Pure Slush

flash ... without the wank

The Never Far From Home Café, Friday, 1.57pm

<  Office Rapport

by Matt Potter      Last Night  >

(scroll below for links to other stories in this series)


And I’d even put on lipstick and tied my hair up in a bun!

“Waddaya want for your soundbite?” I asked them, sounding professional, squinting at them with one eye because I was looking into the sun, standing where the gum trees used to be because the Council cut them down out the front of the café only last week. “I can give you anything.”

’Course, they cut that bit out.

If you were watching the six o’clock news on TV, all you saw was the outside of the café and the reporter talking to the camera and some jokers in the background looking like they were part of the action, like at a car race or the Christmas Pageant. All you saw of me was me saying, “It all happened in a split second. She just stood up and poured the tea over his head. I didn’t see any of it.” And there I was squinting into the sun again.

This is what I saw. They were all sitting at tables in the window, but she had her back to the two guys. Normally she sits where they were sitting, she comes in every day but I’ve never seen them before. So maybe that pissed her off. The guys were wearing uniforms, dark blue shirts with white trim and Kuhlschrank and Sons Funerals near the pocket, so maybe that had something to do with it too. The funeral home is just around the corner and it’s an old neighbourhood so they get a lot of business.

I heard a loud voice and I looked up from sprinkling cheese across a Napolitana pizza roll and saw it was her. “Do you mind?” she was saying. “I’m trying to eat my lunch in peace.” Just like that, kind of like an opera singer, her voice going up and down. I thought she was joking, but when she flicked her hair out – it’s long and dyed brown and looks like straw – I could see oh, she meant business. “Could you move, please? Your conversation is upsetting me,” she said. She said it sort-of looking away, over her shoulder.

But they stayed in their seats.

It was lucky I saw what I did because Marjorie who’s manageress here at the Never Far From Home Café has problems remembering things and can’t even remember if she spreads butter on bread for a sandwich.

(We use that cheap caterers’ blend margarine that looks really pale when you spread it on white bread, and ’cos her eyesight is so bad too, she can’t see it. She has to taste it to check, so unless you’re happy to have your sandwich a bit discounted with a bite taken out of it, get me to make it for you. Though she’s not a big eater so it’s just a small bite.)

Yeah, but the lady pouring the tea over the young guy’s head? Never said a cross word to me ever so I don’t know what upset her.


published 1 February 2013


Earlier  (#2) 

• Earlier Again  (#3)

• Even Earlier Still  (#4)