The Earplug Cafe: An Introvert’s Nightmare


Why in a coffee shop am I always sitting next to the people who are talking the loudest? There are at least fifteen introverts in this coffee shop, mostly staring straight ahead but carefully employing side-eye from time to time; however I end up sitting next to all the fucking Chatty Cathy’s, which in this day of gender equality includes one man, granted he’s not saying much.

I’m wearing industrial strength, waxy, swimming earplugs to drown out whatever infernal music is pounding too loudly over the speaker—apparently coffee shops are required by law to play music at annoying decibels; silence or light flute music is a punishable offense, along with mindfulness.  Despite the plugs, I can still hear the sounds of those peoples’ inane conversation, plus their relative happiness. Relative to me. (Relative to the constant state of real happiness that undiscovered species living in a remote rain forest experience).

It all grates on my nerves. Don’t people know I do not go to cafes to relate to humanity? I go to cafes in order to get out of my living room and to remind myself that I’m not at work and that I should be happier. (I practiced smiling before I left the house.)

Finally the people leave. Unlike the Marines however, they left someone behind and I understand why in the next instance. She looks at me. I’m wearing earplugs. I have very short hair. She continues to try to catch my eye. I’m still wearing the earplugs. This is the point where I wish I had eye-plugs, or at least some kind of blinders, you know like a horse. In fact, as soon as this is over, I’m going to the horse store to buy some. Next time I come into the café, I will have earplugs and blinders, so I can only see my screen and what’s right ahead of me.

In fact, I’m going to create some designer Introvert Wear, including matching earplugs in various colors, like fuchsia, because even a blind person could see me wearing fuchsia earplugs. And maybe I will make the ear plugs blink. Evidently highway cone orange earplugs aren’t  bright enough because this woman is still trying to flag me down. I wonder if she’s having some kind of hidden emergency. Looking at my computer monitor, I hold very still, like a frozen bunny with orange earplugs in headlights.

I know she knows I have earplugs. Before her squad left her here, she had looked at me and pointed to my ear before turning back to her three buddies, all seniors, two women and one man, in bike shorts and other two-wheeling regalia. So she knew. Or at least that’s how I interpreted it at the time.

She turns out to not be very observant. Why is she trying to talk to me if it’s obvious I’m wearing earplugs? (Do I need to tattoo a Do Not Disturb sign on my forehead? Shave those words into my hair over my ears? (That would be disturbing!)

I’m a writer on a deadline. People are the last thing I need. This is why I live alone in the fucking desert twenty miles out of town in New Mexico. I know it’s my own fault for being in the café. But even I need a change of pace once in a while.

To assess the situation further, I use side eye, looking, I’m sure, a little bit like an insane thoroughbred. Horses give some crazy-ass side-eye.





She is gesticulating and talking.







“What?” I shout.  “Huh?” I say.  I type some more. “No,” I say responding randomly. Maybe she’ll think I’m talking to the voices in my head.

Now she’s talking louder like I’m deaf. Jesus fucking Christ.

Finally I pull out the left reverse-hearing aid (that’s techno speak in the earplug industry) and step fully into my martyrdom.  “What?”

She says, “Aren’t they sweet?” She’s referring to her missing squad of bicycling friends that left three minutes ago.

I pause. I know what she wants me to say, but I’m done being polite.  I say, “I have no idea. I don’t know them.”

She laughs a little, but looks a bit like a dentist just poked a sore tooth. Her half aborted smile hangs from one side of her face.

I grin widely. Misanthropy is fun.

She says, “Are you from here?”

I say, “I am, but I still don’t know them.”

She says, “I’ve lived here forever; I know lots of people and they are blah and blah and blah….talking about the opera and blah and blah and blah and they are totally nice and weren’t you impressed with their ability to converse and blah and blah and blah, so nice don’t you agree and blah blah fucking blah.”

I’m amazed. Does she not realize that not only do I not know those people, even if she does, I’ve been wearing earplugs and I have no fucking idea what they were all talking about, and if what they were talking about indicated a general niceness rather than some moderately elderly sociopathy? The only thing I was aware of was that one of the 32-speed-biker women was saying things very loudly and I kept wishing she would shut the hell up.

