I spent all of Thursday morning and most of the afternoon on the phone dealing with mouth breathers, cat owners, plastic bag collectors, pig fanciers, pensioners and various other minority groups that should really be ignored, marginalized and avoided at all times. I had to take a wet wipe to my ear just to be sure I didn't catch anything over the phone. You see this is what happens when you advertise. The freaks, semi freaks, and shut ins take it as an invitation to pester, poke, prod and generally bother the shat out of me. The phone never stopped with it's ring bloody ring ring all day. This was annoying as I was trying to
sleep fill the eh um salt and peppers pots, yes that's what I was doing. Cant we just go back to hiding our light under a bushel?
So it was with very great relief that I noticed it was half past two. I didn't finish until three but I figured I deserved some quality standing about time after such a tortuous time. That's right tortuous! You don't know, it was rough man, rough. And there is nothing more enjoyable than standing about scratching on company time. Not that the freaks knew I was enjoying standing about time, they kept phoning.
One after the other, idiotic question after idiotic question -
"And does you restaurant serve food?" What? Seriously?
"Can I bring my next door neighbour?" You can bring whom ever you want, I don't care
"Is Brian there? I need to speak to Brian." Okay that one was a wrong number but it didn't help.
There were many others.
I had a vision of queue at a phone box of mad crazy people with mad crazy lives-in-a-cave type hair bedecked in dressing gowns and pajamas each clasping a fifty pence coin. One flew over the cuckoos nest and landed on my phone number, clearly.
But finally three o'clock came and I ran for the door leaving the ringing phone unanswered. Fuck that. I made for my favourite coffee shop. I secured the services of a seemingly underworked barista and ordered a double espresso and a sandwich. I pulled up a seat, plugged in my headphones, pulled out a book and relaxed.
Ahhhhhhh. Lovely. Between the pacifying sounds of Courtney Tidwell and the acerbic and cutting musings of Charlie Brooker I was starting to balance out, I was starting to feel normal again. Didn't last, never does.
Just as I took a bite of a rather deflating and far to soggy by half BLT sandwich I felt a presence looming over me. A shadow had been cast, a big fat sweaty shadow at that. I looked up and there was the chap staring down at me all teeth and nose hair and sweaty bits. Now I know how Mrs Chuck Norris feels. He was saying something but I had my headphones on so I couldn't hear him.
"What?", I wasn't in the mood to hear about Jebus or satan or whatever it was he was hawking.
"I said can I sit here?", came the response. He was a touch Ned Flanders with his creepy mustache and giddy red sweater.
"Yeah whatever, go ahead", I'm not at work I don't have to be nice. But I was sitting at a table for four so it didn't make much odds to me. I plugged back in and gathered my stuff a little closer to me and a little further away from sweaty boy.
"WHAT?" Why is he talking to me? I was clearly plugged in and was practically sitting with my back to him, I mean it was obvious I wasn't in the mood for chit bloody chat.
"I say it's a cold one today....eh....a cold one today."
"Yeah...right...." I swiveled back round and I plugged back in.
Nudge, nudge nudge. Is he touching me? What the fiddler fuck is this?
"What mate? I'm just trying to have my lunch what do you want?" I may have barked this a little more furiously than was needed as he looked a little nervous as he spoke.
" Sorry...eh...sorry it's just that I cant get the milk, could you...", and he stretched out his boney sweaty finger towards the milk jug. Shit did I feel bad. I passed him the milk and smiled at him.
He took this as a green light to start talking again. So I passed another five minutes bullshitting about the weather and the how wonderful iPods are and isn't coffee brilliant and blah blah fucking blah yes they don't make tables like they used to and wasn't it wonderful when we all shat in the toilet in the garden and yes I miss Columbo too. I would rather it had been a god botherer to be honest. I had enough and got up to leave.
And what did I see when I stood up?
I'll tell you what I saw, a fucking empty coffee shop that's what, just me and sweaty, stuck together on one table, not facing each other, but side by bloody side like long lost chums or star struck lovers.
He had a whole coffee shop to sit in and yet he decides to sit beside me.
I'm changing aftershave, this stuff clearly attracts weirdos and sweaty people. Jebus it's been a week of it.....