Something I saw in Shibuya

Sitting around Shibuya, killing time at a Starbucks before my show tonight. A half-dozen college age Americans come in, probably exchange students. Also probably drunk.

They order their drinks, wait, pick up their orders and move en masse to a couple open tables smack dab in the middle of the store. Right away, I can tell something’s a little off.

All is calm for a couple of minutes as everyone enjoys their beverage with minimal conversation and I, way back in the corner of the shop, settle in for a bit of writing. That’s when things get hot.

A couple of chicks start jawing back and forth about being “backstabbed” and “just wanting to talk”. It gets louder and louder and all the Japanese people in the place go deathly silent (even the baristas and random people waiting for their milkshakes disguised as coffee drinks). One of the chicks pushes the other. Their friend tells them to go outside.

“I don’t want to go outside. F*** that b****. I just want to f***ing talk.”

“You just f***ing pushed me, b****. Don’t tell me you want to f****ing talk now.”

They’re practically screaming at each other now. A Japanese couple gets up to leave. One of the dudes waiting in line just sorta back-shuffles out the door like he’s decided now is the best time to learn to moonwalk.

Their friend, a dude with a manbunn because of course he’d have a manbunn, gets up and in between the two girls, one of whom is practically shaking with rage now.

“Guys. Go. Outside,” he says.

“No. I’m not gonna. I just wanna talk.” This chick is wearing torn jeans with perfectly placed holes that would indicate that she probably spent more than I make in a week on them and a brand spanking new Nirvana t-shirt.

The other chick, equally stubborn, promptly throws herself back down into her chair. “(Name not included for privacy reasons), you’re being an ignorant slut.”

I have to dive under my table to choke back laughter. Did this girl really just try to escalate this argument by (incorrectly) quoting a Dan Ackroyd Weekend Update bit from the 1970s?

“Oh yeah?” Nirvana shirt chick roars, head bobbing back and forth like Ali in the ring. “Well you’re a f***ing backstabber!”

The sitting girl grabs a half full frappuccino (not her’s, mind you, but one from the next table over). Way past the point of hurling SNL quotes from twenty something years before she was born now, the girl looks at her friend, the poor dude who has somehow with tasked with trying to wrangle this tornado of hormones and angst, then towards her opponent, then shrieks, “F*** YOU!”

The poor frappuccino seems to be moving at half speed when it leaves her hand. Whoever it was that came up with the stereotype that girls can’t throw obviously never met this chick because the cold “coffee” concoction hits the other girl smack dab in the chest, right in the groin of the infamous Nirvana baby (that’s not what it’s called but you know what I’m trying to say).

All the Japanese people in the store are in shock. Me? Well, since I’m a horrible human being, I’m ducked behind my laptop to hide the fact I can’t stop laughing.

The girl, now drenched in heavy cream, cherry pie filling, and pie crust (it’s a limited time only thing at Starbucks here), takes a gulp of air and, in some kind of state of shock, just sort of stumbles for the exit.

The other one stands, triumphant. “Who’s talking now, b****?!”

If you wrote this scene into a book, your editor would cut it for being too “unrealistic” but, believe me, it happened.

At this point, one of the poor Japanese baristas finally finds the courage to make an approach and he’s about say something to the remaining troublemakers when the friend grabs the chick by the arm and yanks her towards the door. “Stop being a (this word starts with a “C” and rhymes with bunt),” he hisses.

And just like that they’re gone and the young Japanese couple sitting next to me is talking about how rude and hot-headed “New Zealanders” are (Thank god Japanese people apparently have rudimentary understandings of the geographic basis for accents).

After it’s all done, I ask one of their friends that’s been left behind what happened.

“She borrowed a pair of jeans and wouldn’t give them back.”

Sometimes, not all of them, mind you, I’m oh so glad my adolescent days have long passed me by.

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