To hell with earplugs: I fucking need ear lids. Lids for the ears. Soundproof ear covers. The world is too goddamn loud. And stupid. I’m busy and it’s distracting. If they had coffee in the library I’d be there instead.

I’m on a deadline writing for a podcast and I have exactly zero ideas because I’m not used to writing only one half of a possible conversation instead of writing the whole thing. How can I possibly be funny spontaneously? I’m a Capricorn. Everything is planned. Even ignoring the plan is planned, a bit of deliberate, non-deliberateness. Purposive spontaneity. Being an introvert I know I can’t necessarily count on my interlocutory brilliance. Comments on demand. I am not that interesting. I am the most boring person I know in fact.

I am worried about podcasting because most human conversations are desultory which is why I usually write fiction. Fictional people are fascinating. Real people are usually boring pains-in-the-ass. I always end up comparing what they are saying with what they could be saying and after a while the conversation usually goes off the rails, as you can imagine. People complain that I don’t listen to them. I do though. I listen very carefully to what they should be saying

The woman has significant pigment discoloration covering both cheeks and I wonder if that’s a side effect of being oblivious of the needs of others around her. If so, maybe the discolored skin will soon cover her entire face and maybe grow upwards over her eyes, making her as physically blind as she is interpersonally.

Undaunted she asks, “What do you do?”

I said, “I’m a comedian.”

She laughs and says, “You’re not really….are you?”

“You’re laughing, aren’t you?” I said.

“I am, aren’t I?” she said wearing that sort of rueful, pained smile that looks like it’s been interrupted by a can opener.

I nod.

I am, of course, lying.

“Where are you performing?”

Right now in this chair. “Here in Santa Fe,” I said. Well it’s not exactly not true.


I dissemble again. I have no performances scheduled because I’m very new at this. I want to be paid to be a Professional Asshole, but not actually harm people, at least not physically. Not in a way that can be traced. There’s no x-ray for damaged cranial esteem. No liability either.

She’s saying, “Who’s that comedian who I don’t like him very much—who’s making a comeback?”

“That could be a lot of people,” I said wanting to ask her if she was aware that I do not live in her mind, know who she knows and why the fuck is she talking to me? What does she want? Is she afraid to be alone? I am not here to save people from themselves. I am here to wreck their lives.

“Jerry Seinfeld,” she said.

Jerry fucking Seinfeld? I was unaware Jerry needed to come back from anything. I nod, thinking I’d read something about him doing stand-up again.

“I used to like his show,” she says, “but the Comedians Having Coffee thing is not funny.”

Right. Like you are the Universal Declarer of All Things Amusing. I guess I’ll call Jerry and tell him to stop making me laugh. Comedians in Cars is funny.

I said, “Well humor is a matter of taste.”

“Whatever happened to Jim Carrey?”

How the fuck should I know?

          She says, “Now he was funny. Where has he been? I love Jim Carrey.”

I sigh. Although she’s obviously been trying very hard, we’re never going to be friends.

“Who do you like?” she asks.

“Louie CK,” I said, letting that land like an iron turd. “Despite his current problems.”

I want to call Louie and say, “Will you get your ass to a therapist, please? Fix your fucking problem with women. I cannot live without more of your hilarity and I don’t want you to be totally destroyed by your own demons. I don’t want this to be the last we see of you. Your films, writing, stand up. How painful must it have been to fall from being on top. Fix it, mother fucker, and come back.”

The woman doesn’t know who he is. I can tell from the fact she didn’t vomit “MeToo” all over me. Apparently I only like comedians and movie stars who abuse women. Al Franken. Kevin Spacey (okay that was dudes). Bill Burr (okay he has not been accused of harming any women, but you can tell he has got some hate going on). But it’s comedy. Everyone has some hate going on. I keep waiting to find out that Stephen Colbert wears diapers and lives in a closet lined with porn when he’s not on stage. I liked Bill Cosby too, who didn’t? But I draw the line with him. Al and Louie at least admitted their behavior and apologized and I can still watch their videos without feeling like I’m condoning Rape-hypnol.

