I went out into Beeston today for a coffee, a quiet coffee. The venue was a small affair that I occasionally visit and it can be chocker with punters enjoying their lunches or drinks, or both. I'm usually in and out within twenty minutes and returning back to work.
You know when you recognise someone is eating with their mouth open and you don't want to watch but feel weirdly compelled and partially repelled? That was me this dinner time at the proverbial Zoo.
Mrs Stocky was there by the window in her far too small red hat and chomping on the leafy salad that gravity was allowing to fall from her gob as she threw in the greenery like a freakily stunted giraffe in a red hat. She ate, she spoke, she grunted to her friend, the gob went round and round, spittle drenched leaves tumbled to the table. A rogue curve of red onion remained stuck in her mouth and travelled wearily up and down during her guttural utterances.
Her friend opposite, a Mrs Pelican, with her collection of bulbous chins, was equally as bad with her drink, a volcanically hot coffee by the look of it, that sprayed violently from her raw and rouged mouth at each swig. Her puckered face danced back and forth at the drink as if she had been challenged to gulp every boiling drop and achieve a world record and a scolded throat to boot. The escapee coffee foam was now dribbling down her chins as they conversed.
Then there was an elderly, hunched chap in a cap, akin to a bespectacled monkey in 1950s library glasses and a faded grey pullover with repeat pattern of ancient dog hairs . Charlie chimp was a big hairy chap himself (especially in the ears and nose departments) and was probably a big hairy nob in the urban jungle in his earlier years. Today he was attempting to surround his feet with an increasingly growing semi circle of cheap grated cheese. Every potential mouthful that travelled from his jacket potato floundered around the quivering livery lips and the cheese toppled ever downwards. At one point he bent over and rescued a mangled lump of jacket potato on the café floor that desperately wanted to join the cheese - and ate it.
My coffee arrived and someone went past me into the toilets with a small baby. I had managed to pick the table right next to the loo, didn't I?. A few minutes later the person came out along with a stained trail of toilet paper stuck to their shoe followed by a smell of eggy baby sick.
As they say in journalistic circles. "I made my excuses and left."