There are few pleasures in this world that rival espresso. Campfire coffee from the percolator is fine most mornings. And our little hand grinder does a fantastic job. But, sometimes I find myself craving a good, stout, fruity espresso.
Quite often, our 3-4-week camp itinerary includes local espresso joints. I meticulously scout the ones with top reviews and the best hipster vibes. Only 1 in 3 cups matches my expectations. But, I enjoy the hunt.
In 2017, we were on a 4-week journey through California. As we entered Fresno, I had that familiar craving. We stopped off to get groceries, and I wanted some caffeine.
I pulled out my phone and did a simple search. There were two choices near us. One of them was better reviewed than the other, and it was a drive-up espresso joint. Since we were towing the pop-up behind us, the drive-up seemed a better option than parking in a cramped lot.
So, off we headed to Bottoms Up Coffee.
As we approached the menu board, I did what I often do. I scouted to see if they had a cortado. Disappointed that they didn’t, I looked to see what I might substitute while my wife said her choice in my ear.
The lovely girl at the shop opened the window to take my order, with a slightly surprised look on her face. With coffee on my mind, I brushed right past the awkward expression and placed my order.
As she wrote the order, only then did I see that she was wearing a rather low-cut shirt. About that time, and just as my wife asked “Is she wearing pants?” the girl turned to face the car line on the other side of the building.
No. She was not. Thankfully, she was wearing underwear. But, apparently we had stumbled upon the Hooters of espresso.
If only I had looked at the logo first. Suddenly the name Bottoms Up coffee made sense.
I was wearing espresso goggles and thought the name referred to an empty glass or mug. Occasionally in Cali, we happened upon espresso joins that served coffee aficionados by day, and wine connoisseurs by night. This was not one of those places.
I imagine I must’ve gone completely pale when I realized the reason for the girl’s earlier awkward look. She was likely thinking, “What creep brings his wife and 3 little girls to a place like this?”
I avoided eye contact until the coffee was in my hand. Meanwhile, my wife chided me, cackling at my discomfort. And Addie, my oldest, asked from the back seat why someone would work a job in their underwear.
After discussing the impracticality of working with hot beverages in scant clothing, we continued down the road.
The coffee was not good. I don’t think the reviews were for the coffee.
But, that was not the last butt we saw that day. As we drove down the strip in Fresno, we glanced over to see a man riding a bike. His pants were below the horizon. Not like a plumber’s crack. His hide wasn’t merely peeking. The pants were firmly below both cheeks.
How on earth could someone ride a bike like that? It couldn’t be comfortable.
As Addie would say, “He became the butt of our jokes.”
Ever since, when we hear the name of Fresno, California, in a conversation or show, we look at each other and laugh. Fresno — the butt capital of the United States.