To anyone who was awake for the last ten years, it’s been obvious that Louie has hated himself for a long time. That counts for something. Now we all know why. He just needs to hate himself more effectively and change his behavior. Mere hidden shame just isn’t enough anymore.

To be clear: I am all for the “MeToo” movement. I think men who abuse women should serve time, including Louie. I think they should have to serve time with the woman sitting next to me in fact.

The woman tells me she wants to come see my act. I stare at her unbelievingly this is my act.

          And it’s the only reason I just don’t tell her to get the fuck out of my face with her inanity and insensitivity. Being a mean, sarcastic liar is working! I have a fan!-who is too stupid to figure out that I hate her. Now I’m pissed at all the grown-ups, mainly women, who taught me to be nice to people as if that has ever worked, especially career-wise. I should have been bitingly aggressive and sarcastic from the get-go. Being compassionate and polite has made me so angry and frustrated and such a failure that I wake up with the taste of bile in my mouth every freaking day.

           So I give her a real location, and a fake time and date for my performance. Maybe it won’t be false by the time she gets there.  She then tells me she’s running a greenhouse. That she used to be a nurse. That life is hard, but she’s a survivor. I still want her to shut up.  This is so ironic. She wants to take my name down so she can spread the word because she’s really good with people.

“I can see that,” I say.  I bet you know what people need without them having to say a word.” I check my internal “love for humanity meter” which is hovering on the line between “use your words” and “AK-47.” I don’t have an AK, for reasons which should be painfully obvious, but I’m capable of standing in the middle of the room throwing furniture as if it were bullets. Let’s hope I can jam my earplugs back into my ears before it comes to that.

I forget exactly how she takes her leave. Maybe I melted her into a pile of oblivion with my baleful stare because I needed to get back to writing a podcast. Or maybe I paid Jim Carey to come beat her to death.  Or maybe I sent her out of the cafe to find me more dedicated fans.  I’m choking on the irony, knowing if she loves Jim Carey, she’s going to hate me.  The name of my act is: All My Passcodes Are Swear Words.

The only thing I do remember is thinking this: given the choice between sitting here and talking to Miss Impervious 5000 and talking to poor, perverted but absolutely hilarious Louis CK, I’d pick Louie every time.  He wouldn’t come on to me inappropriately in a café. He’d see I was wearing earplugs.

And as for “MeToo” equality…I can’t wait for the day a bunch of male comedians out me for sexually harassing them. Then we’ll truly all be on equal footing.


And suddenly I know what to write for the podcast Women Who Sarcast:

Introducing The Sarcast Compendium: New Words for Sarcastic Times.

Word #1: bothershite: a term coined last week in Episode 4, by Women Who Sarcast, is defined as a person who insists on an unwanted and comprehensive social interaction in a public place.

To hear more of the podcast, Women Who Sarcast, and Episode 104’s Sarcast Compendium go to http://womenwhosarcast.libsyn.com/website  or go to Women Who Sarcast on Facebook.  It’s a real podcast. With two sarcastic women. Check us out!


Laughing Coyote

Categories: comedians, miscellaneous, psychology humor, Relationships, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

I Need Directions for My Directions!

(for audio blog, scroll to the bottom)                 following-directions

I need directions for how to follow directions.

Something like: Step one-read them in order. Step 2: do the steps in order. No improvising. (The steps are numbered in chronological order for a reason. The procedure isn’t: Start wherever you like to put your kids’ swing set together.)

If that were the case, I would start at the end, when it’s all finished.

I wish all instructions said: Start wherever you like! So I’ll start with step 3! What goes good after 3?  I hate 4, 5 looks way too fucking complicated and 6? I think 6 should follow 2, then we’ll do 7. . . then I will see how I feel after that. I may even leave out some numbers. I mean just because you have a bunch of numbers doesn’t mean you have to use them all right? I mean even math doesn’t use ALL THE NUMBERS at once. That’s just stupid.

