Sameness, Coffee, and Autism

I walk into the local Beaner’s coffee shop this morning and get in line. There is only one person in front of me and she’s interacting with the cashier. One of the coffee girls sees me and, without a word, grabs two of the largest cups and begins making a redeye (coffee with shots of espesso in it). The other girl, not noticing that the other girl has already started making my drink, asks “Double grande redeye varietal?” I say yes. She turns and the other girl says “I got it.” The cashier, having finished with the other customer, immediately rings me up for a double grande redeye. She hasn’t even looked at the other girls.

One of the indicators for autism is the insistence on sameness. Although I don’t think I’m autistic I think it’s interesting that I exhibit, to some extent, the drive toward sameness in my life. My morning routine is exactly the same every day. I don’t have to look for my keys, my office key fob, I rarely misplace anything. Everything is just where I found it the morning before. As the people at Beaner’s have discovered my coffee’s the same too.

I don’t always keep the same routines. Sometimes, due to circumstance, I’m forced to abandon one. My morning trip to McDonalds is a case in point. It used to be a number one with no meat and an orange juice. . . EVERY time. I knew, down to the penny, just how much that was gonna be ($3.17). I even corrected someone who screwed up once and tried to charge me different. But the office move away from Okemos means that there’s no McDonalds in the vicinity now so, without any panic or qualms whatsoever, I abandoned that routine. Without conscious intent I replaced it with a new one.

Such was the case when I used to go to Leroy’s. When I first started going I found that arriving at 8 p.m. often resulted in my sitting there with no one to shoot pool. When arriving at 10 p.m. there would often be a game in session and five names up on the chalkboard. I found that arriving at 9 p.m. on the dot was optimal so I made that my routine, going to far as to guage when the exact minute was to leave the house so as to arrive precisely at nine. Then I went when I didn’t even really feel like being there. I have since dispensed with that routine as well but the place I go now has people who greet me in much the same way: “Pitcher of Bud? I’ll bring it right over to the pool tables.” No, I’m not The Fonz with jedi mind control over the masses, it’s just that, like the weather coming from the west, my pattern is apparent and people react accordingly.

I took an online autism test and it’s not that, although I did score almost exactly in between baseline average and possible mild autism. My daughter took the test as well (with no indication from me as to how I scored) and she scored almost exactly the same. She actually has another one of the indicators, the late development of verbal skills as she didn’t really speak until she was four, but she’s since caught up and when viewed against the entire spectrum of autism criteria I don’t think she’s autistic either. It may be an affirmation of maleness of the brain which might explain why she has no interest in the girly-girl things like fashion and backstabbing gossip. She’s more at home doing solitary activities like drawing or doing the intellectual stuff like reading. I find that highly satisfactory as they don’t give out Nobel prizes for getting your hurr did.

Oh yeah, I find it interesting that this page also lists walking on tiptoes as a possible indicator. When I was in junior high school I used to get messed with for walking funny. They said I walked on the balls of my feet. I attributed it to nervous tension (when fight or flight kicks in it’s easier to cut and run if you’re not on your heels) and eventually I forced myself to begin walking heel-toe. It helps now too that I weigh a lot more now than I did in the 8th grade and if I tried walking like that now my calves would probably explode. As an aside I will point out that they say my daughter walks funny too.

In summation I’m going to test my autistic tendency by going to Las Vegas and playing blackjack with Tom Cruise. If I end up with buku cash and getting banned from Las Vegas by the mafia I’ll know I’m autistic. If not I’ll become a scientologist and will take up Isaac Hayes’ old spot on the Southpark show. Because nature vacuums a whore. . . or something.

Where’s my coffee?

18 Responses to “Sameness, Coffee, and Autism”

  1. Phelps says:

    I like to walk around on the outside edges of my feet. As in actually canting my feet 45 degrees so I am only walking on the edge. I wonder if that is a variation on tiptoes. I started talking at a normal age, but I taaaaaalkeeeeeed veeeeeeryyyy slooooooooowly. My family thought it was hillarious and would get me to tell stories just to see how long it would take.

  2. mexi says:

    The funny thing is that some autistics are actually artistic. And then if they’re from Boston and have the accent it gets even more confusing. I need a beer.

  3. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    Have you ever thought that instead of being slightly austic you are just really really boring?

  4. mexi says:

    boring LIKE A FOX!!!

  5. Nice Rack says:

    why did you call me today Mexi?

  6. mexi says:

    I wanted to tell you I was playing pool with this girl at Irish Pub and she bragged “I came in second in female MVP!” and I was like “Do you play on the same league as Lauri (your last name)??” and her countenance got all wrinkled up and she says “Yeah, she took first, I can’t win against her, I hate her!”

    You know you’re good when you’re inciting hate! 😀

  7. mexi says:

    I THINK she said she came in 2nd. I don’t know her name, she’s maybe late 20s, smokes, and she sounds like she smokes.

  8. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    I never knew foxes were boring

  9. Nice Rack says:

    Cindy Maybee came in second, and I was the youngest female on the league on Tuesday nights. Every other female was older except for one woman who is probably in her early 30’s and much too nice to hate anyone.

  10. mexi says:

    Hmmmmm. . .. I should have asked her name. Her boyfriend plays on the same team and he’s rather young (about the same age as her) but he has some grey hairs which is weird. It makes him look young and old at the same time.

  11. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    I’ll bet you have the best boobs though

  12. Nice Rack says:

    Brown hair? Her boyfriend shoots kind of feminine-like and wears glasses? That girl is very nice, but I think she came in dead last this season for MVP points, or pretty damn close to it. She only won about 6 or 7 games all season, from what she told me the last week. She has a good eye, and almost beat me the first time I ever played her, but she gets nervous on the 8-ball. And of course I have the best boobs.

  13. Mexioggue says:

    I think that’s exactly the person. Maybe she meant she came first in MVP points on her team. Yeah she and her boyfriend have been going to Irish Pub for quite some time. It’s fun playing them because a) they play league rules and 2) I can beat them!

    Haha, feminine-like. That was right on the button!

  14. Nice Rack says:

    We noticed when we played them the last week of league. I would have to look at my weekly standings to see where she finished, but I know it wasn’t second or even third. She did get high handicap score female for the season. Did she really say she hated me, and with malice?

  15. Mexioggue says:

    No, not hate with malice. Hate as in DANGIT I CAN’T BEAT HER! That’s why I say it’s something you should be happy about, it means you are The Yardstick. Like I would be happy if there were someone who couldn’t beat me. Someone. Anyone?

  16. Phelps says:

    I don’t know. I kicked your ass in FTW and I don’t even play pool.

  17. Mexioggue says:

    You know. . . I got beat in pool by a freaking bowler, I was hoping you forgot.

    On an unrelated note I’m reading “The Ashes of Waco”. MAN THESE WHOLE THING WAS WACK ON BOTH SIDES!!!

  18. Phelps says:

    Dude, Discovery is showing “Assault on Waco” on Sunday. Joe Bob says check it out.

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