Welcome to where the seeds of dreams are planted--where one can sip from the charmed chalice of life & meet interesting folk through (hopefully) intelligent conversation.

One never knows nor can expect who will sail into the fray--what we do know is that no soul here is perfect no matter how we try. So let us celebrate & raise our mugs to the idiosyncratic nature of life--to the Kramer's & Norm's of the world, the Roseanne's & Allan Poe's. Some old, some lost, some tortured, some blessed, all souls sharing a drink at the same time in the same place. The ensuing tales are authentic with names trending towards monikers. The flag waving on our doorstep means we're open, so come perk your curiosity in Le Harbor Bungalow Cafe.

Bonjour! Mesherfin! Hasta la vista! Your barista.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Repairing a Refrigerator

Living the life of a barista, like that of a bartender, one is subject to a multitude of stories.  Good stories highlight the imperfections of life, the triumphs and the coincidences.  Retired folks and vagabonds alike, have stories enough to fill their own personal bibles: stories of sailing, serving overseas in the military, on the road with the band, winning the lottery, romance and lack of romance.  One tale that branded itself into the barista’s memory was Buck’s.  Buck recalled visiting his preteen children at their mother’s house one recent weekend.  Interrupting the innocent, quality family time was Buck’s 9-year-old daughter massaging her cheeks with a vibrator.

Where did you get that?!” Buck bursted.

“In Mommy’s desk?”

“Go put it under Mommy’s pillow.”

“What is it for, Daddy?”

“Nothing…she can tell you.”

“Hmmm…I bet she uses it to relax.”

At that remark Buck lost his composure and released a hardy, pink-faced chuckle.  How can a father remove such a scene from his brain?


We never know, nor can expect, who will sail into le Harbor Bungalow Café—especially after hours. 

Upon receiving the news that she sold the shop, the barista promised Jennifer not to tell anyone until she conducted a staff meeting six days later.  His patience was tested—like the silicon-patched roof of the Dolphin in a rainstorm—each time a patron asked, “So what’s new?” If that’s not the most common question the barista hears at the shop, then he’ll stop writing in the third person.  And if keeping Jennifer’s news a secret was like putting a cap back on a shaken bottle of Flying Dog ale, holding back the following story—which was relayed to him independently two times, days later—was like attempting to tap a keg of Natty Boh after it bounced down the stairs to a dingy Fell’s Point cellar:  a cellar not unlike the cellar at le Harbor Bungalow Café.

Two nights before the meeting that Jennifer planned to formally introduce her staff of four baristas to the new owners, she met with Shelly at the shop.  They were nearing the conclusion of about a month-long negotiation.  Shelly agreed to buy le café with her husband, but the shop was her project—explaining the covert conference of two.  The sun had long set, the curtains drawn and the front door was locked.  Fister Mishy lapped around his tank.  The trap door to the storage cellar was open, blocking the bathroom door.  Paperwork detailing the transfer of ownership may have been on the table before them.  Nonetheless, business was being conducted.  Suddenly, the sleigh bells hanging from the front door began to clang.  A key was turned.  Two baristas appeared, drunk, and carrying a toaster.

“Oh…hi.  We just came to use the bathroom.”

Jennifer was flustered.  “Uh, this is Shelly.  She’s here to fix the ‘frigerator.”

Soon after, one of the baristas commenced a goofy, intoxicated dance—unbeknownst to him, before his future boss.  The baristas said they came from a neighborhood tavern.  Apparently the bathroom at the watering hole whence they came was not good enough.  So the bulky trap door was brought to the ground and the barista proceeded into the bathroom while the ownership was being transferred beneath his glassy eyes.  The scene left Shelly bewildered. 

“That’s the exact story they told me when they abruptly keyed in months ago, when I was training Lizzy,” our barista said to Jennifer after he answered her frantic phone call later that night.  “I’ve used Dogwatch’s bathroom.  It’s fine…what do you think they were up to?”

Jennifer could only speculate.

Two nights later certain baristas must have wondered why the refrigerator repair woman was attending the staff meeting.  A sense of befuddlement clouded the dense, café air.

“Meet the new owners of the café,” Jennifer said.

The color drained from certain barista faces as quick as the urine drained from their bladder two nights prior.  Not a word was spoken about the incident.  No apologies offered.

Not many folks at le Harbor Bungalow Café like the feeling of being taken advantage.  So Shelly invited a locksmith to the meeting.  He installed a new front door lock faster than half the staff could prepare a couple of proper large, dirty, iced, soy gingerbread chai lattes—in the background of the meeting.  Our barista found it challenging to disguise his smirk.

Touché—but it’s going to take more than a new lock and key to repair this refrigerator.

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