Good I’m being discerning. Even a little smart about the number line which has always bothered me. What if number 2 hates 1? What if 4 can’t stand the sight of 3? It’s like grade school in a small town where you are always sitting next to Kimmy Stanley and Kimmy Stanley, who wears blue glasses and pigtails, is one boring fucking individual. Karen Spruell is no better. Fuck, I thought, can I just change my name during school hours? I will be the only school kid with a series of aliases. Or is that aliei?

I decided I should change my last name to New. Because I wanted to sit next to Paula Newman and that would guarantee it. This was after I tried to get Paula to change her last name to Stegg so she could sit by me, my name being Stehr. The shortest unpronounceable name ever. Phonics stopped being a thing once I was done answering roll call.

I was the only kid in sixth grade with a disguised name due to chronology, which may be why I developed an allergy to reading directions. So long and drawn out- Jesus I will be dead before I finish reading the instructions and swing sets will be outlawed for the dangerously boring things they are. They really should just collapse after the third use. Even birds won’t use a use pink and blue swing set. Ever see an abandoned swing set in a yard?


There’s a perimeter of radioactivity around them, no squirrels, butterflies, raccoons—not even any spiders, for God’s sake. Maybe they know something we don’t. Children play strategically around them, as if they don’t even see the swing set that dad nearly lost his marriage over during one very long Christmas Eve sponsored by egg nog. (Rum? Really? He would have been better off with whisky or scotch. Who builds anything drinking rum? Maybe that’s why the kids won’t play on it.

I figured maybe if I didn’t follow the directions I could build a swing set that kids might use for more than five minutes. Our yard isn’t really big enough to have a black hole of that size in it and I’m not about to have my kids stay indoors with me. I’m their fucking mother for god’s sake, not a companion animal. My job is to make sure they don’t expire before age eighteen and if they are in the house with me all day and night because they are avoiding the Bermuda triangle of a swing set in the back yard, someone is going to be spending some time in the lockup, and last I checked Murdering Your Own Children Even if they Fucking Deserve it, is not on the list of preferred parental behaviors, and I don’t want to be in a tiny cell next to Kimmy Stanley or some shit for the next thirty years of my life.

I thought maybe if I just followed the directions in a-chronological order, the swing set might look so goddamn interesting and mysterious that my kids might not ever come back in the house at all, and this was a goal worth working towards.

As I built this monstrosity I also employed some Synchronous Directionality, which is when you do all of the steps of the instructions at the same time. You definitely need to wear tennis shoes for this. I figured Syn chronous Directionalitywould keep me completely safe from all thing ordinal, but as soon as I built the swing set, loosely speaking, the government called and wanted to hire me and wouldn’t take no for an answer, even when I said “I can’t follow instructions.”

Apparently the bureaucrats needed help understanding the tax code, which science has proven cannot be done while following the guidelines, and then Trump wanted me in the Strategic Planning Department.

I asked, “Really? Strategic planning for what?”

They said they didn’t know and that was part of the beauty of my job. I was to work towards an unknown goal using something like Debbie Snack Cakes as a template and, since my name is Debbie, and I needed to rehabilitate my name and reputation because of that awful Dallas thing of the early 80’s, I took the job and created the Adventitous Planning Department. No one knows what it means so I pretty much do whatever I want, mostly designing things that don’t work, but that’s not a problem since no one can really figure out what the things I design are for in the first place.

Like place mats for cars. That was a signature piece. I also designed an ice cube tray that makes anything but cubes, mostly jagged slivers in random triangular shapes that cut your throat open when you drink your highball. (So if a highball is more mixer than booze, is a lowball more booze than mixer? If so I’ll have three lowballs please.)

Meanwhile Ice Scientists have told me that my non-cube ice shapes aren’t random because ice cleaves apart in certain predictable patterns, but since I was listening to the words they were using to explain this out of order (like listening to English as if it was German) I didn’t understand what the Ice-atists were saying to me. Global warming will take care of the ice anyway, so I don’t really need to know.

I have also recently embarked on atemporality where I attempt to experience time out of order. Like expecting a break up that already happened! Some people call that depression. I call it planning for your past. (I’m going to do that surprise break up better this time because I know all my lines!

