The Obligatory Weird Guy

Marked by its solitary manner and fondness for “offbeat” footwear choices (e.g. Crocs in January), the obligatory weird guy, as its name suggests, can be found in every coffee shop on the continent. The OWG often will nurse a single cup of coffee for hours on end, and carries neither a book nor a computer, preferring instead to wait alertly for other inhabitants of the coffee shop to glance up from their work, whereupon the OWG immediately fixes them with a testes-shriveling stare until they look away.

The Glengarry Glen Ross

The GgGR is always talking—either to a companion or on the phone, invariably at high volume—and the only thing it talks about is business. To all appearances void of an interior life, the GgGR’s myopic focus on commerce, combined with its ear-splitting call, is the object of great wonder, annoyance, and boredom among others in its habitat. Species within this genus include the Helmet-Haired Realtor, the Dockers-Bedecked Insurance Adjustor, and the Young Investment Banker Who Thinks It’s Charming to Refer to Women as “Broads.”

The Earth Nerd

Sporting cloth shoes, fashionably mussed hair, and the ambient reek of armpit, the EN can be heard having earnest conversations in quiet tones all over North America. Earth Nerds are noted for their unfailing devotion to Apple products; not one, either in the wild or in captivity, has ever been observed with a PC. Sometimes confused with the Metropolitan Hipster, owing to similarities in plumage, coloration, and scent, the EN can be easily differentiated from the MH by its hemp tote advertising some obscure rural farming festival.

The Very Serious Man

Identified primarily by its unsmiling visage and total eschewal of electronics of any kind, the VSM can usually be found reading very serious texts while jotting longhand in small, weathered moleskin notebooks. VSM tend to favor wide-gauge corduroy and straight black teas. There are some who believe the VSM to be an example of imperfect evolution, since the fact that it only has two hands makes it impossible for the VSM to simultaneously take notes and hold its book up so that everyone knows it is reading Kant in the original German.

The Overindulged Child

Frequently, the Overindulged Child can be observed sitting before a spread of three organic beverages and half a dozen gluten-free pastries, owing to the fact that it has never been forced to make a decision about what it wants and then live with it. The OC favors running in circles, spilling other patrons’ coffees onto their laptops, and watching inane entertainment on tablet computers without headphones. Often can be found living symbiotically with another common inhabitant of North American coffee shops, the Progressive Parent.

The Guy Crocheting a Pair of Gloves,
or a Scarf, or Something

An exceedingly rare but marvelous animal, the GCPGoSoS is believed by some scientists to actually be a hybrid, perhaps the result of mating between a male Earth Nerd and a female Progressive Parent. This hybrid theory explains both the GCPGoSoS’s rarity, since hybrid animals tend to be sterile, as well as its invariably hyphenated last name.

The Blind Dater

Masters of disguise, Blind Daters can to the untrained eye appear to be just about any creature; one must observe their behavior to conclusively identify them. First, they enter the coffee shop and, rather than going straight to the counter, gaze around the room in search of an article of clothing or a hair color they’ve been told to look for. Then, when asked by the attendant if they’d like to order something, BDs will often become flustered, perhaps even stammer a bit, since which hot beverage they desire is pretty much the last thing on their mind. Finally, in an effort to avoid further awkwardness in an already-tense moment, BDs frequently order the first thing they see on the menu, not realizing until they sit down that they really in fact have no interest in a grande chicory coffee with almond milk.