Tuesday, January 30, 2007

When the Premier Stopped by ...

Chipperfield's is the kind of place, you just never know who might stop by to enjoy a coffee ... today The Premier of Manitoba, Gary Doer popped in for a coffee before attending a meeting in town ...

Today was one of those stranger than any fiction I could write moments ... I went up for coffee about 10:30 and sat at the table with J-- and a couple of other regulars. I was sitting with my back to the front door, but had a view of the door in the mirror behind J--'s head.

I heard the front door open, and glanced into the mirror to see who was coming in. I noticed a tall man with a very familiar face.

"Huh?" I said, "That's the premier ..." as all of us at the table turned and looked in disbelief ...

It was ... Premier Gary Doer had just strolled in the front door for a coffee ...

The first couple of pictures I took were with my cell phone camera (you can tell which ones those were ...), then I called home and asked the Mrs, to come for a hot apple cider and to bring my digital camera, ... I happily snapped a bunch of pictures of Gary and the folks in the shop to show Ross and Bonnie we weren't hallucinating ...

Gary sat for awhile with some of the regulars, and enjoyed a cup of Chipperfield's Own. In his own indominatible way, answered the many questions fielded to him by those sitting with him. Always the politician, he noted that his Government is aware of the challenges facing places like Minnedosa, and they have to balance the decisions they make with political and economic considerations ... and he noted that any decision will cost him votes one way or another ... Before he left he pressed the flesh and shook hands with all the folks in the shop ...
It wasn't a large crowd at Chipperfield's today, but they had the Premier's attention, and he sat and listened ...

Gary even offered to help the girls behind the counter filling orders ... he glanced around and noted that their set up was "a lot easier than when I had to serve tea on the passenger trains".

A Good Time was had by all ... and we appreciated Gary stopping by ... I hope he won't be a stranger, but will feel welcome to come back any time ... I also hope he enjoyed the visit as much as the rest of us did ...

... it just goes to show - when you have a quality establishment, you attract a quality crowd ... Too bad Bonnie and Ross were away ... Maybe next time !!??

More images of The Premier's Visit ...

J-- and The Premier

Garry Macdowell (town councillor) & The Premier

Gary and his advisor

Yes Ross, we had him sign

the Guest Book !!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Doing Our Part !!!!!!!!

It's a small thing ... the pink ribbon lid plug ...
... but when we gather enough
we can make a BIG Difference!!
PLEASE, join the initiative to raise
awareness and money for
Breast Cancer Research at
Chipperfield Coffee Company.
Bring your pink ribbon plugs back
and toss them in the jar ...
... and get ready to guess how many are there !!

J--'s Trivia 'n' Tidbits ... Part 13 ...

"So, did you see the article about the guy who made a down hill sled out of an easy chair?" asked J-- as he approached the table where two other regulars were sitting.

"Yeah, it was on the front page the other day wasn't it?" said one of the regulars.

"It was a pretty cool idea," said Kriss as she set down the cup and the tea pot, "I wouldn't mind trying to go down the hill in something like that ..."

"Looked crazy to me," said one of the regulars, "nailing crazy carpets to the bottom of an old chair and flying down the hill doesn't strike me as a good time."

"I dunno," said the other regular, "give me a cold one and the remote and it would be like sitting at home beside the Mrs, ..."

"Only safer," laughed J--, "the only risk flying down the hill is hitting something on the way down ... "

"Yeah sure," scoffed the first regular, "but I still wouldn't be planting my butt in a chair flying down some hill on a couple of yards of crazy carpets."

"Oh come on," said Kriss, "It's cool idea though ..."

With that, the J-- and the two regulars laughed and Kriss turned and headed back behind the counter to serve the next customer waiting to order.

"So, did you catch the follow up article in today's paper about the guy on the chair?" asked J--.

The two regulars shook their heads as J-- unfolded the newspaper and laid it on the table in front of them.

