This morning, however, I was in a rush so I had to go closer. I won't name the cafe, but let's say that just because you are situated near Government offices doesn't give you an automatic arsehole entitlement.
I asked for a large soy latte (after, I should add, noting the styrofoam cups on offer... very pleb). That is to say that I entered into a parol contract with the vendor for him to provide me with one cup of coffee ordered to my specifications in consideration of a set fee. I did not order any nasty attitude, but it was provided for free.
Me: "Could I please have a large soy latte?"
Mr Smartypants: "Did you know that recent studies have linked soy to an increase in cancer?" (Please imagine this said in a very snotty, smartypants way. It was not at all in a manner that expressed his deep and genuine concern for my health).
Me: "Everything has been linked to an increase in cancer!" (wishing that I had been more cutting and pointed).
Random guy behind me in the line: "And it's been linked to a decreased sperm count in males."
Mr Smartypants: "That's it! A decreased sperm count!"
Now I don't mind discussions. If he'd said "Have you heard about that recent study that linked increased soy consumption to a rise in the risk of certain cancers? Do you have any thoughts, oh paying customer?", then I would have come up with a thoughtful, insightful and very polite answer that might have sparked an interesting discussion about the ethical, health and environmental implications of intensive dairy farming. As it was I wanted to vault over the edge of the coffee cart and karate chop him in the nose. Instead I went back to the office and bitched about it to many many (many!) people, including one colleague who suggested that the appropriate response was "Have you heard that an increase in dickheads leads to a decrease in coffee shop patronage?". Love your work.
A couple of weeks ago I went to an orangey cocktail bar on Brunswick Street. I had a look at their coffee menu, and it said something along these lines:
No soy, no decaf. No bullshit, no heartbreak...
(blah blah etc)
They had conveniently left a feedback form. I pointed out that this kind of attitude might be amusing amongst coffee 'purists', but was otherwise hurtful, pretentious and just a little too cool for school (I actually wrote "too cool for school". I thought it summed it up nicely).
Seriously, get over yourselves coffee people. Use some manners.