Saturday: I show up at the Café just after lunch, intent on picking up five hundred individually packed bonbons for delivery to Arts Umbrella for their Splash auction on Granville Island. Instead, Emma recruits me to buss tables and re-stock chocolate. The Home and Design Show is on at the Convention Center two blocks away, and we’re slammed.
“Is this is indicative of confidence in the economy,” I ask Emma, “or is everybody just hoping for an autograph with whichever TV home renovation porn star is on the main stage today?”
“I rent,” she says. “I wouldn’t know a renovator from a masturbator. But if you’re talking food channel porn, that Guy Fieri guy is hot, in a non-gluten-free sort of way.”
The staff is cranking out S’mores fondues at a frantic pace. The Café is heavily scented with the wafting aroma of toasted marshmallows, and it seems to be making everyone insane with desire. Just as my anxiety about being late with my delivery reaches a feverish pitch, my wife and kids and our dear friends Kim and Greg, Mr. and Mrs. Dance Party Donut Boy to my son, and their daughter Emily stroll in, looking for fondue.
“Lightning McQueen and Mater were no-shows,” my wife says. “The picture in the paper that accompanied the story on Pixar was a file photo from some other time. We weren’t the only families wandering around Gastown looking for cars from Cars.”
The article I’d read in the Vancouver Sun the day before sure made it seem like the full size replicas of the movie’s two main stars were on extended display, and that it would make fighting Occupy Vancouver traffic to come downtown worth it for Levi and his buddy Em, both Cars fanatics.
“The only way to help Levi rationalize the disappointment of not seeing Lightening McQueen was to distract him with the promise of chocolate from dada’s shop,” my wife continues. “So comp us some treats.”
I punch in the order, and send it to the bar for preparation. Emma taps me on the shoulder, and points towards the front door. A group of twenty-something’s are passing their Occupy Vancouver placards to a designate, who’s folding them up small, and is stuffing them into the garbage can next to the condiment counter.
He approaches the till, orders four hot chocolates, pays with a credit card, and asks for the Wi-Fi password.
“More like Occupy Chocolate,” I say to Emma.
Fearing no alternative to now or never, I put on my jacket, grab the chocolate for Arts Umbrella, and bolt for the door. My wife and friends get a cursory nod of the head. Levi is a couple of dipped marshmallows away from needing a change of clothes, but gives me a big toothy grin and waves bye.
Sunday. Levi and I finish off our day at the dog beach with a trip to Dairy Queen for chocolate dipped cones. No matter that he’s spent three hours playing at the river’s edge and that he’s soaked through and freezing cold, he wants ice cream, because that’s our newly adopted tradition.
Sitting at the table waiting for our frosty treats, Levi asks to play Eye Spy. He announces that he’ll go first, because he spies the perfect clue.
“Eye spy with my little eye, something that is blue. And is across the street. And you can shop there.”
The concept of giving away too many clues is lost on him. I look out the window towards the awning over the thrift store, and offer that as my answer.
“Yeah, you got it,” he says matter-of-factly. “Your turn dada.”
“Eye spy with my big eye, something that is dark, and cold, and yummy,” I say, just as the DQ server arrives with our order.
My son’s face lights up, and he proceeds to demolish the crunchy chocolate coating on his cone with the same fervor he approaches everything in his young life.
There’s no way of knowing if he’s going to grow up to be an activist or a capitalist, or something else entirely, but I think back to a time just a few short years ago when I could just about cradle him in the palm of one hand. He seems so big now, for no other reason than he has to be, to hold all my hopes and dreams for the future.
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
Nine out of every ten persons say they love chocolate. The tenth lies.
– Anthelme Brillat-Savarin