"Check this out," J--'s finger pointed to the headline on the page open in front of the regulars, "turns out the young fella was on probation and serving a term of house arrest at the time the picture was taken. Turns out he wasn't to be away from his place of residence."

"He was tobogganing when he should have been at home under house arrest?" marvelled the first regular.

"Yup," answered J--, a big smile crossing his face, "I can just see the judge choking on his cheerios in the morning when he opened the paper, saw the picture and and thought to himself - 'I put him under house arrest,' while he looked at the picture."

"Yeah and I bet the guy's probation officer flipped out too," observed the second regular.

"So, what happened to him?" asked the first regular.

"Oh, he turned himself in the day of the article," said J--, "He knew his goose was cooked. So, he walked into the court and faced the consequences of his own stupidity. It says he's serving some hard time now."

The two regulars chuckled as J-- grinned.

"Someone serving time in jail, isn't really funny," observed the second regular, "but the story is kind of funny."

"Well, maybe he'll use his time behind bars to accomplish something," said the first regular.

"Yeah," laughed J--, "he could use the workshops and courses to fine tune his creation and turn it into a unique business opportunity."

"He's got lots of time on his hands," said the second regular, "he might as well take advantage of it. At this point he really hasn't much to lose, and it might pay off when he comes out."

"True enough," laughed J--, "in my time working around the courts, I saw a lot of lunacy, but I have to admit this one was a new one. At first I had to wonder if he was playing with a full deck, but when you consider the ingenuity of his idea, I suppose he'll figure it out, and maybe he'll even turn himself around."

"One can always hope," said the first regular, lifting his mug in a toast to J--'s comments.

"Hey, any body who came up with the idea of tacking crazy carpets on an easy chair and flying down the hill, can't be a total idiot," said the second regular, "maybe he can turn it around."

"When you put it that way, I guess he could," observed J--, "like you said, 'one can always hope' ..."

Latte Art ... Check it out !!!

For more images of Latte Art,
check out Damn Cool Pictures' entry for
December 20th 2006 ...
or click on any of the pictures above.
Maybe the crew at Chipperfields' will be inspired
to let their creativity flow ...
... regardless though,
the coffee at Chipperfields is second to NONE!!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Overheard at Chipperfields' ... Part LXIII ... (part 3) ...

"So dahlin' where can I take y'all for a bite of dinner?" the stetson hatted rancher asked, standing before the gathered crowd of regulars and staff who were stunned into silence, "y'all know of some place nice 'round here?"

"Um ..." Jaydee swallowed, "I didn't expect to see you here again ..." her voice trailed off as her eyes glanced at Ross.

Ross had pulled his fedora down over his eyes and was looking at the floor about three inches in front of his feet.

"Oh dahlin' how could I stay away?" laughed the rancher in a deep southern accent, "y'all done beguiled me, and I juz't couldn't stay away ..."

"But I'm married," interupted Jaydee, suddenly regaining her momentum, and waving her left hand in front of her face. As she spoke the gathered crowd stood spell bound.

"Shoot," said the rancher, "I got me a dozen rings like that. All y'all need to do is swing by a jewellery store and plunk down a few bucks ... it don't mean a thing."

"Mine does," Jaydee protested, her voice sounding a little choked, "This is the real thing, and it means I can't go with your for dinner, and I can't ... I can't ..." Jaydee searched the crowd looking for anyone who might be able to rescue her from this insanity.

"Well, dahlin' that's a nice speech, but unless I meet this here hubby of yours face to face, I'm not gonna believe that y'all not making this up ..." the rancher glanced around the crowd, "so, is your hubby here, or has he let this filly out all by herse'lf where a poacher could lasso her?"

Jaydee searched the crowd looking for someone she could introduce as her spouse. Most of the men were old enough to be her father, or they weren't wearing a wedding band. Her eyes landed on The Rev, who was standing back near the Juke Box, smiling.

"This is my husband," Jaydee said, her voice bordering on a desperate screech. She reached out and put her arm through The Rev's and pulled him towards the counter.

"What the ..." The Rev sputtered, startled.

"Shut up and play along," hissed Jaydee in his ear, "Play along and I'll give you free coffee for ever ..."

The Rev smiled and nodded and meekly followed her to the counter.

"This is my husband," Jaydee lifted The Rev's left hand to show the Rancher a wedding band, then without even thinking or pausing she kissed him full on the lips. The crowd cat called in response, Ross' head snapped up and his eyes widened like saucers.

"Well, I'll be," muttered the rancher taking note of the cleric collar The Rev was wearing, "I wouldn't want to be taking a preacher's lady." He removed his hat and nodded his head slightly, "I'm awful sorry about all this Pastor. I meant no offense, it's just that wife of yours is one pretty lady."

"Um," The Rev struggled for words, "It's not a problem. Just a minor misunderstanding." He offered his right hand to the rancher, "no harm done."

"You're right there partner," the rancher said shaking The Rev's hand vigorously, "you're right."

The Rev smiled and glanced at Jaydee who was still clinging tightly to his arm and smiling a forced smile.

"Thank you," Jaydee's voice sounded relieved.

"You're welcome," The Rev offered back with a smile.

"Well, I think I need to be on my way," said the rancher lifting his stetson and nodding towards Jaydee, "I best be off again ..." He tipped his hat at Jaydee, "It's been a pleasure young lady."

"Well, bye," offered Jaydee after a moment of silence, "it was nice to meet y'all. Thanks for stopping by."

"Have you signed our guest book?" asked Ross, suddenly breaking free of his silence.

"Ross ..." Bonnie hissed as she smacked him on the shoulder.

"Yeap," answered the rancher, "I signed the book when this pretty young filly brought it out to me the other day ..." He smiled at Jaydee, whose eyes were wide, and whose face remained expressionless, "Y'all should know that she sure did do a good job of making me feel welcome." He again tipped his hat at Jaydee, then turned to leave.

"This is one fine establishment," he glanced around as he headed for the door, "but don y'all have lives and jobs and things to get on back to?" He shook his head and chuckled as he headed out the door.

There was a long pause before anyone spoke.

"Well I'll be damned," laughed J-- as he broke the silence, "I think that was pretty close to being one of the funniest things I've seen." He glanced at Ross still garbed in his purple hat and jacket, "and gawd knows I've seen some funny stuff." He laughed as he took in the vista of Ross dressed like a pimp.

The assembled crowd laughed as they began to find seats and move about in the store.

Jaydee's grip on The Rev's arm loosened slightly, she glanced up at him, "Thank you ..."

"You're welcome," he repeated, "but a biit of lead time would be appreciated next time," he observed.

"I hope there won't be a next time," said Jaydee glancing out the front window.

"Me too," added Bonnie.

"She was just being friendly to him ... OW !!" Ross winced as Bonnie pinched him on the arm.

"Ross, you're not helping," snapped Bonnie.

"Sorry dear," answered Ross as he looked down, "but do you like my new look?"

Bonnie stared at Ross wordlessly then slowly shook her head with disdain.

"Oh?" gulped Ross.

"Now about that coffee?" asked The Rev glancing down at Jaydee with a smile, "I remember hearing something about it being for free?"

Jaydee smiled warmly, a look of relief passed over her face. "Absolutely," she said as she squeezed The Rev's arm and released it, "absolutely ..."

J--'s Trivia 'n' Tidbits ... Part 12 ...

"So, did you see the article in the paper today about the drunk jury member?" asked J-- with a broad smile as he approached the table, the newpaper tucked under his arm.

"A drunk member of the jury?" asked one of the regulars, looking dumbstruck, "I've heard of judges being a bit under the weather, so too speak, but a member of the jury?"

J-- smiled broadly as he sat down at the table and unfolded the newspaper ont he table in front of him, "Says here that the woman had straight vodka in the water bottle she was sipping from through the day."

"That right?" said the second regular, "how's they find out what she was drinking?"

