No Other ____ The Same: Welcome!

There's a little shop near the University of Pennsylvania that's different from the rest. For one thing, you don't see many students in there. Actually, there's usually only two people in there - the customer and the owner. The store sells fancy chocolates, old magazines, coffee, and some breakfast treats depending on the day. There's no soy or almond milk option. Cash is the only tender accepted, naturally. The owner is a loveable curmudgeon who usually stands in the doorway, staring at the passersby. A couple months ago, I went in frequently to buy chocolate. Now, most days I feel a bit guilty as he gives me a genial nod and lets me know, silently, that he is noticing that I haven't stopped in to make a purchase.


Today was a bit different. I for once had the cash to buy my overpriced chai tea latte (and let's be honest - a chocolate croissant), and the owner was nowhere to be seen. I gingerly stepped into the shop, and tentatively called out, "Hello? Good morning?"

A few minutes later, he leisurely came out of the back, acting as if I had interrupted his morning siesta. As he prepared my drink, another customer entered the store.

"Welcome!" the customer said, making a little bow with a flourish. The owner looked a bit displeased.

"Hello," he said drily.

"Don't you get it?" the customer said. "That 'welcome' is from Star Trek!" The owner gave him a blank stare.

"You don't watch Stark Trek?" the customer said. "I thought that would be your thing!"

"I guess I'm not a Star Trek kind of person," the owner said, a bit exasperated. I thanked him, paid for my coffee hastily, and left.