Down Memory Lane & Nordlinger

After taping an interview with Melissa Clouthier, this morning (I will let you know when it airs, if you can stand listening to me) I ran out to do some errands. On the way home, I decided to stop at a 7-11 for a cup of coffee. Before me on line was a college-age kid wearing a Che shirt. Ah, memories…it brought me back to this:

Buster vs the paying public
Previously posted: July 2008

You’ve all seen the Che tee shirt, right? The iconic shot of beret-wearing Che Guevara’s face proudly worn by many who likely have no idea who the guy actually was.

The other afternoon, working his summer job making steaming lattes, frappes and other delectable beverages for people willing to spend an enormous amount on coffee and coffee-related-confections in this woeful and nearly depressed economy, Buster found himself facing–for too many times in one day–a coffee lover wearing Che on his chest.

Buster was bored steaming milk, and he decided to have a little fun.

“I like your shirt,” he said to the customer, as he handed him his coffee.

The customer gave a thumbs up sign, “Hey, righteous!”

Buster handed him his change, smiled and leaned back a bit, saying, “But I think I like mine better.”

And he lifted up his work shirt to reveal this one:

“Enjoy your coffee,” Buster said.

The customer, not pleased, puffed out his cheeks, left the store.

Buster’s boss, who likes him because he has a good work ethic, and will work 60 hours a week, if he’s needed, shook his head at Buster and said, “okay for a summer job, but you’re clearly not cut out to work with the public.”

When he told me the story later, I dutifully told him – as a parent – that he should not provoke the customers, and I asked him if he still thought he might go into politics, someday.

“Maybe someday,” he said. “Depends on who wins in the next 20 years, the Che shirts, or the No-Che’s.”

I think we’re all curious about that contest.

For the past year, Buster has observed the corkscrew English politicians use while trying to parse their meanings and make sure they always have an “escape hatch.” He’s watched all of the going-along-to-get-along that has infected our political landscape until it is almost in sepsis, and it’s turned him off politics.

He is not the only one who is heartened to see someone like Chris Christie dispense with carefully-crafted rhetoric for simple and straightforward talk.

Somewhat related, Jay Nordlinger talks to a cabbie.

What’s the worst cliché in journalism? You, the journalist, get into a cab, and have an interesting conversation with the driver — and then report on it. There is nothing gaucher you can do.

I really don’t care. I was in a cab recently, down in Dallas. (Dallas is up for most Texans, but it is down for most of the rest of the country.) The driver was from Tunisia. And he ought to teach in Middle East Studies departments — or at least lecture.

Read it all.

I did that once, wrote about an encounter with a cabbie. Hey, wisdom can be found everywhere.

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