Monday, 4 March 2013

The Coffee Shop Creche.

I would just like to reiterate the fact that i am a tolerant, likeable and approachable sort of chap. Having said that, there are times when all i want to do is give someone a good, hard slap.

Take this morning for instance. I entered a coffee shop with intent to have a medium latte, a toasted panini and 20 to 30 minutes rest. Maybe even read my Kindle and take in an article or two for purposes of worldly education.

I ensconced myself on a particularly comfortable single seat at a small table, not wishing to take up the freely available 3 seater sofa that looked far more amenable for my weary body to sink into. See..? I'm not the sort to take up 3 spaces whilst reading a broadsheet newspaper for 2 hours whilst making my coffee last all day, with a smug look on my face that says.. 'I was here first, i got the sofa all to myself, so fuck you..'

Anyway, having just sat down, my quiet reading was rudely interrupted by 3 mums in their early thirties, trailing baby buggies, shopping and an air of superiority. The two kids that accompanied them were obviously free range. They shouted a lot. they squealed and spilled juice on the floor.

I imagine they were called Benjamin and Rupert. I wouldn't know because during their play time in the coffee shop not once did their mothers even attempt to calm them down, ask them to stop squealing and shouting and generally being little shits. They talked to each other about soft furnishings and how their holidays were going to pan out this year in Tuscany or some such crap.

Then... The as yet unseen baby woke up. It was obviously also in training for the highest pitched kiddie squeal competition. Mummy ignored it. My blood pressure was rising. Just as i was about to rise, Jackie Chan stylee, delivering a kick to the head, she picked up the small ball of screeching flesh. She smelled it's bottom...

'Ohh... has little baby poo-poohed..?' Oh for fuck's sake.

Free range Benjamin or Rupert bumped past my table making my coffee wobble. I gave the child a good hard stare with a look that says that i'm about to rip your legs off... only it was wearing trendy dungarees which would have made it technically difficult. I looked at Mummy, with her trendy scarf. My mind wondered just how long it would take to choke a fully grown adult woman with a trendy scarf. She didn't admonish the child probably fearing that doing so may inhibit his creative inner self, scarring for life the adorable little darling.

I wondered whether i could get away with a sly little kick to it's shins. Would trendy mummy notice if i drop kicked little Benjamin through the window? I discounted the idea for i am as i said, a tolerant, likeable and approachable sort of chap. My article went unread. I didn't want my coffee and the relaxing half hour break was in tatters.

What irked me is that i had paid good money, not just for the coffee and toasted panini, but for the ambience, the atmosphere of cafe culture.

I did not pay to sit in a creche of screaming, free range, shit smelling, snot nosed mini Ruperts. I like children, really i do. I used to be one. I however was taught the importance of behaviour in a social setting.

One day, i'm gonna really hurt someone.

Paul Martin is @ukcameraman on Twitter.