This is the opening monologue of The Cafe, Seinfeld's 24th episode.

There's always that one location, one store location that's constantly changing hands. Everybody has this in their neighborhood, it's a leather store, it's a yogurt shop, it's a pet supply. It's constantly changing and nobody can do business there. It's like some sort of Bermuda triangle of retail, you know? Stores open up and then they just disappear without a trace. Nobody knows what happened to 'em. I guess eventually when like aliens land in mother ship of close encounters, bottom will slowly open and all these store owners will come wondering out in a daze going 'I thought there would be more walk-in traffic, didn't you?'

I need help understanding the highlighted part. I've looked up all the new phrases: Close encounters, daze and walk-in traffic. But I still can't get the underlying meaning of the whole sentence.

  • 3
    I wonder if Jerry says, "when aliens land in the mother ship of Close Encounters." (I know the 'the' is missing from the transcript you link to, but that seems carelessly transcribed – Close Encounters should be capitalized, and 'wondering out' should probably be 'wandering out'.)
    – J.R.
    Sep 25, 2018 at 8:56
  • Yes, he did say it with the, and as far as I can tell it was wandering. If "close encounters" was capitalized, I would have looked somewhere other than a dictionary. But I'm glad I've learned a couple new words.
    – Sara
    Sep 25, 2018 at 18:13

1 Answer 1


It s a reference to the film "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."

In the final act of the film a group of researchers and military personnel meet a group of aliens that land at a particular location in the USA. Among the aliens that disembark the spacecraft are a number of human abductees including the crews of the TBA Avengers of flight 19 lost in the 1940s in the Bermuda Triangle. These abductees as they appear from the ramp on the bottom are very confused about what has happened to them, taken by aliens on board their ship and now they are 30 years in the future.

The store owners are acting like that, setting up in that location then disappearing,at one point they will all mysteriously appear again.

'I thought there would be more walk-in traffic don't you' is what each of the owners of theses stores that have all failed at this location would say to each other, as obviously none of they had enough customers to make enough money to pay for the store to remain open.

  • sigh.. those references always beat me, but I'm glad to have your quick help. You saved the day!
    – Sara
    Sep 25, 2018 at 7:16
  • LOL – the shop owners, thirty years later.
    – J.R.
    Sep 25, 2018 at 8:50

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