Monday. Fifteen minutes before I’m to meet Fred and Andrew Mortimer Lamb – Mo’ Sheep to his friends – at the Terminal City Club for lunch, my phone alerts me to a text message.
“Hopefully you can use your pull to secure outdoor seating,” Fred typed.
“I lost my pull years ago,” I write back.
“Use your weight then,” he replies.
Throwing my weight around this late in life generally results in a groin pull, or worse. Fortunately, I’m just ahead of the lunch rush enough to get a good table in the shade without having to resort to fisticuffs, and I sit down and order a beer.
Fred and Andrew arrive moments later, each busy pinching and slapping their iPhones in earnest. The cadence of their guffaws suggests they may be watching YouTube videos of extreme planking, or dogs doing silly human-like things.
Neither looks up as the waiter checks in to volunteer the daily specials. I order a Cobb salad, and they follow suit.
After several minutes of futile effort at starting conversation, I take out my phone and pull up the weather channel. The irony is not lost on me that I’m outside and can just as easily look up at the sky as navigate an app to determine that it is indeed sunny, but at least it will make me look somewhat less insignificant while waiting for my food.
Wednesday. Skelly is having another existential crisis of faith in his job, and asks if I know anyone who’s hiring. Coincidentally, I get the message while conducting interviews for the Café. I instantly regret telling him he can come be a barista until he sorts things out.
At 6’5”, 250 pounds and mitts the size of a Smart Car, he could singlehandedly redefine the meaning of a bull in a chocolate shop.
“It’s too late to marry it or win it or inherit it, and I struggle trying to earn it. What’s the point?” he asks.
“Sounds like you need a career counselor”, I say.
“I need to disappear. That’s what I need”, he replies.
“Take your BlackBerry so we can stay BBM buddies”, I fire back.
“Will do”, he answers.
Friday. The stock markets are taking a beating. People who should be drinking are, and the rest are buying chocolate.
A woman wearing a lanyard from the Canadian Organization of Medical Physicists convention comes in, and buys a whack of bars. She asks for a receipt, telling me it’s a company write-off if she expenses it as first aid equipment. I laugh, and she gives me the evil eye.
Sensing it’s going to be one of those days, I text Fred to see if he’s free for lunch.
I get a response comprised entirely of dots and dashes. I don’t know Morse code, so I have to actually use the phone for its primary purpose, and call him.
“I just learned that while helping Maxwell with his homework”, he says. “I’m going to start a trend”.
We confirm we’ll meet on the patio at Phat, where he has pull to spare, and I leave the shop to walk up to Yaletown. Along the way, I’m trying to remember the basic positions for the flag semaphore signal system. I figure if Fred wants to go retro, I’m going archaic. It will take our conversation, or lack thereof, in a whole new direction.
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