind-boggling complicated drinks reach a much deeper psychological level relating to self-esteem issues, stress and a “search for the comforts of childhood." Here’s the breakdown on the sociology of coffee orders:
  • Black coffee: The Minimalist. Likes things one-on-one. Competitive. The lone wolf who can mix in quite nicely when prompted.
  • Espresso: The Leader. Instant indulgence for the moody whom has no time for gossip or low standards.
  • Cappuccino: The Optimistic Extrovert. Appreciative of style and expensive gear. A starter, but not a finisher.
  • Latte: The Passive Aggressive. The latte fan waters down their danger with bubbly foam and milk. Prefers cuddling to sex. Comfort over spontaneity.
  • Instant coffee: The Under the Radar. No frills, straightforward and in no hurry to get things done. Unadventurous in career and sex.
  • Decaf soymilk: The Narcissist. An eco-worrier with dab of fussiness and a heavy dose of ego.
  • Non-coffee drinker: The Teatotaller. Someone who rejects the brown gold is said to have been frightened of life as a child.
Now up at the front, the poor barista was relieved to have my low maintenance order. She whispered “thanks” under her breath as she slipped me a gratis chocolate croissant on my way out which I polished off just in time to spring through the doors of the set where everyone was magically reinvigorated. The sports talk had died down and my actors had kissed and made up. [Yes, literally kissed and made up in their trailer – but that’s a story for another blog.] Filming resumed and things were on the right track.

All of the sudden Twittaw reared its ugly head: “Aaron Hernandez was just arrested!”

Aw fawk!


Don't act like this at your coffee place: