Excuse me, is this the old folks’ table?…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s quotation is from Flann O’Brien’s novel, The Third Policeman, written in the late 1930s, but not published until the 1960s:
‘What is your pronoun?’ he inquired.
‘I have no pronoun,’ I answered, hoping I knew his meaning.
‘What is your cog?’
‘My cog?’
‘Your surnoun?’
‘I have not got that either.’
My reply surprised him and also seemed to please him. He raised his thick eyebrows and changed his face into what could be described as a smile.

An observation:
Now, that was odd! I stayed in the cafe for about an hour and a quarter, a bit longer than usual – I was writing some stuff for this blog thing. Sitting at a table by the window was an old couple; he had white hair and a matching beard, she had short-cut grey hair. They were both wearing proper ‘old folks’ clothes; plenty of light grey, lovely safe beige, and extremely sensible footwear. They finished their beverages, got up, scraped their loud chairs around on the wooden floor for a bit, and then left…
A few minutes later I glanced up from my notebook and I thought that they had come back, but no, there was now a surprisingly similar looking couple sitting in those same seats. He had the standard white hair and neatly trimmed beard, she the cropped steely grey; their neat outfits were not unlike those of the first couple; they crouched over their drinks, eyes locked, deep in earnest conversation – it was probably about what a disappointment their offspring had turned out to be…
I carried on sipping tea and scribbling for a while and when I looked up again I saw that the couple were now standing and gathering together their bulging shopping bags ready to go; they grinned and waved cheerily to the baristas (or should that be ‘bariste’?) as they departed through the thick glass door…
I filled my cup from the (badly designed) teapot, finished off, and drew a happy wiggly line under, my new literary creation – but as I did so, my attention was caught by a movement in the corner of my eye. Yes, dear reader, you have guessed it; it was a bit unnerving, I briefly wondered if someone might have slipped something into my tea, and the world was going a bit strange on me… Yet another blandly attired elderly couple had just walked up, slid their tray with a couple of grande cappuccinos (or should that be cappuccini?) on that same table, scraped their chairs across the floor for a bit, and sighing in unison, finally plonked themselves down on them…
Obviously this turn of events set me thinking. Perhaps that particular table was the designated ‘Old Folks’ table’? Perhaps there was a queue of beige senior citizens outside waiting to come in to use it? You do learn patience as you get older, I’m told.
No Dave, this is crazy! But then, I do like ‘crazy’… I wonder if I should hang on until this present couple leave and see what happens next?… I still had half a cup of tea left. How should I fill my time now that my super new very witty blog post was written? Oh, yes, of course! Now then, where’s my pen?…

An Observation:
Now that was odd! I stayed in the cafe for about an hour and a quarter, a bit longer than usual – I was writing some stuff for…


About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in books, brain, cafe, creation, dreaming, Dulltown, existentialism, humour, information, observations, reading, seeing, serendipity, style, surrealism, words, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Excuse me, is this the old folks’ table?…

  1. Haha! That was quite an experience. I reckon there IS an “old folks table” in every cafe – you know how older people are very particular about where they sit. Also its quite probably a regular time too, which is why the three older couple came in one after the other, because they do like routine. (Well, that could be a bit mean, because everyone likes a bit of routine in their lives I suppose)

  2. Dana Doran says:

    Speaking as one of the old folks, who’d prefer to think of herself elsewise, it happens (and it might help to review the lyrics of “2 AM” by Bear Hands) that coffee shops, like anything else, fall out of favor with younger groups and they move on to a more popular establishment…whereas all us old folks were looking for was a shot of caffeine so we can make it home! I so very much enjoy reading your blog….I suppose, because I am old, that it will become routine!

    • Dave Whatt says:

      Actually I am old too, but I pretend to not be…
      I’ll be there sitting at that window table soon – but on my own… Whoa!…
      Bear Hands – 2am – Whoa! (again)…

  3. P.S. There is no such thing as “old” Not since I found out about this 80 year old lady http://ernestineshepherd.net/

  4. I’m sat at the old folk’s table now, whittling a piece of iroko, with two cappuccini. Ho Ho!

  5. Claudia says:

    I’m so glad I’m partial to colors and bling!

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