Fuzzy Called Me Baby And Now I’ll Never Get My Locks Popped

I’m outside of Starbucks. I have a few minutes to write before I have to head to the car. This is my first DAY OF WRITING and I don’t want to waste any time. (Except for the trip to CVS to buy a hair tie. There is an inverse correlation between whacked-out hair and good writing. FYI.)

The Starbucks has eight tables lining the sidewalk. When I chose my seat, two Pop-a-Lock (PoL) guys are sitting diagonal to me and on the opposite end of the sidewalk. No one else is near me (because people schmeople).

Within five minutes of setting up my laptop, PoLs are on the move. To the table RIGHT NEXT TO ME.

I offer my other chair to the guys (because I’m stupid nice) and he says: Oh it’s okay for now, but there’s going to be a lot more of us coming.


I go back to writing, but I keep doing this low cough cough. Then I realize that one of the PoL has started smoking with me DOWNWIND. I am not anti-smoking. I am anti-downwind-smoking. But I also don’t want to be the purposeful-coughing non-smoker. I hated that guy when I smoked. So I try to subdue the cough with ice, which lands mostly in my lap. I pray for patience while I think WHY DID YOU MOVE CLOSER TO ME TO SMOKE? And as the hazy dry-mouth minutes drag on, I realize that the PoL smoker is not any ol’ smoker. He’s the super annoying sit-around-with-a-lit-cigarette smoker. I scream: SUCK THAT THING DOWN TO THE FILTER. But because I scream this in MY MIND, he has half of a cigarette through the rest of my Pop-a-Lock ordeal.

I forget about my persistent cough once Fuzzy comes along. Because he is SO MUCH WORSE than the dangling cigarette (seriously though. is that a trick cigarette? how is he still smoking that thing!).

Fuzzy is clearly the boss. He has that air of cool and in charge. But really he’s gray and fuzzy and works at Pop-a-Lock.

He says to me: Can I have this chair, baby?

I am so shocked at being called BABY that all I can say: Yes.

But he doesn’t actually move the chair. HE SITS WITH ME. And talks to the two PoLs at the other table.

I consider moving, but I’ve been in these situations before. The pathetic man who wants to show off his SKILZ. I know that I will get crap for getting up. And I WAS HERE FIRST! Plus, I start to transcribe the conversation and take secret pictures which brings me enormous pleasure.

The rest of the PoL crew shows up and squeezes on in. Either no one is locked out on Wednesday mornings, or they are waiting for a MASS LOCK OUT at noon.

And another guy joins forces with the never-ending-smoker in a PoL attempt to smoke me out. And he states: Power be those that smoke. We are gods.

His comment inspires Fuzzy to discuss his brilliant friend who should be in Mensa, which makes me wonder why he’s friends with the Fuzz.

And then Fuzzy moves on to relationships.

He looks to the smoking god and a non-smoking PoL and bequeaths his insight: You got an old lady? {both nod} Your lady tells you what to do, doesn’t she. What do you just put your paycheck in the bank? You don’t get any say.

I’m so glad no-wedding-band Fuzzy is here to straightens these young men out. STOP SHARING YOUR PAYCHECK WITH YOUR WIFE MORON. It’s useful to withhold the money to get her to do what you want.

Fuzzy moves on to bragging about how he cursed out a cop — who pulled him over for RUNNING A RED LIGHT. In retaliation for the Fuzzy-tude, the cop sat in the squad car for twenty minutes making Fuzzy LATE for whatever Fuzzies do on their days off. Fuzzy shakes his fist and PROMISES BEFORE GOD AND COUNTRY that the days of free lock pops for police officers are OVER.

I am asked to contribute to the PoL convention when the topic turns to fashion. Fuzzy is railing on the significantly older PoL to get shorts that go to his knee. The old PoL is wearing old-man shorts. Appropriate for an OLD MAN. So when Fuzzy asks for the feminine perspective, which is clearly me as the token female member of PoL (since I don’t actually WORK at Pop-a-Lock. i think), I reply: He looks fine.

Because at least he wasn’t talking or smoking in my face. And Fuzzy has singled him out as the weak link. The Fuzz spends five more minutes making fun of his shorts. And using the 20-year-old-can’t-finish-a-smoke smoker’s shorts, that are so baggy that his belt makes the waistline look like a paper bag, as the example of cool.

With a sigh of relief, I realize what time it is. I pack up and brace myself for the fallout of my leaving before the PoL convention is officially over.

A PoL says: {insert Fuzzy’s real name} you scared her away.

Me: No, he didn’t. I have to be somewhere at noon.

