The Young Woman’s Guide to provoking a panicked look from Michael Dorman

It’s easy. Walk up to me and say, “Do I know you from somewhere?”

You see, the problem is that’s either the most cliched pick-up line in existence–and, being realistic, I don’t generally assume women are trying to pick me up–or you at least _think_ you know me somehow, and now I have to figure out how.

So the wheels begin spinning furiously, and if they can’t find any traction, well, it’s like beginning to slowly drift backwards in your manual transmission car in San Francisco–not a good feeling.

Now, in some situations, the questioner might have a name-tag, which is handy except, in one of the universe’s many ironies, in almost all cases trying to read a woman’s name tag is virtually indistinguishable from staring at her breasts–which, while fun, is something you generally don’t want to do very obviously, but it’s hard to be covert when it’s all in small print.

All of which is about the last situation I expected to find myself in today.

You see, I skipped out of much of the morning to go to the Southeast Regional Barista Competition (sponsored by “SCAA”:, because David Chapman, co-proprietor of “Bean Traders”:, the coffee shop I go to, as well as two of his employees (who I know less well), were going to be in it. I went last year, and it was fun, so I decided to go again.

So, I was standing in the door to the room the competition was in (insert plug for “Southern Season”: for hosting the event) when an attractive young woman came up and hit me with the aforementioned question.

In the end, though, I braved social stigma, and was fortunate that, in fact, her name tag gave away the answer–yes, in fact, she did know me, as she was one of the baristas at “Murky Coffee”:, which was my purveyor of choice in DC, and which I would highly recommend to anyone in the Capitol Hill/Eastern Market area.

I still want David to win, but I was happy to wish Katie and Ryan (I never met Aaron while I was there) well. Maybe there’ll be a Murky Coffee/Bean Traders showdown on Sunday. In which case I will show up and do my best to cadge drinks from all concerned.

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Michael Alan Dorman

Yogi, brigand, programmer, thief, musician, Republican, cook. I leave it to you figure out which ones are accurate.