AUSTIN, TX — Gary Connelly, the owner of Roast Me, loses sleep every night, staring at the ceiling and wondering where he went wrong. Three years ago, when he opened Roast Me’s doors for the very first time, he was a simple man with a simple dream: to completely revitalize a blighted neighborhood by charging exorbitant prices for unnecessarily complex beverages. Yet, ever since operations began, Gary’s dreams have not yet been realized.

“I’m doing everything by the book,” Mr. Connelly, sporting an obnoxious ascot that only served to make his whole face that much more punchable, told Sauce On the Side. “All my drinks have at least fifteen steps, my cashiers roll their eyes after you mispronounce your order and then immediately correct you, and at least twenty minutes go by before you get what you paid for. We have a very strict ‘work like you’re on quaaludes’ policy at Roast Me. But none of these things seem to be bringing the unwarrantedly entitled white clientele who pronounce ‘Barcelona’ like assholes into the neighborhood.”

Gary sincerely feels that his efforts to effectively neuter an entire neighborhood through cultural homogenization is his version of doing God’s work. Despite his best efforts, however, not a single white man with a bohemian affectation has unicycled down the street in front of his coffee shop.

“Looking back these past three years, I feel like I’ve been a failure,” Mr. Connelly, wearing thick-framed glasses that scream ‘I don’t have a TV at home and I think lesser of you if you ask me about Netflix but I still manage to have very strong opinions about the Oscars every year’ said. I’m starting to think that the people here don’t want their rent to be tripled in the next two years.

“It’s like they don’t even care about having a gelato shop right next to a homemade dog treat boutique. I can’t even look at the portrait of Howard Schultz I have hanging up in my office anymore. I used to think he was smiling down upon me; now I’m not so sure. Maybe I should just give this up and go back to submitting unsolicited articles for Vice.”

On that note, Mr. Connelly finished locking up Roast Me for the day and scootered along on his Vespa, head down. After running into a wall, Gary decided that he should probably keep his focus on the road rather than on his failures. He left the Austin neighborhood same way he’d arrived: as a conceited asshole on a moped who has no idea how the world works.

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