Today was Sunday. My internet was out today.

Well that’s no problem, right? Just go back to bed until it works again! Might as well not be awake if you can’t obsessively check your email every five minutes, look in on all the softcore pornography and Black Sabbath videos on your Facebook feed or see if eBay finally has that Clutch promo single for “Shogun Named Marcus” listed again—not the Promo Named Marcus, but the actual promo CD single for the song itself. Totally different.

Trouble was, the internet didn’t come back. After languishing for a while in my destitution—technologically stranded—I lumbered my way up the stairs to the router to see what the problem was and there found my loving wife, who offered the following gem of wisdom:

“Internet’s out.”

Kudos, love. So it was.

As I have for the last I-don’t-want-to-admit-how-many weekends, I had work to do today. Working on Sunday. Pathetic. Nonetheless, like on that one episode of South Park where they head out Californey way to find some internet, I drove into town to go to the local coffee shop and do my day’s worth of whathaveyou.

The place is what you’d expect of a modern post-Starbucks independent coffee house: Subdued décor, bored-looking and possibly-stoned adolescent staff, expensive but tasty iced tea, baked goods, etc. Also free wifi, and it was mostly that in which I was interested, so I plugged in and had at it.

Not long into this excursion—just around the time I started to feel satisfied at having left the house in hopes of still culling together a productive afternoon—I noticed a man sitting in one of the requisite big comfy chairs. He had his iPad out on one of those little fold-up stands that’s also the plate cover, and some other nonsense attached to it, and he was talking on his Bluetooth. Loudly.

I get it. Sometimes you get a phone call and you need to take it, and so you stop playing whatever game it is you’re using your iPad for and you take the call. Nope. Not my man here. My man here was wheeling and dealing. Dude was conducting business and in full business-conducting vocal boom. He was brokering the sale of an oil tanker or I’m Phil Rizzuto.

Now. On my long, ever-growing list of pet peeves, “Lack Of Inside Voice” ranks so near the top it might as well be “Infidelity” or “Using ‘Gay’ When You Just Mean ‘Shitty.’” I kid you not, Salesman McDickhead was on the phone for more than an hour, talking full volume like I might if you and I were on the phone in my office and I had my door closed. It was unfuckingbelievable.

Think of the kind of entitlement that gives rise to that kind of douchebaggery. Just imagine the level of self-importance. Here you’ve got someone so blind to the fact that other people are even worth considering that he basically makes the entire coffee shop his phone booth. It got to the point where he was on the phone for so long and talking so loudly that I started to respond to him. He’d be talking and would go, “I don’t understand,” and I’d go, “Me neither. It boggles my mind what kind of asshole you’d have to be to disturb everyone else like that.”

But hey, if we didn’t like it, we’d all go out and make more money than him, right? Then we could get on our Bluetooth and get into a business guy circle jerk of capitalist exploitation, talk about the bond market like it’s someone you just had lunch with. And worst of all, to fucking bother me with it while I’m trying to listen to Bathory. I mean, seriously. Bathory! Is nothing sacred? I wanted to take a Viking battle axe and cleave his skull.

Eventually, I hit critical mass and had to leave. I pulled the plug on the afternoon of work because I couldn’t stand to listen to him anymore, and my loving wife—who was showing her usual amusement at my mounting rage—got another refill of tea and left.

The internet at home? Still out. But at least I got my reasons for never wanting to leave reaffirmed. That probably counts for something.

JJ Koczan

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