Atemporal living is also very similar to housework-pretty much the eternal return of the same, thus the stuttering now of the dishes never being over, also known as timelessness. Who knew you could get that with your kitchen? Being a practicing Atemporalist also means I’m never late anymore.

And my other trick, called a-historicity is also coming along nicely. This consists of pretending something that never happened happened last week. President Hillary. I thought I’d be alone in this project, but no! I’m attending a Hillary is Really the President party tonight.$_1

We are going to bring lowballs and build a swing set.








Your’s truly,

The Laughing Coyote

Audio of this blog below…give it a listen!




Categories: miscellaneous, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

How I Plan to Save the World through Greeting Cards

How the fuck does Facebook know where I’ve been even when I don’t have an iPhone? Or any smart phone. I lost mine and have an old dumb phone while I contemplate my next move.

Apparently I was at Pilar NM a year ago and Zozobra a year later, but I didn’t post that. I don’t want to know where I’ve been and I certainly don’t want anyone else to know. I find being tracked unnerving. What am I, the elusive and nearly extinct Jaguar? In fact I’ve been known to call people with iPhones and lie about where I am, just to create a false trail. “Yep, I’m at an Allsup’s in Gallup. Great price on cigarettes.”

How does FB know where I’ve been? I don’t post anything other than political commentary, satire, stupid comments about Windows 10, research about BSS (Bernie Supporter Syndrome) and bits of performance video in order to find out how many people I can piss off at the same time before someone tracks me down and beats me to death with their iPhone. It’s all about livin’ on the edge.

Yes, posting on FB is pretty much narcissism deluxe, but I figure with everyone else bombarding me with posts they should go to therapy for, and re-posting happy inspirational sayings that I find completely irrelevant, shallow and stupid, I am allowed to post my irreverent bullshit too. Until Trump gets elected and Stupid finally wins and we are reduced to grunting and rudimentary symbols.

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If wise inspirational sayings worked on anything, the world would have changed by now and so would I. I did the research online and in reality. I’ve stood in Hallmark day after day reading all those cards and WOW, both world and I HAVEN’T CHANGED A BIT.

In fact, I think there might be a little understood correlation between Greeting Card Inspirational Failure and Trump Insanity Disorder, also known as the GOP’s real agenda. Their greeting card should be: YES WE REALLY ARE THIS BAD.

But wait, maybe there is time to save the world from us. And I think it might have to do with marketing a whole new set of greeting cards. And I’m just the woman for the job.

How Greeting Cards Have Failed Us

The first thing I did is go to Shaman School, which is very easy to do since I live in Santa Fe, home of the International Stolen Shamanism for White People. In one weekend, I learned the time honored technique of Speaking with the Dead and boy are they a boring fucking bunch.

So I went back to the well I’ve been dipping in since I was 20: reading dead philosophers, psychologists and authors. I figured talking to them might be even better and it was. They agreed with me that greeting cards suffer from a sophomoric lack of depth. Then I called Hallmark and proposed a line of greeting cards derived from Frederick Nietzsche. Here are 2 samples.

Sample 1:

Hi! God is Dead.

(Open the card)

Thinking of you!


Sample 2


(Open the card)

Are you in?


Then we branched out to Martin Heidegger:

What do you get when you cross Being with Time?


You’re right! A chicken!


If you didn’t find that funny, don’t worry, there’s more. Something for everyone. And a little known fact that the chicken crossing the road joke originated in pre-world war II Germany. What people don’t know is that the chicken was crossing the road to get away from German philosophers and most likely made it into France where Jean Paul Sartre’s greeting cards were all the rage at that time.

No Exit?

(open card)

Me too!


When I contacted Camus with the Oujia board, he made this classic contribution:

          “What’s the point?”


(Blank inside: write your own message)


Not to leave out the deceased psychologists from the school of psychoanalytic object relations for Valentine’s, we came up with this soon-to-be classic:

You are so my part-object.




Let’s do the depressive position!


And then of course we can’t leave out Hemmingway. It’s a little known fact that Hallmark actually contracted with Hemmingway for a line of greeting cards way back when.  One of them read something like this

“I think I might love you,” she said.

