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The Fergus Forum
The mood seems tense, as locals pull their well worn chairs within arm’s reach of the round table at Café Fergus. You know what the “round table” is. Every restaurant has one. It really has nothing at all to do with the shape of the table. The term speaks more to the circular motion of the conversation, as it flows from those who surround the honored piece of furniture. The participants are nearly always experts, too, and one is called to wonder how so much talent and wisdom could be there assembled, in the complete absence of any compensation for their offerings. What generous souls must these men be, to freely offer their opinions, solely for the benefit of their fellow man, with no hope for anything in return. Or maybe I’m missing the point, maybe it really is an exchange, with each participant giving in equal measure to what he receives. Yes, I’m sure that’s it. That would bring an almost karmic symmetry to these daily rituals that take place in Towns and Villages all across the Nation. It happens in your Town, and it happens in Fergus.
As it happens, most of us are more productive in the morning hours, fresher, more energetic than we might be later in the day. So it seems logical that these local “think-tanks” usually take place in the morning. After all, why not bring your best to the table? And what would a morning be without coffee? No-brainer, it would be no better than any other random time of the day, indistinct, and unremarkable.
So, mornings it is, then. That’s when the experts reign, as they donate an hour of their valuable time toward the betterment of humanity. Coffee and conversation. Coffee and camaraderie. Coffee and cigarettes…….
But wait! There’s a signpost ahead…….. right there, on the door of the diner. What does that say? “Café Fergus is now a smoke free facility???? Well, “Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot?”, as they say in the military. How did this happen? Could it have been caused by another benevolent entity acting for the betterment of humanity? Did they march up to the weathered screen door of the diner and mouth that classic line, “We’re from the government, and we’re here to help?” Did they huff and puff, with their pink, healthy little lungs blowing hot air and sunshine up our collective asses? Yes, my friend, it appears that they did.
And so here we sit, sullen and irritable. As each new arrival takes his place around the table, the steel caps on the ends of all 4 legs of his chair produce a squawk that makes the hair stand up on the back of your neck. It seems to take 5 full minutes for that one chair to slide 2-1/2 feet closer to the table. And Flo, the 58 year old bleached blonde waitress that we all loved yesterday, must have a touch of laryngitis, since her voice seems to make the window panes vibrate when she asks for the orders. Why in the hell do we have to listen to that ceiling fan, too, with the endless drone of its buzzing motor? And is there possibly one more stainless steel saucepan that moron in the kitchen could drop as he apparently practices his culinary juggling act?? Oh, and Jim, I don’t care how smart you think you are, today you’re just plain wrong.
“ What was new at the coffee shop today, honey?”…………………………………………….”Shut up!”
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