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"One grande coffee ... black," said the earnest, smiling server. "That'll be a dollar eight-six."
I open my wallet and handed a couple of ones across the counter.
The server took the money, made the change and turned to Eb. "And you, sir?"
"I'll have a Hazelnut Frappuccino," said Eb.
"Oh ... make that a vente."
"That'll be four oh eight, sir."
Eb pulled out a five dollar bill and handed it to server.
"Wow ... four bucks for a cup of joe," I said.
Eb nodded. "It's a little pricey, but, man is it good."
The young man handed Eb his change. "I'll have your drinks for you in just a moment," he said.
As we stepped to the side to wait for our coffee, I brushed up against a leafy house plant in a ceramic pot sitting on the counter.
I casually rubbed one of the leafs. "I wonder what this guy is thinking about."
"It's a plant, Chris ... what could it be thinking?" said Eb.
"Oh, I didn't mean thinking in the conventional way," I said. "I saw this documentary on TV last night about how plants communicate ... it was amazing ... these biologists think plants do more than just respond to stimuli ... they actually have ways of communicating with their environment."
Eb looked puzzled. "Huh?"
I smiled. "I know ... it was crazy ... they showed how plants that are under stress emit chemical responses that can provide self-defense ... it was some pretty wild stuff."
"Yeah, they showed this one plant ... I think it was from the desert somewhere ... whenever it is under attack from a type of caterpillar, it sends out a chemical SOS to bugs who feed on the caterpillar and ... "
Uncle Billy walked up. "Who's sending out an SOS?"
"This guy." Eb pointed to the plant. "Chris was just telling about a show he saw on TV that showed how plants communicate ..."
"One Hazelnut Frappuccino," yelled the server.
Eb held up his hand. "That's me." Eb reached for his coffee,
Uncle Billy looked at the plant. "So, Eb has finally found someone can talk to, eh?"