Oh my goodness! Have you heard about the fabulous new café in town?!
It’s the Jewel in the Crown of the New Favourite (NF) Shop! It’s the last word in cafes! It’s the holy grail of good food, good beverages and good atmosphere! The décor is amazing! The cakes are to die for! It’s hands down the best place to grab a bite and a cuppa for miles around!
|Photo: woodypino, Pixabay
Except it’s not, because it doesn’t exist.
It’s a fantasy. It’s TBE’s (aka The Boss Erratic’s) fantasy. It’s like Fantasy football, but with lattes and Victoria sponge.
It was never supposed to be like this. When TBE first opened the NF shop it was all about the café. It was going to be legendary. TBE was like a culinary whirlwind caught in a frenzy of sample buying and taste testing: gin ice cream! Genuine Cornish pasties! Handmade cupcakes! Prosecco ice cream! Taste this! Taste that! Everyone will love us! I love us! I love me! I love food!
Customers were effervescent with anticipation for weeks and weeks, and would come into the Out Of Favour (OOF) shop daily asking, “Is it open yet? Is it open yet? Is it going to be soon? Please say it’s soon!”
The builders were hard at it, adhering to TBE’s every design whim: knock that wall down! No! Leave that wall! Take that floor up! No, leave that part of it! No, don’t plaster that bit yet; let me think! Yes! I want it plastered! No, I don’t! Work on this corner! No! Leave that corner!
|Original picture: HikingArtist.com. PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay
And then… nothing.
Firstly, the builders disappeared.
TBE drove them away by taking so long over design decisions that they spent more time hanging out in the OOF shop drinking tea than in the NF shop doing any work. She would also habitually fill any working space they had cleared with shop-related tat: fabrics, shelves, broken dolls, wardrobes, tacky plastic shit, faulty clothes, pulled scarves. Clearly having to repeatedly move wardrobes and chests of drawers in order to gain access to any sort of workspace wore just a little bit too thin.
And then the customers stopped asking about the café.
Occasionally one would come into the OOF shop and proclaim she knew the opening of the café imminent because TBE had told her it was: “No, this time it really is! She’s told me herself!” I simply smiled and nodded, smiled and nodded….
The dust sheet remained; the NF shop remained divided in two; the assorted crap stayed where it was dumped; getting dustier each day. And still; nothing. For over a year; nothing.
The glossy little programme leaflet for the upcoming local Sunday fete landed, proudly listing all the retail outlets open on the day; and there, nestled in amongst the established purveyors of refreshments and providers of food, was the NF shop. Yep, the NF shop. The shop that boasted a mountain of unnecessary tat instead of a coffee machine; a collection of dirty chipped wardrobes instead of a gleaming work counter; piles of builders’ rags instead of tables; a dust encrusted gaping hole instead of a kitchen. How the hell was TBE going to pull this off?!
Of course, the answer was: she didn’t.
She reportedly (oh yes, I have my spies too…) spent the whole afternoon having to fend off thirsty pensioners, expectant parents and grumpy children by telling them: no, she didn’t sell ice cream and tea after all, but they could buy a nice papier mache tea cosy if they wanted; and yes, the shop down the road did sell ice cream and tea and it was lovely, but nothing compared to what they can buy when her own amazing café gets up and running. When her café gets up and running it’s going to be the best for miles around. And it’s going to be soon, very soon………...