A Fine Old Breakfast

On the other side of the café – and by other side I mean quite literally wedged in between me and the wall – were an old couple. Neither of us could have moved an inch if there was a fire, which was a constant worry in fact, due to the swearing and flames emanating from the kitchen every time the waitress took the dirty plates in.

There was some kind of commotion in there, then I heard the chef say, ‘I’ve only got one pair of bastard hands haven’t I? I’ll do it myself!’ He burst through with two cups, one of which he slammed in front of the elderly lady next to me with utter contempt. She looked as though she feared for her life.

‘But I asked for coffee,’ I heard her whisper to her husband. Yet she would no more have thought of complaining than of robbing a bank. Which is a tip another woman could have thought about. When given a coffee instead of tea as she announced it loud and proud to the other diners.

‘Eeeh, you’ve gone and give me coffee there chuck, you don’t wanna be doin’ that, gives me gas so it does, you can always tell when I’ve had coffee, dog leaves t’ room.’ There was a collective pause as we all wondered how far the chef would get after he’d butchered this woman and anyone who tried to stop him. Oddly enough he was very apologetic and swapped it with the elderly woman, leaving us thinking to ourselves, ‘he’s definitely going to put arsenic in her bacon barm’.

The waitress arrived with our food. ‘Now be careful sweetheart, the plate’s piping,’ she said to my brother, who was not listening a jot.


‘OH MY GOD!’ howled a woman. Tea was spat out, knives and forks hit plates, the dog banged his head under the table and started barking and the chef nearly swallowed his cig. Five years had clearly been taken off the elderly couple. Dad just sank ever more embarrassed into his seat. My brother, gripping his already crimson finger with his fist, dunked it into my sister’s Coke. She, in turn, stuck her finger into his Coke. Knowing where this going I moved my Coke sharpish and ended up spilling it into my dad’s lap.

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8 Responses to “A Fine Old Breakfast”

  1. May 16, 2010 at 4:58 pm, Adam Hollingworth said:

    I may be biased; however, i love this story. I remember when Michael first showed me and it still makes me laugh. I’m looking forward to reading more of his work-and more work on this website

  2. May 17, 2010 at 11:33 am, simone charnock said:

    brilliant story laughted all the way through it

  3. May 19, 2010 at 5:27 pm, Joel K said:

    Yes, I liked it, too – positive, not trying to be weird or miserable. A lot of characters, but I wanted more of them – what did they look like, and more of the place. Some of the most unlikely places have pictures of Mediterranean scenes on the wall, or Man U team pictures &c.

  4. May 21, 2010 at 1:16 pm, charlotte Healey said:

    seriously funny in stiches the hole way frew! dint even think at the time ha but to look bak on its mad! the cafes stilll goin aswell well done mike!

  5. May 22, 2010 at 11:58 pm, Lee Whitworth said:

    Thoroughly enjoyable!

  6. June 14, 2010 at 2:39 pm, Iain Robinson said:

    Top Stuff! Richly amusing.

  7. November 05, 2011 at 10:26 pm, dad said:

    Hilarious looking back but, at the time I didn’t know where to put my face. All true as well (sadly) but then again I wouldn’t change a thing cos that would have denied everybody the chance of a good laugh, and that son is priceless.

  8. March 20, 2012 at 1:43 am, Gary bratchford said:

    Really nice story – an expansive version would be a treat. As mentioned above, more about the location…smells, stains on the tables, condensation on the glass, brown stains from old tea inside the cup like water marks of time all of which are evidence of another persons story in the cafe’.
    Keep em coming Mike – keep the dream alive, share the stories.


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