"She got rude and belligerent," said J--, pausing to thank Dani who brought out his tea pot and mug, "until then she was just quiet and giggly, then when the deliberation started, she became disruptive, uncooperative and eventually just passed out in the jury's room."

The two regulars started laughing, as J-- sipped his tea.

"Would make the outcome of the trial interesting," observed the first regular.

"Judge threw the case out and ordered a re-trial," said J-- smiling.

"What about double jeopardy?" asked the second regular.

"Doesn't apply here," observed J-- seriously, "everyone involved in the case did their jobs well, the problem was a juror, so the judge can order a retrial."

"I wonder who was winning before the juror passed out?" asked the first regular.

"Who passed out?" asked The Rev as he approached the table, a mug of Chipperfield Blend Coffee in his hand.

"Oh some juror in a court case in the states," answered J-- smiling, "turns out her water bottle was filled with vodka.

"That so," said The Rev, as he sat down, "I had something similar happen back in my first days in ministry."

"Really?" asked J--, his interest piqued, "you were packing around a water bottle full of vodka?"

"No, nothing like that," laughed The Rev, "when I first went into the First Nations' community on the west coast, I went down to the river one day and found a group of guys sitting around drinking out of cream soda bottles. I asked if I could have a sip, and they rather sheepishly said - 'sure'. I took a sip and realized that their cream soda had more than just cream or soda in it."

J-- slapped the table and laughed, "gin or vodka?" He asked.

"Vodka," answered The Rev.

"It's an old trick, though it works better in grape crush," laughed J--.

"Eew," said the first regular, "I heard root beer was best."

"Whatever," interupted The Rev, "back to my story," he was shaking his head as he spoke, "I made some comment about there being more than just cream soda in the bottles, and all the boys took sips and one of them yelled out - 'it's a miracle, The Rev has turned our cream soda into alcohol !!' and they all started saying - 'praise God, praise God ...' and tossed out more than a few 'Amens'."

J-- and the regulars laughed. "You turned their water into wine Rev," chortled J--.

"That's what the boys said," answered The Rev, "and for all these years I thought it was true. But after this," his finger rested on the newspaper article, "I have my doubts ..." His face had a broad smile.

The four men at the table all laughed together.

"Oh we know you can do miraculous things Rev," said J--, "we're just not sure what they are ..."

Monday, January 22, 2007

Overheard at Chipperfields' ... Part LXIII (part 2) ...

Jaydee glanced at her watch. It was 4:30 and her shift ended at 5, and Ross had yet to make an appearance.

Adeline noticed Jaydee looking at the time and chimed in, "He will be here you know?"

"Pardon?" replied Jaydee, looking slightly confused.

"I said, Ross will be here," said Adeline, "He doesn't usually come in until later on Saturdays."

"Oh, I know," said Jaydee, "I also asked him to come in this afteroon to talk to him about a promotion idea I had, remember?" her eyes sparkled as she noticed Ross walking across in front of the big picture windows. Her smile widened as J--, The Rev and a couple of other regulars appeared in front of the store and started coming in.

"I see all your phone calls worked," said Dani as she and Kriss walked out from the kitchen at the back, the two of them noting the small crowd that was forming on the sidewalk outside.

"Remind me to never get on your bad side," laughed Kriss with a slight smile.

"Ross, isn't on my bad side," said Jaydee, "Yet !" She paused as she glanced out the window, noting that the small crowd was making its way to the front door, "but I want him squirm a little bit."

Kriss and Dani laughed, Adeline smiled as she retreated behind the counter to greet the group of regulars as they entered.

Ross and the others entered the store laughing and joking around. J-- winked at Jaydee, and Jaydee lowered her chin as she smiled, glancing at the box tucked behind the counter, out of view. In a moment the pieces would be in place for her gifting.

"Hi Ross," Adeline offered cheerily, "can I get you anything?"

"Nay," said Ross, glancing over at Kriss and Dani standing by the sink behind the counter, "I'm here to work ... sort of ..." His voice trailed off as he tried to make sense of why so many staff were on. Then noting that neither Dani or Kriss were wearing their uniforms he asked, "What brings you two in here today?"

