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Opening Arguments

Not the same old grind


As idle workers fill coffee-shop tables -- nursing a single cup, if that, and surfing the Web for hours -- and as shop owners struggle to stay in business, a decade-old love affair between coffee shops and laptop-wielding customers is fading. In some places, customers just get cold looks, but in a growing number of small coffee shops, firm restrictions on laptop use have been imposed and electric outlets have been locked. The laptop backlash may predate the recession, but the recession clearly has accelerated it.

Oh, well. Guess I'll just have to do my laptopping at home, where the TV can be on, the cats will frolic around me, I can make all the rude, old-man noises I want to, and the coffee is always brewed to my precise specifications. We all have to make sacrifices, after all.