Single Brown Male looking for BBB (Big Brown Bear)

There’s a coffee shop near my place where you can date stuffed animals.

That’s right. For the low, low price of one latte (which is approximately Php5,780.00, give or take), you can pick any stuffed toy as your table companion. You can have it sit in front of you or beside you, cuddle with it, make it hold your coffee — all kinds of…er, stuff.

I heard this was a common trend in Korean coffee shops, but I haven’t been to that many yet. Even though there are lots of Korean-owned Cafes around La Salle,I tend to stick to the familiar and comfortable. For me, that means a quaint little place in front of Rizal Memorial, wedged in between two tall condominiums. The shop’s original name was “Coffee Prince”, after the famous Koreanovela. But, due to copyright infringement (and the threat of so many show fans crowding the store just to say they’ve “been to the Coffee Prince #ohemgee”) the owners decided to change the name to “Coffee Place”, which is currently in the running for the Most Uninspired Shop Name Award.

But, I love it anyway. It’s a favorite haunt for when I want to write for leisure. So far, it hasn’t failed me yet (it’s where I’m writing this entry). The place has two floors, lots of tables and couches, and numerous circular light bulbs suspended from the ceiling. When reflected on one’s laptop screen, they resemble city lights blurred by the distance. Best of all, there are plenty of outlets located strategically in every corner — enough to sate your typical table hog/ wifi-leech.

In the future, I believe coffee shops will be rated according to their outlet count. Owners will post signs at the door, highlighting this as their main draw (“Come right in! Over 50 outlets for all your charging needs. Also available: Coffee”)

My date for tonight: a brown stuffed bear wearing a white knitted sweater.

It was either him, a Winnie the Pooh doll (with a shirt that says “Millennium Bear”), Stitch, a Cloud, or a Purple Elephant. I didn’t like that streaker Winnie, Stitch was too cute for my taste, the cloud was too dirty, and the elephant looked like it was on LSD. So, I ended up with the brown bear.

Something about him appealed to me. Like, this was a toy who was already tired of life and had no more f*cks to give.

I named him Jim Ross, not after the WWE commentator, but just because that name suited him. Jim, the alcoholic crane operator who just came from the construction yard, after an exhausting day of getting his ear chewed off by his asshole boss. Jim, who is having marital problems back at home, and who suspects that his wife is sleeping with his next door neighbor, Elmo.


Just look at him, all tuckered out from being life’s punching bag. For some reason, the bear’s presence made it easier to write tonight, even though I myself was already drained from the long commute. It’s like the bear gets me, like he wants to communicate something to me:

Jim : The f*ck I care about what you’re writing. Just give me my draft beer already.

Only the first date and already a match made in heaven.


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