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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Not overheard at Café Astoria

Or, Hypothetical Conversation That Took Place During One of Brooksie's Many Visits to Café Astoria*

"Oh my God, here he comes again."

"Who?"

"It's that guy, remember him from last time? He always carries that black satchel with him."

"Oh yeah, I've seen him before. He's not been in for a while though, ay?"

"Nah, mate. You don't remember what happened the last time he was here?"

"Well he always seems to be typing something on that little keyboard of his that he carries around everywhere."

"I know, strange isn't it? Yeah, no, that's not what I'm talking about, though."

"Oh wait! Now I remember. He's the one that went to the loo as soon as his food had arrived. And he was sitting outside. Bloody unfortunate, that was."

"Yeah. Those pigeons made a hash of his food, didn't they?"

"Yep. They dove into his coffee, too, if memory serves."

"They really go for those marshmallows."

"At least he apologised for it. He felt really bad about it, actually."

"I know. Kept trying to pay for the replacement mocha and peach shortcake we brought out to him."

"Yeah. Poor bugger. Must've been so embarrassed! It was right during peak lunchtime. He was surrounded by pigeons and onlookers."

"Well, if it bothered him, he didn't let it show. Kept right on typing, once he got settled in. He sure seems to like the atmosphere here."

"You don't think he ever writes about us, do you?"

"No!" he said, in that long, drawn-out Kiwi version of the word that sounds more like "Naaooww!" It is a more powerful version of the word that is used when expressing serious doubt. "No, I don't know what he writes about on that keyboard of his. Must be taking classes or something."

"He looks a bit old to be at uni, doesn't he? Perhaps he's a teacher."

"Mmm, maybe. But any proper teacher would have a laptop, wouldn't he? What do you call that piece of black plastic he's got?"

"It's surely not a laptop, I can tell you that much. So you don't think he's a restaurant critic or anything?"

"No, mate. He does tell us he really likes our coffee, and he's always trying different things on the menu. I've even seen him in here with different friends on occasion as well. But, if he is a critic, he doesn't write for any of the papers or websites that I read through. And I check them all."

"Dead right, mate, you had better check them all! You're the owner of this place."

"Yeah, yeah."

The sudden sound of breaking glass came from a small table situated at the center of the restaurant, at which was seated a lone figure in front of a small black keyboard. He had been attempting to slide an empty plate across the table, however an empty ceramic yoghurt cup that had been precariously balanced upon the plate's edge came invariably tumbling down and shattered into fragments on the hardwood floor. Small streamers of white yoghurt sprayed out from the crash site, forming a crude starburst pattern.

"He's at it again, mate. You got this one?"

"Yep, I'll get it. Look, he's already starting to clean it up himself. Poor bastard."

"At least there are no pigeons this time," laughed the owner.

"Aye, well, if we don't get that yoghurt up in a hurry, there will be pigeons, mate!"

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*While none of the conversation in this review entry is real (it is hoped), the events described therein may or may not be true. What is true, however, is that the food, coffee and most especially the atmosphere at Café Astoria are what make it a favourite stop for this author.

Everything but the pigeons, of course.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Dad said...

too funny! and extremely clever, thanks for a great read!

1:33 PM  
Blogger Brooksie said...

Cheers, Dad!

4:13 PM  

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