As I walk away, another PoL calls out: Be sure to call Pop-a-Lock if you get locked out.

Over my shoulder I respond: Oh, thank you SO much. I sure will. Except I’m a cop.

(WABAM! Except I wish that I’d said the last line DURING the conversation instead of while I was reliving it three hours later. {sigh})

Alex Iwashyna

Alex Iwashyna went from a B.A. in philosophy to an M.D. to a SAHM, poet and writer by 30. She spends most of her writing time on LateEnough.com, a humor blog (except when it's serious) about her husband fighting zombies, awkward attempts at friendship, and dancing like everyone is watching. She also has a soft spot for culture, politics, and rude Southern people who offend her Yankee sensibilities. She parents 2 elementary-aged children, 1 foster baby, 3 cats, and 1 puppy, who are all Southern but not rude. Yet.

23 thoughts to “Fuzzy Called Me Baby And Now I’ll Never Get My Locks Popped”

  1. Your last lines are always my favorite. My husband actually IS a cop, and so that last line really makes me want to send you a dozen doughnuts. And now I’m thinking of taking on “Fuzzy” as a pet name for my husband… just until it annoys him. Then I’ll stop. Probably.

  2. This is Wonderful Funny! I enjoyed it so much.
    I bet you anything, at the bar that night Fuzzy regaled his after PoL buddies with tales of the hot chick he impressed at Starbucks.

  3. Why do we always come up with the good lines HOURS later???

    I so want to be that suave gal who sends the zingers out to the chauvinist pigs who DARE to call me ‘baby.’ Or ‘hon’, or ‘sweetie.’

    But I’m usually just so damn shocked at their stupidity that I don’t say anything. That’ll teach ’em.

  4. Oh my. That was hilarious. But you were good to sit there as long as you did. I would have moved. Mostly because they would have scared me.

  5. Oh man, and I bet all the other tables were empty the whole time. Kinda makes me think they moved on purpose rather than out of idiotic inconsideration. Men are stupid and yes, I agree with Motpg that you’re going to morph into the hot chick at Starbucks who asked to sit at his table when all the others were empty.

    1. although putting those last 2 thoughts into the same sentence puts me into the “idiotic & inconsiderate” category. Sorry, you’ll always be the hottie at Starbucks, it’s just that you’ll morph into the one who sat with him.

  6. I don’t know where or how you come up with this crazy shit, but you are absolutely hilarious. All of your stories. I am sitting here, literally laughing out loud! Loved it! And I sooo wish you would have said that last line too!

    I have to admit that I AM the “purposeful-coughing non-smoker” person. I just can’t help it. It’s something that takes over me when I’m around smokers (especially down-wind from smokers)!

  7. Fabulous pictures. Just fabulous.

    I especially liked the Pop-a-Locks marital advice…I think my marriage would improve exponentially if my husband stopped sharing his paycheck with me. Because, really, how couldn’t it?

    Loved this post. You are awesome!

  8. This was one of the funniest things I have EVER read. I love love love that you took pictures of them and wrote about them while one of them was actually SITTING with you!

    And your come back line? Awesomeness… I so wish you had thought to say it in their presence too. But at least we all got a laugh out of it!

    Love it. Love you for writing it.

  9. I can’t handle these kinds of men. I think have deep-seeded men issues. I am trying to get a little more mellow in my old age, but I may have said something mean, like, “Can you move your chair?” It’s more likely, though, that I would have moved mine.

    I have the same computer as you. Great minds have the same computers. (Great minds have Macs or Mac-envy.)

  10. I’m not going to admit how far I was into this post before I realized those guys were employees at a locksmith shop, and not pop ‘n lock street dancers.

    ‘Cause that would have been a different, though possibly equally as enjoyable blog post.

    And awkward people should never stick together but be randomly distributed throughout the general populace.

    You’re welcome.

  11. Hahaha! Wow. They sound like real treasures.

    Admittedly, I had no idea what Pop-a-lock was and was totally expecting this post to be about dancing, so you kinda lost at ‘Starbucks’ for awhile. I figured it out, though… ’cause I’m quick like that.

    I would have totally moved – I probably would have gone inside or something. Though, then I would have missed the precious gems that came out of fuzzy’s mouth and that would have been tragic.

  12. Alex, I always come up with the BEST one-liners after the fact. I can seriously drive for 15 minutes straight reliving how I would have socked it to ’em. And they are damned fine points, ma’am.

  13. I love the way smoke smells and after spending significant amount of time in Europe, started to wish I smoked too. And then I got stuck on a smoking car between Paris and Brussels and I seriously thought I was going to be asphyxiated. It cured me. Although I do love a good non-downwind smoke.

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