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Saturday, 11 October 2008

Guardian All Ears 11th October

The cake Fonz...

I’ve been visiting the same bakery for over a decade and never in that time have I enjoyed anything more than straightforward transaction-based conversations with the staff, nor have I seen them talk much to anyone else except to remonstrate with the intoxicated and the clearly insane. I was horrified then to pop in the other day and find a bloke engaging in what might be described as light hearted repartee with the normally stoic staff.

Bakery Woman: (big grin on her face) “Small tea or a large?”

Man: (winking and smiling) “Large.”

Bakery Woman: (blushing with the innuendo) “I’d never have guessed!”

Man: (indicating cakes) “What are these?”

Bakery Woman: “Coconut and jam slice.”

Man: “What are they like?”

Bakery Woman: “Dunno, I never had one, they look nice though.”

Man: (gurning under the weight of his own wit) “Give me the (+I)biggest(-I) one.”

Bakery Woman: (turning purple, serving it up) Ooh…anything else?”

Man: “That’ll be it…for now.”

Bakery Woman: “Two pound seventy”

Man (winking again, offering money) “Make it three pounds.”

Bakery Woman: (melting) “Ta, see you soon babe.”

Man: (waving to everyone, even the queue) “See you soon.”

What kind of madman tips people in a bakery, I wondered, at the same time feeling rather cheap. The man left on what seemed to me to be a cloud of self-satisfaction and purchased familiarity. The next guy in line, evidently impressed, ordered exactly the same things. Christ, I thought, I’ve just met the cake-Fonz, and everyone loves him but me.

Article by Michael Holden

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