I’m at Starbucks, writing, as writers do, and sipping an expensive coffee drink. Tonight it’s my special mocha mix: 2 1/2 pumps mocha with 2 pumps vanilla for smoothness, fat-free milk, no whip. I’ll be here for a while, writing and sucking up free wi-fi, so I feel bound to spend a bit of money. Later, I might get something else I don’t need, like, say, a slice of marble loaf . . .
But there’s that guy, you know that guy, he’s sitting in the comfy leather chair with his laptop, sipping water in a reusable plastic container from home, BPA-free, I’m sure, and munching on a granola bar, also from home. He’s the Bring-Your-Own-Drinks-and-Snacks-to-the-Coffee-Shop-While-You-Use-Their-Wi-Fi-for-Free guy.
I’m not against B.Y.O. to a point. For example, I might sneak a bottle of water into the movie theater and sip it while I gorge on theater popcorn. I might also bring my own water to Panera, say, and drink it along with my Pick-Two lunch of soup and salad. The point is that I buy something, in fact I spend more than what I save with my contraband water-from-home.
But this guy, he never buys anything. I’ve seen him, time after time, pulling snack after snack out of his messenger bag. Munch, munch. Click, click.
What do you think of that guy? Is he breaking an unwritten rule? Do we admire his resourcefulness? Are YOU that guy?