The exterior of the can at CafÃ© Caffeine poses a philosophic challenge to the connoisseur in juxtaposing a bleak and crummy frameless painting with ironic vintage deco signage, but the message is ultimately one of post-industrial alienation.
You know how when you’re driving along, whistling a happy tune, and you pass a business and the name of the business strikes you as pretentious or esoteric or obscure to the extent you have no idea what they’re selling, and even if you did you’d never be able to go in there because of the goofy name, so — and this is a law eternal — you turn to your sidekick and guffaw, “For the luva pete, what kind of gnarled brain came up with that howler”?
Well, daily, and for months now, I have passed this joint CafÃ© Caffeine while en route from the Twisty Bungalow to one of my usual glittering, spectacular destinations. CafÃ© Caffeine, CafÃ© Caffeine! Ignited by the devilish enigma of CafÃ© Caffeine, a spark of curiosity in my cold and empty brain began first to simmer, then to boil, until now, roaring past in slow motion, with Barber’s Adagio for Strings inexplicably playing, I cannot help but glance at its little strip mall storefront, curl my lip at the sign, and cry out, “What? What? What it is you sell in there?”
Next door is a place called “Moxie”, where they sell moxes. Nice ones, too.
The CafÃ© Caffeine aesthetic suffers, perhaps, from a superabundance of subtlety.