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Coffee Shop Demographics (Halloween Edition)

Dani Alvarez - Pyragraph
Illustration by Dani Alvarez.

I’ve been doing a lot of my freelance work in coffee shops lately. The wifi, heating/AC and minimal human contact has been well worth the three-dollar iced coffee. There are some days though, that I’d rather not work so close to these weirdos.

Below I’ll outline a few of the “characters” I see no matter what cafe I go to, and since it’s Halloween, I will describe them in Halloweenie terms, because I love that seasonal shit. I’ll also give you some advice on how to deal with their nonsense.

Hungry Ghost

Characteristics: This dude eats or drinks a new scone or coffee on the hour. If you’re lucky, he also has no manners, slurps his coffee and somehow manages to chomp on his pumpkin muffin even though it is literally one of the softest foods.  He also keeps all the plates and cups in a pile that grows closer to you by the minute.

How to Deal: Use your bag (or a jacket you don’t care about) to create a physical barrier between you and this terrifyingly real apparition. Or, call a psychic and ask her how to bring him to the light so he is no longer stuck haunting this earth.


Characteristics: Homeboy Dracula is somehow always there before you, takes the corner seat near the outlet and plugs in all of his devices. The only time he looks up is when you reach over and ask if you can charge your laptop, and then he bites your arm.

How to Deal: Charge up before you leave your home in the morning. Also, eat lots of garlic, sit really close to him, and maybe he will leave his spot out of repulsion and his desire to remain amongst the undead.

The Witch

Characteristics: She doesn’t notice her phone is ringing until it’s been ringing, like, a full minute. When she finally takes her earbuds out, she starts to stand up to take the call, and you think, “Oh good she’s being polite and taking her call outside.” But damn, it’s October and she doesn’t want to put her jacket on, so she sits again and continues to talk for the next 45 minutes about how some virgin lit a flame in her witch house and now she is stuck in a city full of black rivers and can’t find her Boook.

How to Deal: Bring headphones. And salt. And daylight, if you can harness it.

The Zombie

Characteristics: Usually the barista, who is too tired to deal with the orders of cinnamon, pumpkin, butternut squash, roasted corn, or whatever nonfat-but-yes-to-whipped-cream autumnal lattes you can think of; who still has the energy to feast on any flesh that takes up space or uses wifi without purchasing anything.

How to Deal: Just buy something man. And tip your drink makers.

The Mummy

Characteristics: The garlic-reeking, pumpkin froth-drinking, headphone and hoodie-wearing weirdo who is so wrapped up (pun intended) in trying to ignore other people in the coffee shop that she ends up getting zero work done.

How to Deal: Remember to have some patience, lest you become the monster you so hate. Or, dehumanize everyone around you by reimagining them as scary monsters.

Happy Halloween, weenies!

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