Local man mistakes barista for someone who gives a damn

Sam Musilli

Cleveland Heights— An inviting “good morning,” a smiley face sticker on her name badge and a generic inquiry with respect to his day are just a few of the things that led Barnie Webster, 37, to mistake barista Ashley Fischer, 19, as someone who actually gave a damn about how he was doing. The misstep caused Webster to launch into a tirade surrounding his recent groin injury during a company softball game, in which he described his fourth inning catch as “nothing short of heroic” and was quoted as saying “yeah, my groin hurt, but letting the team down would have hurt more.”

“Merciful lord in Heaven, was it painful to see,” reported witness Susan Melford, 68. “He was clearly trying to impress her with this little softball story. He was trying to get to know this young woman in an impure fashion, I think. In my day it took a lot more than that, so I was relieved when his efforts were fruitless.”

When questioned about the event, the sultry Miss Fischer explained that, while it may seem incredulous, this is not the worst attempt she’s seen.

“Sure, he was balding and paunchy,” she said. “Sure, he looked like someone who might buy a schoolgirl’s panties from a vending machine. But there was no Doritos powder on his fingers, and at the very least he wasn’t wearing a wedding ring like the last time he came in and asked if I wanted to ride his new lawnmower.”

“Creeps like this are just a part of the job,” she continued. “Do you know how many $10 tips I’ve gotten, just to squirt out day-old coffee into a cup for these sleazebags? The second they think you have any interest at all in their lives, you’re golden. I know this is what hookers say, but the money makes the clientele almost tolerable.”

Witness Steve Salzberger, 53, had similar feelings as Melford with respect to the event.

“It was like watching a train wreck, but when I watch train wrecks, I’m not hoping for the passengers’ sake that they die,” he said. “He just kept going on and on about pulling his groin. It might have been the most awkward exchange I’ve ever seen. He was completely unreceptive to the signals she was sending; she just wanted to make his silly little mochaccino bullshit drink. It was so socially inept a rant, so cringe-inducing that I can only imagine that Barnie fellow must have been a CWRU graduate.”

A third witness, the bespectacled Charlie Packett, 14, only further affirmed the horror of the situation.

“He wouldn’t stop about how he pulled his groin in the outfield,” he said. “I’m glad to learn from him that that isn’t what girls want to hear about. From now on, I’m not going to tell girls about when I pull my groin. I see now.”

It has not been reported whether Webster has since returned to the coffee shop in which the incident occurred, though he was recently taken into custody after he was seen motioning toward his injuries to a group of Boy Scouts.

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