At The Coffee Shop


I should have suspected that things would not go well when my local coffee shop was out of my favorite blend. The pot was empty after half my cup had been filled. I just told them to fill the rest with another, milder variety, and sat down to wait for my grilled cheese sandwich and cup of fruit. They make excellent grilled cheese sandwiches here and I was looking forward to having one for lunch.

Things started getting strange right after my meal arrived. The gentleman that was seated a couple of tables to my left kept getting up and walking out to the parking lot. Each time his phone, which he left on the table, would start ringing. The ring tone was one of those annoying generic types designed to get your attention quickly. It rang many times. About a minute after it stopped the man came back into the shop and sat down, ignoring his phone. A few minutes later he got up and walked out again and the phone began to ring. This happened three or four times before he left for good.

A strangely dressed woman came in and ordered a sandwich to go. While she was waiting she began talking with a man seated off to my right. She talked in a very loud voice. It was loud despite the mask she was wearing. Her discussion topics wandered all over the place. She had a headache. There are people behind the scenes who are controlling everything. She has shortness of breath and might begin coughing at any moment. There are more things going on then we can comprehend. And on and on.

The man she was addressing all this chatter to was only semi responsive. He kept commenting that we were all part of a movie but we’ve never seen the script. He tried to make a joke about a dog with no legs, but the woman’s chatter covered up the punchline so I missed hearing it. He talked about how surveys show that our village is the one of the safest in the state, but had the name of the village wrong.

Right after he told the joke about the dog with no legs, a real dog wandered in the front door. It was small, black, and had four legs. It walked around behind the counter and then walked back outside.

Finally the annoying women left with her sandwich. Then the gentleman’s phone rang. He answered with “Hello? I’m all right, go on.” He said this twice, then three times. Then he hung up. A few minutes later there was another call. He answered the same way, about the same number of times. I was beginning to wonder if I was stuck in some weird kind of ‘Groundhog’ movie with actions repeating every few moments rather than every day. After all, the man on the right said were were all part of a movie and but we hadn’t seen the script.

As all this went on I was eating my grilled cheese and poking at the fruit cup. The strawberries were a bit soft and lacked taste, but the blueberries were nice and ripe, with good flavor. There were a few small red grapes, some melon chunks and a couple of pineapple slices. The pineapple made the roof of my mouth burn slightly. I’ve never paid much attention to this, but I think I’ve experienced it before. I’ll have to try and remember to see if the same thing happens next time I have pineapple.

The coffee shop is a small local establishment, where everyone seems to know everyone else. They serve excellent coffee and ice cream, and the sandwich menu is limited but good. It’s a good place to catch up on local gossip and news, as it’s frequented by many of the village officials. The owner is a bit opinionated and quite conservative, but he’s not a right-wing wacko. His opinions are reasonable and considered.

I usually drop by the shop a couple of times a week. I either go early in the day for coffee and a muffin, or in the afternoon for a late lunch. It’s only a couple of miles down the road, so the trip gets me out of the house without spending a fortune on the journey. Normally it’s an enjoyable, relaxing place to go. Strange and wacky happenings are not normally on the menu. Today they were.