I felt zombie-like, as I wandered through the airport.

My odyssey so far had three weather delays and two re-routes. I was booked on a red-eye in an hour and I needed a cup of coffee—bad. 

Spotting a kiosk I headed for the counter.

“What can I get you, sir?”

“Large coffee, please.”

“We have a special on lattes,  frappicinos, cappicinos, and expressos, and our iced mochas.”

“Just coffee.”

“Regular or decaffeinated?”

“Regular.”

“Excellent choice. We have ‘Lighty Brighty,’ ‘Roasty Toasty,’ or ‘Lava Java’?”

“Uh… we’re still talking about coffee, right?”

“Of course sir.”

“I guess I’ll try the ‘Roasty Toasty.’”

“Awesome choice.” After tapping some keys on a register, he said, “That’ll be fourteen dollars.” 

I stared at him in awkward silence, as I waited for him to crack a smile, and say that he’s kidding.

Didn’t happen.

Out of a groggy desperation, I handed him my Visa, and looked up just in time to see ‘Delay’ pop-up next to my flight. 

Showing the slightest hint of a smile, he swiped my card, and said, “Oops, sorry—I forgot to add the local sales and airport tax.”

(101words.org)