One woman's humble account of a memorable experience/questionable use of time as pertains to today's nationwide #LukesDiner #GilmoreGirls promo pop-up shops.
Sunday, Oct 2: I hear the strains of "Where You Lead" drifting out from my roommate's bedroom. She is, of course, prepping for the upcoming Gilmore Girls reboot on Netflix. A wise woman's motto is "Always be prepared." Also a Girl Scout's. Also, incidently, a Boy Scout's.
Monday, Oct 3: I see a article claiming that some coffee shops around the country will be transformed into pop-up "Luke's Diners" serving free coffee. It will be one morning only, in promotion of the reboot. I post the article to my roommate's Facebook timeline, which I have never stopped referring to as a "wall."
Tuesday, Oct 4: Roommate has done her homework (prepared!) and found out which coffee shops will be participating in the pop-up gambit. Even though it will mean getting up a bit early, we agree to meet some friends at one of the (only 2!) locations in the LA metro area that will be turned into a Luke's. It'll be fun! Where you lead I will follow! Free coffee! Rory! Lorelai! Sookie! Etc! Gilmore Girls!
Wednesday, October 5:
7:30am: We leave our apartment. I am not usually awake until 8:00am, but luckily I am going to be getting (free!) coffee soon.
7:50am: We arrive at the location (in Studio City). I drive past a ridiculous line while looking for parking on Ventura Blvd. After parking, I attempt to find the end of the line and discover that it is easily a quarter mile long. As I walk past the waiting fans, I noticed that a lot of them are wearing plaid flannels and (mostly backwards) baseball caps. It takes a second for me to realize. These are Luke costumes. Amusingly enough, many of these fans, in line for coffee, are holding Starbucks cups. Prepared.
8:00am: I finally find the back of the line. It's right in front of a Peet's Coffee. Ah, coffee. Some of that would really hit the spot right now. Luckily, I'll be getting free coffee in what I hope will feel like no time at all. How long can it take to serve coffee to, oh, I don't know, 500 people?
8:10 am: Rumors are circulating that there were 150 people in line as early as 6:20am. Diehards. How did they know so many people would want free Luke's coffee? I sure didn't know.
8:45 am: My roommate has to leave for work. We are still a full city block away from coffee. She leaves in good spirits, however, happy to have participated in this show of affection for the show the recently released TV: The Book named the 87th best show of all time, right after something called EZ Streets and right before something called Six Feet Under. Another friend and I remain in line. After all, we've invested 45 minutes in this wait already. No point in sacrificing our slightly advanced line positions after all that!
9:00 am: We overhear a successful customer as she reports to people in front of us that the free coffee is no longer free. We've been standing here for an hour. We do not leave the line.
9:20 am: One of the (hatted, plaid-clad, but also heavily made-up as if for Insta-glamour-shots) girls directly in front of us has made an exploratory mission to the front of the line. She reports back to her group and I overhear. "There's no merchandise, the coffee isn't free anymore, it's just sleeves that say 'Luke's' on paper coffee cups and a little Luke's sign out front." She's super disappointed. But they stay in line. We've been standing here for 80 minutes.
9:45 am: A well-dressed woman (maybe a manager of this bombarded coffee shop) walks through the line to politely, apologetically tell us all that they are now out of sleeves. "We still have cups," she reports. Thank god. We've been standing here for nearly two hours. We don't leave the line.
10:18 am: A woman walks by and says to me, "What are you guys standing in line for?" I don't want to answer, so I pretend I didn't hear. But she repeats, "Like, what do you get?" I sigh, shaking my head, and say "I DON'T KNOW." Moments later, a car drives by and the driver shouts out the same question, "What are you all in line for." "Coffee!" the guy in front of me replies. The irony of the fact that when we first got in line we were literally outside the front door of Peet's does not escape me
10:20 am: A small man in a Luke's apron and a Luke's hat (backwards) comes by to say they are now out of sleeves AND cups. What in God's name am I doing here. It has been an hour and 20 minutes. We do not leave the line.
10:35 am: We finally reach the front door, and the Luke's sign (aka Photo Op Central – there's even a little line on the OTHER side of the sign for people who only want to take a picture without getting non-free coffee). We take an abundance of selfies and solo shots. I look super fat in mine. Oh well. I now have a memory to last a lifetime. This is what I tell myself.
10:38 am: We make it into the shop! There is a cute little stand-up of Luke with a sassy sign banning man-buns and texting-while-ordering (a ban which surely is not being enforced at this particular LA location). We console ourselves with photos of this stand-up, knowing all the while, thanks to Twitter, that the REAL Luke (Scott Patterson) was at the Beverly Hills pop-up, just on the other side of the canyon.
10:45 am: I order a large cup of coffee. It costs about me $3.50. I have waited 2 hours and 45 minutes for this cup of coffee. Possibly the longest I have ever waited in line for anything. It is perhaps the best, hottest cup of coffee I've ever had