#12 Coffee is the Best Medicine…
August 15, 2005
…The Strange Happenings in a Coffee Shop
(You may start reading at any point in the story.
It isn't complicated! This is Part 12.)
We left Alfred at the doctor's office. They planned to admit him immediately to their facility for a complete makeover. It was expected to take a few weeks. So, we all returned to the coffee shop with heavy hearts. I know–I only just met these people, but Alfred kind of got to me, you know?
"Coffee?" Rose asked as she stashed her handbag behind the counter and grabbed cups, neatly lining them up in front of Butch, Brenda, and me.
"I'm going to miss him!" Brenda said.
"He'll be back," I replied, taking a long sip of Rose's coffee. Geez, this place had good java.
"When I'm upset, I get the urge to clean and straighten up," Brenda stated.
"What?" I asked.
"Oh no!" Rose murmured.
Brenda reached in her handbag, pulling out a can of Pledge and a white cloth. My jaw dropped as I watched her spray wax on the counter and proceed to polish it.
"Not here! Not around the food! Get that stuff out of here!" Rose whined, shooing her toward the tables. Brenda started on a quest to shine and polish every piece of furniture in the coffee shop, it would seem. She dashed from table to table, spraying and rubbing away.
"Brenda does this every time she gets upset," Butch explained. He leaned closer and whispered in my ear, "Just between the two of us, this place could use a little cleaning, if you know what I mean."
I smiled and nodded. I'd seen the restroom, and I sure did know what he meant. I looked back at Brenda and she was scurrying around with the darned can of wax, operating in full attack mode.
I couldn't imagine feeling better by cleaning; but then again, I've know obsessive-compulsive people who really get off by washing their hands repeatedly or alphabetizing cans of soup on the shelf–so I guess anything is possible.
Suddenly, a hush moved across the room. I watched in awe as the shop door opened and a tall shadowy figure entered. The silence grew heavier as the man came into full view.
A spoon clanging on the floor turned my attention to Rose, and I saw that lady with her face white with fear. A glance to Butch revealed he was biting his lip anxiously, which for Butch would be a rare thing. Even Brenda stopped her waxing and froze, staring at the figure.
He had a clip board, and I heard a ball point pen click, ready for action. "County Health Department! I'm here for your inspection," the stranger stated.
To be Continued
Copyright 2005 JO Janoski