On my way to work today I made two stops: one to buy a bagel and another to buy a caffeinated beverage. At both stores, I found myself behind people who seemed to find it impossible to provide their order and move on. The worst offender was at Noah's, where the woman in front of me (who ordered at the cash register instead of the counter -- strike one!) took over seven minutes to finalize her order, interrogating the cashier about the technical details that separated "eggsensations" from "egg mits", the finer points of the store's toast products, and the factors that went into the pricing of the various menu items (strike two!). I was feeling sympathetic until she revealed that she had a frequent bagel eater card that she forgot to have stamped yesterday, which removed any excuse that she might have had for her confusion (strike three!). For the first time in my bagel-buying history, my order was ready several minutes before I could pay for it.
I think now I'll start leaving my office so I can swim before seeing Mount Eerie tonight at the Paradox.