humor Life overheard Whittier / Uptown Minneapolis

Awkward and racist: Flem at the Coffeshop

My tax reading at Dunn Brothers (a coffee chain) was interrupted by some heavy drama.

First, I had the mildly annoying situation of my coffee gift card reading as if there is only 31 cents on it when the online balance is $49. The balance should be about $93 because I put $44 on it yesterday… anyway, that is NOT the drama keeping me from my tax reading…

The drama was Flem, the crazy, coughing man who was speaking REALLY LOUDLY on his phone and engaging in total overshare. Here are some gems:

Flem: “I cough, and I cough, and I cough. I live in a homeless shelter with about 40 other men and I am the loudest cougher in there.”

Flem: “Wait, I have another call coming in…yes sir. Yes. Yes sir. Well let me put you on my reject list…

Flem: “…and I was riding my bike, all 230 pounds of me, and I crashed on the sidewalk and cracked my rib…”

Flem: “I’m living with a bunch of negros. At the homeless shelter it’s all negros. And I’m not a fan of the blacks. And no, they can’t hear me – I’m on the white part of town.”

Flem: “Things are rough here in Minneapolis. I just sold my last food stamps for $30.”

Flem: “I am taking all my medications, I’m doing all the right things…I keep my pajamas and flipflops there, I have my own uh…”

Flem: “I keep thinking I’m dying of some incurable lung cancer because it hurts so much…”

So I am sitting here exchanging smirks with the people around me. I love that this man sold his last food stamps but had a working cellphone with a headset. One of the Baristas did not appreciate Flem’s black-comments and asked Flem to leave.

Barista: “Um, excuse me sir. Can you please leave? You are bothering customers.”
Flem: “Okay, I dig it. I dig it.”
Barista: “Uh, thank you.”

The Barista goes back behind the counter and Flem changes his mind and goes ape-shit:


Barista: “DUDE! Get out of here!”

Flem: “No! I will not get out of here! The police won’t come before I get here! Blacks are niggers! NIGGERS! I know because I live with them!”

Barista: “DUDE! Shut up and leave!”


Flem apparently didn’t see the five Somalis, the Mexican dude, or me.

Flem turns up the volume. He’s throwing a full out fit. Everyone gasps. The scene is charged and totally awkward.

This man is literally standing in the doorway, head raised at the sky screaming like a toddler having a temper tantrum. This was ten types of crazy. Hello Minneapolis!

Flem eventually left. I am just glad I am by the back door so I can dash out when Flem comes back with a gun…

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  • karina
    October 26, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    omg! i’m halfway repulsed, halfway laughing my ass off. Oh, Flem.

    dunn bros: hating on free speech since 1987.

    • Jansen
      October 26, 2009 at 6:21 pm

      I just want to know if you can pay phone bills with foot stamps now…

  • Anon
    October 26, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    Clearly, he knew that the Supreme Court has ROUNDLY REJECTED prior restraint!

    He’s staying…finishin’ his coffee. Enjoying his coffee…

    • Jansen
      October 26, 2009 at 6:28 pm

      Haha, he was sippin on a cup of hot messitude.

  • karina
    October 26, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    i love how Flem’s the one on food stamps and living in a shelter, yet those damn coloreds are the ones beneath him.

    • Jansen
      October 26, 2009 at 6:29 pm

      Well, he would know. He lives with them! About 40…at least he has the biggest cough?

  • Dan
    October 26, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    this is why i read in the library or at home, so the crazy does not find me.

    • Jansen
      October 26, 2009 at 6:51 pm

      I run into the crazy at the library too! Last time I was at the library I ran into a wrinkly old man with hairy arms dressed as Paris Hilton (blond weave, pink sweatpants, long nails, pink halter-top, a bejewelled purse.)

  • idwsj
    October 26, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Maybe it’s good that I don’t know about the outside world.

    • Jansen
      October 26, 2009 at 7:34 pm

      But you’re missing the hilarity!

  • Scène de ville jumelée
    October 26, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    Mary Mother of Joseph! That is a wild time der.

    • Jansen
      October 27, 2009 at 4:46 am

      Uptown Dunnbros.

  • Stan
    October 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Aww, I forgot how much I enjoyed reading your blog back in 2003. Loves it!

    • Jansen
      October 27, 2009 at 9:47 pm

      Yes yes. Back in the day when things were cool! I’ve changed a little 😉

  • Brownbelle
    February 24, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Just found your blog & got to this post through your 1L year summaries…if a person can die of laughter someone needs to call 911 for me RIGHT NOW. I didn’t think anybody could beat the crazies on MARTA (see:

    • Jansen
      February 25, 2010 at 11:32 am

      Oooh I remember that one from when covered it.

  • Ryan
    May 8, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Thank you for making my time here at work a little more fun. That was a great read!

    • Jansen
      May 22, 2010 at 10:47 pm

      Haha, you’re welcome!

  • Lizzy Collins-De-Arc
    May 8, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    (>O0O<)! ChuckMyGoodness! That is so messed up. I guess he thought you over tanned or something. O_o; Or he didn't see ya'. Anyways, I wouldn't stand for that. The worst of me would of picked on him, the best of me would have just walked up to the counter, asked for a refund, and leave. ^_~;

    By the way, if you'll know who I am by the e-mail address. Assuming you can see the e-mail address. 😛

    • Jansen
      May 22, 2010 at 10:47 pm

      Haha, I don’t think he was too aware of his surroundings.

  • Romy
    November 14, 2011 at 2:45 pm

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this 🙂

    • Jansen
      November 14, 2011 at 7:57 pm

      Thank you~!

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