Friday, 16 January 2009

Is it something I'm putting out there?

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?

go away...

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.

Mistake.

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.....

26 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

B said...

comment 1?! yeah, uh-huh, I win, yeah

B said...

Thursday morning was always a b@stard with the pensioners in the shop.
"I'll have a pint of milk, and a small loaf of white bread"
*bring down bread and milk*
"what's that? avonmore and o'haras? it's not milk and bread anyway"

turns out milk=monaghan milk and bread=pat the baker

B said...

now finished the story, he's your typical pension morning person by the sounds of that too!

The cousin said...

Christ, for second there i thought you'd bumped into Cassidy, we don't speak about him and the too many to mention 'incidents'.

Manuel said...

b: there's no prizes for being first...yet......oh a swearing flies round these parts, swear with freedom! yeah, pension day would explain it all...

the cousin: jebus why would you mention that/him so close to bedtime? no sleeps for me!

savannah said...

holy mary, sugar! sometimes it just doesn't pay to be nice! xoxoxo

Manuel said...

savannah: honestly I'm like a magnet for life's waifs and strays....

Medbh said...

Did you ever read those sociological studies which set out to test the same scenario? Researchers would have students/subjects go and sit directly next to a dude on the subway, stand right next to one in an empty elevator, etc.
More often than not, it provoked a violent outburst because personal space is sacred, and it threatens people to encroach upon their zone.

Maybe you have to act like a nutter to get rid of them, Manuel. Start folding up your eyelids, poking yourself or something mad like that.
Hee.

daisyfae said...

to avoid such encounters, i sometimes talk to myself. in an airport bar? i once ate gummi worms "baby bird style", washing each one down with beer...

crazy = conversation deterrent...

MJ said...

This happens to me on public transit.

I'm a cat fancier, by the way, but I breathe normally.

Pickyknitter said...

I wonder what he would have done if you were sitting at the table, no music, just looking around for a friend. Turned tail and run, perhaps?

The Hangar Queen said...

You should pat the empty chair next to you and flutter yer eyelashes.

You'll be left in peace.Guaranfuckingteed.

NextSeatOver said...

Maybe take a lesson from your friend Todd. I will bet nobody sits next to him in empty cafes.
A little public self gratification can be a very useful thing in the right circumstances.

Manuel said...

medbh: act like a nutter? bwahahahaha maybe I should...hey I don't mind sharing but the fucking place was empty it was so weird....

daisyfae: noted...

mj: prove it.....weirdo...

picky: welcome! it doesn't bear thinking about...

hangar queen: yes, but what if it back fired! seriously, think of the consequences......!!!

nso: no no no no no......

sheepworrier said...

perhaps you were absent-mindedly rubbing your crotch?

Nil Zed said...

oh, always, always look around the room before agreeing to let a total stranger share the table. You don't want to pass up the chance to justifiably give them a withering, pitying look. And say No in your meanest voice.

OTOH, he might have been depressed and your cheerful conversation brought him back from the edge & made him realize life was worth living. Now you can never go for coffee there again cause he'll go everyday looking for his new friend.

Jenn and Den said...

Sweat Boy goes to my school, Manny. I swear to Jebus.

Dennis

Jenn and Den said...

Sorry, Manny...I just had to promote this post on Twitter. Too funny.

Dennis

JimBob said...

Ah, I call this my library theory, or now that I haven't been in a library since being a spotty teenager, the theory of obscure foodstuffs. The way it works is this, the next time you are picking up a Pot Noodle and a tin of beans, find the most obscure item in the million and a half other items in the shop, stand in front of it and sure as fuckity, some gimlet will want to either examine said item closely or even buy the damn thing. Works everytime.

Boxer said...

Week is nearly over.

Old Knudsen said...

I'm changing aftershave, this stuff clearly attracts weirdos and sweaty people

Hello mate.

Killer said...

my friend is on his phone so much it may aswell be glued to his head.

FMCGMCCLLC said...

Reminds me of the time I took my husband to a transvestite bar in New Orleans, his first visit to Bourbon Street, wanted to show him the weirdo's. Well in this seedy dump there are 5 people and ugly transvestites. I see this guy staring at me and I think what a creep. Next thing I know the bugger is at our table asking to sit down, as he sat down. When I said no he grinned in that leery way. WTF we were out of there howling as we really were not sure which of us he was after.

narocroc said...

You should've stiffed him with your bill!

Korarnithlas said...

Hah, my favorite to someone calling in for the restaurant:

*RING RING*

Hello, thank you for calling _____, this is Jane how may I help you?"

"Are you open?"

"...yes, we are."

"Oooo, thanks!"

>___< If we weren't open, we wouldn't answer the phone now would we?

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