Candid camera

Sometimes, just when you think the world is really messed up, something happens that makes you realize it’s waaaaay worse than you thought.

Normally, stories about secret bathroom videos don’t come through my inbox, but this one did because it concerned the Starbucks for the Rich and Obscure Overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Golden Cove Shopping Center, otherwise known as Hangout for Marginally Employed Cyclists.

As the buddy who sent me the link said, “Is my wiener going to be on YouTube now? Cuz I use that bathroom ALL THE TIME.”

I think most of us male cyclists using that bathroom are safe unless the camera had a macro zoom, but it made me wonder what the deal is with potty photos. It is not our most graceful series of yoga poses, Dangling Man, Squatting Frau.


At 4:45 AM I was headed home to Los Angeles, hoping I had left early enough to miss the inbound snarl towards San Francisco and Oakland. The driving was easy, and shortly after six I was approaching Livermore.

Rather than the easy Starbucks fix I got off the freeway, drove on surface streets and wound up at the downtown, dark, and empty as an old beer can. Only the coffee shop was lit.

Raindrops fell, sending off the fresh rain smell of ozone. I pushed open the door, which had a bicycle next to it. Inside was a bicyclist eagerly chatting with the proprietor. Only bicyclists chat eagerly at 6:00 AM.

The owner was cheerful. “Bad news! Cash only and the Internet is down!”

“No worries,” I said, glad that I’d stowed a twenty. “I think I can make it through my first cup of coffee without Wi-Fi. Maybe. Is this your place?”

“Yes,” he said with pride.

“What makes a man open a coffee shop in downtown Livermore?”

“A horrible job as a production engineer, that’s what.”

“How long have you been open?”

“Three years.”

“Going well?”

“It’s great. Except for the Internet and card reader that don’t work today.”

“It’s nice running your own show, huh?”

“Yeah. I got sick of working for a bunch of idiots who told me to do idiotic things that made no sense at all.”

“And now?”

“I get to make all the idiotic decisions! Right, Sarah?” He looked at the barista, who grinned as she pulled a great shot of espresso.

The coffee and donut revitalized me, especially in the lower g.i. tract, so I hustled off to the bathroom without a care, confident that whatever happened in Livermore would remain there.



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3 thoughts on “Candid camera”

  1. Whew, thanks for the “heads up”, another reason to avoid Charbucks, especially for those of us with Presidential (current) endowments.

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