Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
To carry her weekly column in your
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Online Since 1999
Cafť Cocoa and the Alien
was a strange looking place Ė more like a house than a coffee
shop. Could that be why they call them "coffee
houses?" For a minute I wasnít sure whether to go inside
of not. Finally, I figured, "What have I got to lose?"
Besides, it was cold outside.
It isnít the sort of place I normally go to. On one side a
group of students poured over books with coffee and papers
spread all over the table, obviously students from a nearby
"What am I getting into here?" I
In the back was a counter where two people debated over what to
order. I look at the menu scribbled on a blackboard, concoctions
of pineapple and caramel that sound more like ice-cream sundaes
than coffee. I picked the one with the least amount of whipped
cream and waited my turn.
The couple finally took their selection and wandered toward the
back of the house. I peered down the hall after them. The server
ignored my presence busying herself with washing cups or some
other menial chore. Finally, she acknowledged me standing there
just as I was about at the point of leaving.
I ordered my coffee unable to take my eyes off her chin. What is
that? A pierced lower lip with a stud? I tried not to let my own
tongue wander to the inside of my lip as I wondered what it
feels like to have metal piercing your lower lip.
After much mixing and blending, all done in slow motion, the
coffee was finally ready. I took the frothy blend and again
peered down the mysterious hall before deciding on the safer
side room close to the front door. I squeezed into a corner
table by a TV set that was being ignored, hoping that I would be
treated the same.
One couple was so busy with each other that they scarcely knew
anyone else existed at all. Another table of people with weird
hair were talking animatedly about politics, or some other
earth-shaking concern, as if their opinions really made a
difference to anyone but them. They all looked very young.
I sipped my coffee and it really wasnít too bad Ė didnít
taste a bit like coffee Ė but not bad. I checked my watch and
stared at the documentary on the TV. Not my taste. Finally, I
retrieved a used copy of the local alternative paper from
another table and flipped through it.
What a dump this place is, peeling paint, rickety tables, a
fireplace unused for 40 years, college kids, and a few tough
types that appear to have wandered over from a nearby AA meeting
house. Definitely not the sort of place usually frequented by
"Iím on someone elseís turf," I
I looked at my watch again, sipped my empty coffee cup, and
watched the worthless documentary. Finally, it was time and I
could escape. I left my new and unusual company. No one said
"I suppose they feel as alien in my world as I do in
theirs," I thought.
"Hi Mom, isnít the coffee house a neat place? Did you
like the coffee?"
"Sure, honey, the coffee was out of this world."
Copyright 2003 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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