Archives for April 2012
The current Mrs. Mink is in the kitchen with our neighbour Heather, cleaning up from dinner. She yells to me in the office and asks if I want tea.
“What’s for dessert?” I yell back.
“Do you want tea, yes or no?” she asks again, louder this time.
I get up and go into the kitchen, and ask what’s going on. Tea by itself is useless, so by default, there must be pastry.
“Just a couple of women having tea, nothing more, and you had a big dinner, so you don’t need anything else,” she says.
I feel like I’ve just been caught having cereal for lunch, or trying to write my name in wet cement on the sidewalk before the workmen have left. I try and think of something witty to say to redeem for my obvious shortcoming, but they’ve already gone back to their conversation and I’m left to slip out of the room unfulfilled, and without a second glance.
Fred calls at 3 o’clock and wants to go for lunch. I’ve got to make ganache and really don’t have time. Besides, I have a finely tuned metabolism, and won’t risk upsetting my digestive equilibrium by having a full meal as a pre-dinner snack.
“Are you by chance in Hawaii?” I ask, figuring he’s messing with me and it’s noon in Waikiki.
“Are you eighty?” he asks me. “Is someone holding a place in line at the early bird buffet for you?”
I launch into a monologue about how my day starts with an alarm clock that goes off at 5:30AM and ends with me heroically and against all probability getting two kids to bed at the same time before I retire to the office to eat leftovers over my keyboard while answering emails, and waiting for the late news on TV.
“You’re blowing on your soup, waiting for the last Thursday of the month so you can get 20% off a bottle of aspirin at Shoppers Drug Mart. Good luck with that.” Fred says.
I suggest he eat solo, and then come to Mink for coffee, but he hangs up.
There’s five bunnies left over from Easter that in spite of being marked down to cost, haven’t found a home. I take them into the back, remove them from their cellophane bags, and untie the decorative ribbon around their necks. There’s no slack whatsoever in the bow, and I’m amazed Darcy doesn’t snap their heads off when she ties them.
It’s my plan to melt them down in the next batch of ganache, so I toss them in the bin with the milk chocolate callets. One after one they follow the same trajectory and bust apart on each other. They’re reminiscent of the broken Statue of Liberty on the beach at the end of The Planet of the Apes.
Emma walks in on the carnage, takes one look and says, “Some debauched voodoo ritual go horribly wrong?”
“Don’t rat me out to PETA,” I say.
Fred drops by the Café with a belated birthday present. I open it and find a black leatherette fanny pack, pre-packed with various emergency unguents, a box of toothpicks, a miniature magnifying glass, and an assortment of tokens for the all-you-can-eat buffet at the River Rock casino.
“Wear it around front when you sit down to eat, and it will catch the food that falls from your face,” he quips.
“I had an uncle that used to keep all his Entertainment Book restaurant coupons in a bag just like this, except instead of wearing it around his waist, he thought it made him look more European when he slung it over his shoulder.”
“I’m glad you like it,” Fred says. “You’re a hard guy to shop for.”
There’s a strong likelihood when I’m packing for the old folks home, I’ll want just such a thing to hold my room key, a deck of cards, my Lipitor, and a handful of quarters to tip the Handi-Dart driver when he takes me to the mall for my weekly excursion.
In the meantime, I walk over to the pastry case, and grab a couple of pieces of banana bread, put them in the fanny pack, and zip it shut. I imagine finding them one afternoon, as I sit down for tea in the seniors lounge, a scant hour before the early bird buffet.
Mink Chocolates Inc.,
Mink A Chocolate Cafe Ltd.
Call the store: 604.633.2451
Call my mobile: 604.376.3464
Call toll free: 1.866.283.5181
In Person: 863 Hastings Street West, Vancouver, BC V6C 3N9