Skip to main content

Hostile Takeover


"Excuse me, I was sitting here," the lady says with a rising inflection that betrays her irritation.

The couple look up.

The lady, happy to see the success of her vocal prod, suppresses a smile and continues, "I'd just nipped to the toilet."

"Oh, yeah, right, sorry, Didn't realise someone was sitting here," the boyfriend drawls, feigning sympathy. His girlfriend bites her lip as she rubs the sliver cross hanging around her long, thin neck.

The lady looks directly into the boyfriend's eyes, goes to speak, then pauses. The boyfriend's casual confidence wanes as he sees the steely intelligence in her eyes.

"Well, now you know, I suggest you move", the lady whispers with all the artful strength of a woman whose mother once helped the French Resistance.  

"We're not moving," the boyfriend snorts as his eyes hastily take in the Ikea art on the cafe wall.  The girlfriend squirms in her chair.  A blush smarts across her face.

The lady takes a step back to reassess the situation. She smiles. She's not beat. She's playing the long game.  She pulls up a chair to the table, sits down, and looks at the couple with curiosity.  Grabbing her half cup of latte she says, "I'm Peg, and you are...?"

----------------

Reference:
Coffee shop in Islington, London


Popular posts from this blog

Revels and Rebels XIII

Dear Santa, I’m sat by the Christmas tree. The fairy lights twinkle, the baubles sparkle, and the clip-on-birds look really confused. The white dove is looking at me wondering where peace went, and the robin, having given up on Christmas, is taking a nose dive towards the floor. I understand the birds’ confusion. 2020 is the year where the world turned upside down and inside out. Bound at home, unable to hug friends and visit family, attempting disconnected living in a connected world. Which way is the North Star – who knows? We’re all a bit like Odysseus down here, stuck between a rock and a hard place. On one side you have the rock of reality eroded and twisted by politicians and media. The other side, the six headed monster of big Pharma trading health for profit and barking down contrary ideas to protect financial growth. One thing is for sure, Capitalism is not interested in paying the ransom for Freedom. You’ll be sad to learn that ‘Ho, ho, ho’ went out of the window mont

Revels and Rebels XIV

Dear Santa, It's Epiphany. Twelfth Night. You're about to hang up your Christmas sack for the festive season and here I am writing to you with my last-minute request. I know, I'm as irritating as a Christmas Pudding that refuses to light no matter how much warm brandy you pour on it.  Soggy Christmas Pudding aside, there is a reason why this letter is late. I've been ruminating over what to wish for. And the thing is this - I still don't know what to wish for. My current plan, or hope, is that in writing to you I might write myself into my wish. The thing is this, since the pandemic began, I'm having trouble finding a way to live in the world. Working out what I must suffer, what I can change. How to navigate sorrow and joy. And how to live with the conflicts within whilst the noise of division and marginalisation rage all around. Sometimes, they become one of the same. Sounds confusing, right? And fuelling this confusion is the general level of fear we have to

Revels and Rebels XV

Dear Santa, When I was kid, I created a make believe village. Do you remember it? Every Christmas, between the ages of eight to twelve, I asked for Philip Laureston village figurines – perfectly detailed buildings complete with climbing roses and house signs. My village started with a cottage, the Rose and Crown pub and an oak tree. Over the years it was extended to include a farm, a school, a church, a village hall, shops and a duck pond. Each week I visited the villagers and had delightful conversations and arguments, and in the messiness of my imagination I understood what made their imagined lives happier. I remember one heated debate where the parents demanded a school house because they thought it was inappropriate to educate their children in the Rose and Crown pub. The children rather liked their lessons in the snooker room. The parents won. Since the Pandemic began, I can honestly say that I’ve truly understood what life was really like for my imagined villagers. This idea of