Yesterday I was Kansas City for business. I had a few hours between meetings and stopped into a local coffee shop. By the time I was ready to leave, the only people left were the barista and one other customer. I made some witty banter with the barista while tossing away my garbage, which prompted her to ask where I'm from. I replied that I live in California, and this led to the customer across the room chiming in to ask which city. It turns out he has a friend who lives near me.

The customer was a big, blusterous, hairless guy, about 35-years old. It helps my story if you have a mental picture of a friendly blowhard who probably played high school football.

I cheekily asked what his friend's name is. It was a long shot, but I figured it would be funny if I actually knew him. The rest of the conversation went like this, spoken loudly across the room of the otherwise empty coffee shop.

Guy: "You don't know him."

Me: "How can you be sure I don't know him?"

Guy: "I can tell by looking at you."

Me: "How can you possibly tell by looking at me?"

Guy: "I can tell by the way you're dressed. My friend's a high roller."

For my non-American readers, a "high roller" is a rich guy. I was wearing jeans and a nice sweater.

Me: "I could be a high roller. You never know."

Guy: "No. If you knew my friend you'd be wearing an expensive suit. He only hangs around with other high rollers."

Me: "Still, I could be a high roller. You never know.

Guy: "No..."

As he continued loudly explaining his hypothesis that people who look like me could never know people who look like his high roller friend, I sketched Dogbert on a napkin. I signed it, wrote my name more legibly below my signature, folded it neatly and handed it to him on the way out.

Me: "Tell your friend I said hi."

I didn't pause to check his reaction, because it seemed funnier to not look back, so I don't know if he's familiar with Dogbert. But the odds are fairly good that his businessman friend has seen it somewhere. That should be an interesting conversation unless he tossed the napkin before he left the coffee shop.

Yeah, I know I was being sort of a dick. But how was I supposed to resist in that situation? I don't have that kind of self-control.


Scott Adams

Co-founder of CalendarTree

Writer of a book

Rank Up Rank Down Votes:  +229
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+31 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 3, 2014
Was the guy in the coffee shop dressed as a high roller? If not what was his freind doing hanging out with him, if he only hangs out with people who are dressed as high rollers?
+25 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 3, 2014
Actually, the story works out a bit differently for me. If that guy really knew some "high roller" (whatever that means exactly) he should have been proud to say the name. Even if he thought you were an assistant to garbage collector's dog walker. I guess he was just boasting/lying, and the businessman friend he is supposed to hand the Dogbert pic to doesn't exists.
+12 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 3, 2014
What was actually happening was you did not interpret his definition of "high roller" properly. To him it means someone who always dresses impeccable when in public so as to say that "I am rich and if you don't believe me just look at my suit". You took it to mean someone who is rich.
Apr 3, 2014
Self-control is overrated.
Apr 3, 2014
What coffee shop? How was the coffee?
+30 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 3, 2014
Note to self: be sketchy and rude to people to get cool collector items. Dogbert on a napkin, signed? Nice.
Apr 3, 2014
Any chance you're still in KC and could meet me for a cup of coffee? I'll pick up the tab

+40 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 3, 2014
In ancient times it was thought the gods sometimes visited the world in mortal disguise. People were inclined to treat seemingly harmless strangers with respect, lest they unknowingly offend a god.

Gods were notoriously touchy if thus treated badly, or extremely generous if treated well. The story of Baucis and Philemon as told by Ovid comes to mind in the latter case. As creator of the Dilbert World, you acted benevolently. You might call yourself Godbert.

In this instance, you could perversely immortalize that person into a crude character for a future strip. Is that a personal catharsis you ever use?
+13 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 3, 2014
Best Blog Post Ever.
+27 Rank Up Rank Down
Apr 3, 2014
Crap! That was you? Now I wish I hadn't thrown away that napkin.
Apr 3, 2014
.....mmmm... quite sure he'll find a special spot in your strip! I think you can thank him! :)
Apr 3, 2014
I wouldn't call that a dick move. I think you took the least arrogant path possible while still gently setting him straight.

However, you probably should have gone with Dilbert instead of Dogbert to increase the odds he'd recognize it. He might be walking around wondering why some guy handed him a poorly drawn sketch of Mr. Peabody.
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