I wrote The Toddler and The Snail.
I was a bit surprised that I got so many emails saying – just what we needed, some lightheartedness. I hadn’t thought of that but: Yes, we do. So, I´ll probably do some more jottings.
Last year, I found some new friends.
They had a small Italian café. 3 tables inside, 5 tables outside on the pavement. They made good, honest, and cheap traditional Italian food. Especially ‘Padinas’, a flat bread with all kinds of herbs and veggies in it. I’m still craving their strawberry cheese cake, though. It was the only cake they didn’t pour vast amounts of Nutella into. Italians and Nutella seem to have a special bond.
It is no secret here that when I asked for a cake without Nutella in it – they go, “What’s wrong with Nutella? Everybody loooves Nutella. Crazy Soren. You´re crazy.” Well, that might be a long-established fact, but one Absolute in my life is no Nutella – it’s a No-Go.
So, it became my “Go-To” café for some easy breakfast between my working hours.
I got voluntarily sucked into their culture; Italians stick together – their social glue are family and good Italian friends but somehow they accepted me.
I got to re-baptize their café.
They had a regular named Dolores. An elderly Italian lady, who would turn up like clockwork and enjoy a cool glass of beer. Then they would, of course, gossip a lot, and I think I know more Italian phrases than Spanish. One day, when Dolores was sitting at her table, this fancy Jaguar parked in a way that placed its front too close to Dolores’s table.
When the driver left, Dolores got up like a bat out of hell and started slamming its hood with her purse.
I loudly said, “Calma, Dolores,” apparently everybody though that was hilarious, and it became a meme, and they re-baptized the café.
I noticed the Brit who drove it had gone into this souvenir shop, so I found him standing in line and said,
“Maybe consider parking your car more discreetly and not with its hood half way into the café.” He replied, “I’ll park wherever I bloody want to.” Hmmm.
I thought, “It’s storytelling time,” and went: “I get that, it’s a mighty fine car, but right now the Italian mob are onto it – I tried that once, parked my car the same way. They took pictures of it, found out where I lived, and scared the shit out of me, so just a friendly warning, bro – you might not want to mess with the The bloody Cosa Nostra Andalusian branch. They haven’t got our boundaries – just saying.”
“Really,” he said, “I’ll move it when I’m finished.”
“I wouldn’t wait,” I replied. “They are on it now and I wouldn’t complain to the lady that’s onto it – she’s The Godmother.”The immortal words of Tom Waits sounded in my head: “And if you think that you can tell a better tale, I swear to God you have to tell a lie.”
He rushed out to his fancy car, passed Dolores, whose insults would be too challenging to repeat here, and drove away. Order restored
So, at what was now known as the “Calma Dolores” café, they decided to pull a prank on me the next time I went for that strawberry cheesecake. They laced it with Nutella, very stealth and very sneaky. And shame on me, I didn’t notice. They had sooo much fun at my expense that I thought a counter prank would be appropriate. They crossed the Rubicon. Warfare.
I found this plastic cockroach in a toy shop – it was very real looking. At the back of the café, they had some big books about art laying on a table – just to look trendy. I put it in there and showed it to Lucia, the chef, and said, “What’s up with the pest control in this joint?”
She started gasping and went totally pale, hyperventilating now. She had to sit down. Little did I know that her worst nightmare scenario was cockroaches…
I went into damage control. I showed her it was plastic and all, and she mustered a restrained smile. She took the day off early, I guess she was tired… Anyway—the next day— I felt like smoothening the waters and went down to check on her. Ok, she thought it was generally funny – all forgiven and that stuff.
“I will never put Nutella into your food again” was the outfall. Not bad…
Italian restaurants often offer you a free Limoncello and we had one to seal the prank truce. It went down like nectar from the Gods on an absolutely too hot to handle day.
My Italian friends always said—when I asked why they were in Spain—that it was to get rid of the Italian mob which penetrates the Italian society. Good on them.
Now they are out of business due to the “Lockdown,” and they won’t reopen.
I miss them
© 2020 Soren Dreier – Services