While I was driving there, I noticed someone driving in the other direction in a red car. She had six toes on each foot, and her profession was to edit 80's pop music, removing any synth noises that sounds, to the modern ear, like CD skippage or MP3 corruption. She had a crushing fear of apricots because she was once trapped in an orchard during a hurricane, and she always voted alphabetically. She was listening to salsa music as I drove by, but I didn't notice.
When I got to the parking lot, I lurked behind someone getting into his car, waiting to take his spot. The man had a bald spot the exact shape of Gondwanaland, but wore a hat to cover it up. He was a mechanic by profession, but he was an evil genius mechanic. Whenever he repaired a vehicle, he rearranged the entire workings of the vehicle to his own design. It ran a little cleaner, but the design was so alien no other mechanic could fix it. His services were inexpensive the first time, but return customers got inflated prices. Also, he had a hobby. He had programmed robots to codify and implement any human philosophical system. He enjoyed making the robots fight, to judge which philosophies were best. He waved politely to me as he pulled out, and I smiled to him, and parked.
At the cafe, there was a couple in line in front of me. They were both tap-dancers when very young, but they both dropped out. He dropped out because his family's emu farm needed more hands, and she did because she wasn't very good at tap-dancing. In 1997, the two of them founded a small dotcom company with the intent of increasing the elasticity of the consumer petroleum market. The plan was to deliver online price comparisons, as well as lookup resources and directions for stations, for a small subscription fee. They felt that if all consumers knew which stations nearby had the best prices, people would seek out the least expensive fuel, which would force other stations to reduce prices competitively. Sadly, the couple's site was closed three days after launch, when Mr. John Shell, Mr. Fred Exxon, Mr. Joe BritishPetroleum, and Dr. Al Chevron burst into their building one Tuesday afternoon, carrying baseball bats, and threatened the couple to shut down their business "if they didn't want trouble." They never told anyone what happened. Since then, they've started a gardening business and are happy and prosperous. I was thinking about smiling and saying hello, but they were chit-chatting with each other about what coffee to get, so I left them alone.
When it was my turn, I ordered a hot apple cider, and requested that the cafe employee under no circumstances give me a bagel. The cafe employee was only seventeen, and he was the human being whose biochemistry most closely resembled that of a Rhesus monkey. He looked kind of feline, and had a pony tail and a goatee, of the sort that many Californian males grow when they realize that facial hair has become possible. At home, he would talk to his sandwiches, but never at work because of his strong professional ethics. He found talking to a sandwich more entertaining than watching television or listening to music. He took my order, but he was slightly distracted by a conversation with his manager (who had always worn her clothes inside out until 1993).
When I got home, I realized that, though I did enjoy the absence of bagels, I probably would have prefered a bagel even more.