Betsy Whitt

I read. I write. I think. I live.

How To Embarrass High Schoolers

So I went to my coffee shop yesterday. I’m a regular there, and friends with most of the employees (shout out to all my peeps at Solid Grounds).

And there was a pair of teenagers, probably freshmen or sophomores, who were in the back booth “studying”. And by studying, I mean licking one another’s vocal cords. I suppose I should say it’s a big booth. It easily seats six people, eight if you’re friendly.

By the time I got there they were actually doing something or other with graphing calculators and geometry or trig, though naturally they were sitting practically on top of one another, because you can’t actually do homework without touching your boyfriend with two limbs and half your torso. But at least they weren’t making out any more.

But Mike and Angela had been forced to endure them for several hours.

So Mike offered me $10 if I’d just go over and ask if I could join them at the table, then sit down and start typing–with a straight face. Also, if they asked why, I had to say, “Well there aren’t that many tables open.” (There were tons of tables.)

And then Angela threw in a free drink to sweeten the deal. How could I say no?

So I waited at the little “get your drink here” counter while Angela made me a caramel apple cider, and when I got the drink I just turned around and said, “Do you guys mind if I sit here?” And I put my drink on the table and set down my bag before they even took a breath.

They said, “Uhhh… okay. We’re going to be leaving soon anyway.”

At which point a normal person would, you know, find another table and wait for them to leave.

Not me!

I just said, “Oh, that’s great! Thanks!” And I sat down and pulled out my AlphaSmart and started typing, trying not to look at them because if I did I would have busted up laughing and lost my $10.

I was typing things like, “I can’t do this out loud but I really need to laugh so I’m laughing in type HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.”

But according to eyewitnesses (there were three who were avidly watching) the kids were giving me very strange looks, because by then there was the “oooh, awkward…” vibe, and they’d looked around and seen that there were TONS of tables open. And there I was, typing away as if this was perfectly normal.

They left less than 3 minutes later, and we all barely lasted until the door closed behind them before we busted up laughing.

Good times, good times.

Maybe not as fun as the duck joke, but definitely very satisfying. It’s great fun to be the strange person that no one knows how to deal with. :-D



  1. You couldn’t have called me last night to tell me this story?! Instead, I’m sitting here at work, trying oh so hard not to laugh out loud because my coworkers already think I’m crazy as it is…holy crap that’s the most hilarious thing I’ve read all day.


  2. Sorry, I was having too much fun terrorizing all the youth group kids who came in later with threats of doing the same thing to them if I ever caught them doing things like that in public. Luckily, I didn’t know the kids, or they would have gotten more than the crazy rude lady!

  3. OK, I admit I love this. I would have done it for the free drink alone, and I would have been all motherly or teacher-y, maybe even asking if they needed help with that oh-so-difficult math. Or maybe I could have reminisced about when I was young and we didn’t have calculators and how much I just loved math, I bet they do too, and… you get the idea. Doddering old lady, that’s me! That was a very entertaining thing to do — lucky you!

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