This is not a terrific tale; this is certainly not even a tea-rrific tale; this is just a story of one man, a supermarket, bitter disappointment and a lesson learnt.
This is My Awkward Life.
This tale of failure and social ineptitude begins, as a lot of my tales do, with me heading to some sort of fancy/non fancy occasion for work.
The post on Facebook said that the event was due to start at 11am and so being the time diligent turtle that I am, I arrived bang on time at 11:15.
You know what they say; a wizard is never late, nor is he early, he arrives precisely when he means to.
Clearly in my head, I’ve replaced ‘wizard’ with ‘Fergus’ but you know, just run with it okay?
No? Come on? Be cool…
Now, after realising that the actual official ribbon cutting for the shop wouldn’t be happening until 12, I had now got time to kill and so I meandered into town, fancying a nice cup of tea.
Roysh, so to save myself from potential embarrassment, I won’t be naming the shop I was in; but here’s how my tale of failure goes:
I enter the shop and pass the security guard; it’s awkward as I had only been in this shop ten minutes previously to buy some pistachio nuts and now he’s probably thinking:
‘Hang on a second, why is that guy back so soon?’
It probably doesn’t help the situation that as I pass him, I’m rummaging through the bag of the aforementioned pistachios that I have stored in my pocket; I look shifty and suspicious, no question about it.
‘Play it cool, Dennehy, just play it cool; just find the tea counter and you’ll be golden’ I reassure myself.
Looking like a confused sheep that has been suddenly roped into running for president and is now standing on a stage in front of the worlds press; I stand still for a second, looking bewildered as I try to glance around nonchalantly for where the magical and much desired cup of tea resides.
‘AHA! Thar she blows!’ I cheer inwardly as I spy my white whale in the far corner.
Heading over, with a renewed spring in my step, my heart sinks as the glossy sign above the station reads ‘GOURMET COFFEE’.
‘Curses!’ I mutter under my breath, my dislike of coffee has come back to bite me, it seems.
On the verge of quitting this quest altogether, I spy an option for ‘Hot Chocolate’ on one of the machines and my hope is renewed.
Soon, after struggling for quite a few minutes to pull the paper cup from its holder, I press the option for ‘Hot Chocolate’ and we’re away in a hat and I’m already looking forward to the delicious chocolate warmth…
‘Why is there only milk pouring into my cup?’
‘Maybe they put the milk in first and the chocolate afterwards?’
‘That’s a lot of milk…’
‘Any second now, it has to…’ I reason with myself, expecting at any second now to see that brown liquid chocolate add itself to my drink.
The machine finishes its job and I’m just left staring at my drink.
‘Oh, God’ I whisper, staring at the now completely full large cup of frothy, curdling milk in my hands.
‘This is not at all what I wanted; what do I do with THIS?’
That’s when I see the sign:
“FOR THOSE PURCHASING HOT CHOCOLATE; PLEASE EMPTY THE CONTENTS OF THE HOT CHOCOLATE SACHET INTO THE CUP FIRST AND THEN PRESS THE BUTTON THE MACHINE TO ADD THE STEAMED MILK”
Well that explains it…
Realising that there’s someone behind me, I move away from the machine and cradle my drink in my hands, as if I actually care about it.
Now very conscious of every employee in the store that could be watching me and that cursed security guard on my tale, I try to act as cool and ‘loosey goosey’ as possible.
‘Maybe, if I drink it, then they’ll think that I actually got the right drink and that I know what I’m doing’ I think to myself.
‘No! You fool, you haven’t even paid for it…you can’t just go drink-stealing drinks…plus…it’s a cup of horrible looking steamed milk…’ my inner logic bites back.
‘Could I just pour it down a drain?’ I think, looking longingly over at the coffee machine drains;
‘They could work….or cause a blockage…or they could be decorative’ I ponder inwardly.
Looking around, I realise that I have only one other solution at this point…
So my friends; this is the tale of why there is now a large cup of frothy, curdling milk hidden deep in the recesses of the cold drink section of a certain shop here in town.
To the employee that finds it; know that I tried my best and I apologise.
I left the shop empty handed and trudged back to the event; thirsty, disappointed but a little wiser nonetheless.