My Seinfeld Moment
Scene: A local grocery store chain in Los Angeles. No names, but they all have a bakery attached to them. I am shopping, buying some stuff. It’s coffee time. So I bebop over to the bakery for a coffee. But I don’t need a lot of coffee. My caffeine needs are minor. I need a hot, caffeinated beverage in a not-large container. Ok…
Attendant: Can I help you?
Me; Yes, a regular coffee of the day, please?
Attendant: What size?
Me: Small, please.
Attendant: We don’t have small. We have medium and large.
[At this point, the Attendant is pointing to the demo cups.]
Attendant: [holding a small cup up] Medium… [holding the large cup up] Large…
Me: I’ll take the smaller of the two.
Attendant: [holding up the small cup] Medium?
Me: That’s the smaller cup. That’s the one I want.
[The attendant sets the small cup down and starts to ring me up.]
Me: Why do you call the small cup “medium?”
Attendant: That’s all we have. Medium and large.
Me: Yes, but medium only exists when there is a small and a large size to compare it to. It comes between large and small.
Attendant: [annoyed] This is all we have. Do you want this or not?
Me: I just want you to recognize that it is silly to have a medium size of something but not a small. It doesn’t make.
Attendant: I don’t need this…
[She storms off. I am standing waiting for someone to give my money to. Meantime, another customer comes up and asks another attendant for a small coffee. This other attendant agreeably serves the customer and completes the transaction without fuss. I then pay this understanding attendant.]
Me; Uh, so I’m paying for what?
Attendant 2: Small coffee?
Me: Yes, But why is it called “medium?”
Attendant 2: It’s actually called “regular.”