(open card)

He took a drink and looked out the window. There was a mountain. Then the avalanche came. 


That card wasn’t very successful. We suspect it was before its time.

I tried modernizing it and throwing in some science. Hemmingway seems like he might have enjoyed the clarity and succinctness of science.

There was the Big Bang.




And then we drank.


We are still testing this one.

If Facebook got hold of all this it would say something asinine like:

Debbie was at the Big Bang 2015.

How to make a Rice Krispies Treat Party Hat


Well, I guess it’s still happening somewhere.


If you have a greeting card suggestion in similar vein we’d love to hear from you. Hit the Reply button at the bottom of the blog. If it makes me laugh, I’ll post it on Facebook! And I will love you forever.  (Imagine heart emojis here. I invested all my money in greeting cards with enough depth to save the world and now I can’t afford emojis!)


Laughing Coyote

Categories: miscellaneous, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Introducing CakeHead: A New Way to Birthday

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Featuring a way to have your cake and BE it too!Fall and Winter 2015-1-2016 093


Provision for a somber reflective moment when they told me I have to wear the cake for a whole year to get any decent health insurance under the Obama-Cake Provision. (Frosting not included).

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Brightening up a bit, when I realized I could have three more drinks in order to get fully lit.

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Cake-Head, not just for extroverts!!!

Introducing Stealth-Cake: No we can’t even see you under there. Everyone thinks the cake is talking….

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This blog brought to you by Bake:



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Categories: Health Insurance, miscellaneous | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Will Laughing Coyote Post Again?

The short answer is YES!

Laughing Coyote has been noticing an increased interest in her site….THANK YOU FOLKS! Being tracked, excuse me, being FOLLOWED, internet style, is a fun gig.

But LC hasn’t posted anything since 2014! Dear God, Ye Gads…..has something happened? Did Laughing Coyote lose her pen? Did she suddenly notice the world wasn’t that funny after all and start a new blog called EVERYTHING SUCKS? Did she discover she has no talent for cooking and subsequently been spending her time doing a photo shoot for the print journal YUCK?  Is she stuck between the couch cushions waiting for someone to come over and extricate her while she munches on old peanut brittle and popcorn bits? WTF has happened to LC? WILL SHE POST AGAIN?

Well, during the holidays the Laughing Coyote decided to clean her house and had a terrible accident with the vacuum involving one of her appendages, some whiskers, half of one ear, a sandwich, a merry-go-round and her tail, not to mention what was left of her pride. Instead of just focusing on one task at a time, like the Buddists suggest, Laughing Coyote  let herself get distracted by a Looney Tunes marathon that featured the Road Runner, Instant Hole and a bathtub full of water, and well….let’s just say the word “ugly” doesn’t cover it.

Laughing Coyote was finally rescued by a pair of a cats and a bighorn sheep–don’t ask me what any of them were doing in the house, let alone together, or why they would want to rescue a coyote to begin with, but they were compassionate and helpful. LC then spent some valuable time recuperating, which included learning how to type with the other paw, how not to binge watch Roadrunner on Netflix, as well as being forbidden to ever go near a vacuum again.

If you see Laughing Coyote near a vacuum, even if she’s just talking to it, you should report it to anyone close by wearing a uniform. They will know what to do.

Laughing Coyote says SHE WILL BLOG AGAIN and plans to do a set about the dangers of cleaning your own house within the next two weeks or so. Right now she’s doing a full color layout for the glamour print magazine “Tail,” which features talking animals who have been injured during domestic incidents of cleaning, that will function as a warning to others that the fabulous, enticing and often air brushed world of TIDYING UP is not what it looks like from the outside and should definitely be left up to the professionals. LC was offered a tidy sum to do this layout, full on furry style, and thus took a break from trying to be hilarious to do a honest days work instead.  The only caveat was that they shoot her good paw.

oh crap not shoot her good paw….damn this internet machine that can’t read my intentions….

…..photograph her good paw.

Until we meet again,

Very soon

Under the dust bunnies that have lived here so long they all went out an got an education and started families and applied for favored nation status….


Categories: miscellaneous | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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