"Oh I just came in for coffee," answered Dani, "I've been in town shopping."

"And I've been waiting for Craig," answered Kriss, waving her engagement ring idly before her.

Ross nodded, then turned and noted the unusualy large number of regulars who were in the shop on a Saturday afternoon. He failed to note the thump of the back door of the shop. Suddenly the entire staff was standing in the ktichen door, and Bonnie was standing in front of the ice cream cooler.

It took Ross a moment to register the unusually large number of staff and customers in the shop. Then as the penny dropped his face took on a shocked, and slightly frightened expression, "Okay, what the heck is up?" he asked in a harsh whisper.

Bonnie smiled and nodded at Jaydee who leaned down behind the counter and pulled out the box she had carried into the store earlier in the day.

"Ross, you always tell us that we need to be friendly to the customers, and invite them to sign the guest book," said Jaydee surpressing a laugh, "and after my experience yesterday with the two American Ranchers, I decided that you needed a gift."

"Yeah," interupted Kriss, "something to honour your role as a business man." The last two words seemed to be dripping in sarcasm.

"Business man?" Ross repeated as he swallowed, sensing that some ill wind was suddenly blowing through his day.

"Yeah Ross," Jaydee said, her face tight and serious, "a business man who looks after a number of women in the hospitality business ..." Her voice trailed off as she began to open the box.

Ross stood before her mute, his eyes wide, and his mouth hanging open. He was for the moment speechless.

J-- let out a sharp wolf whistle as Jaydee lifted from the box an enormous oversized, fuzzy, bright PURPLE fedora with a zebra patterned hat band that encircled the hat above the wide brim ...

"Ross," Jaydee surpressed a smile, "On behalf of YOUR girls, we want to give you this hat in honour of your new position as a hospitality manager for the Coffee Shop ..." as she spoke she leaned over and placed the hat firmly on his head. Ross' face reddened in contrast to the bright purple of the hat, "and, to help enhance your status and your wardrobe we also want to give you this ..." Her voice trailed off as she pulled out a thick Silver chain.

As she pulled the chain clear of the box a massive pendant that was sparkling with zirconium chips and read - "Da Boss".

The crowd in the shop laughed as Jaydee leaned over and put the pendant around Ross' neck, but before Ross could reply, she spoke, "and of course any self-respecting business man in your new line of work has to show the world how successful he is ..." Her voice again trailed off as she reached into the box and extracted another item from the box.

With a flourish she pulled out and snapped a shiny leopard skin patterned vest which she wordlessly put on Ross, who was offering no opposition. Then as her piece d'resistance, Jaydee, pulled from the box a wide lapelled sports coat in the same bright purple as the fedora. A round of applause greeted her placing the jacket on Ross, over the leopard skin patterened vest.

Ross stood quietly, saying nothing as the assembled crowd hooted, clapped and stomped their feet at the sight of Ross looking very much the part of an urban business man.

The flash of a camera snapped Ross' head to the right as he looked toward Bonnie who was happily snapping away pictures of Ross in his new uniform. Her picture taking continued as Kriss, Jaydee, Dani and Tracy all planted bright red lipstick kiss marks on his cheeks.

Ross opened his mouth to speak, but remined silent as he looked around the shop and noted the enjoyment the customers and staff were having at his expense. He simply shrugged and smiled broadly with the slaps to the back he was recieving from The Rev, J--, and some of the other regulars who were now shaking their head and smiling in delight.

Suddenly the shop fell silent as a cowboy hatted gentleman strolled in the front door. Jaydee's jaw dropped as one of her ranchers strolled in the front door with a broad smile across his face.

"Why, Hell-O Jaydee dahlin'," he said as he strolled up to the counter, "I was kinda hoping I would find y'all here."

Jaydee's face lost all emotion as her eyes widened and she glanced at Ross with a panicked look.

The rancher followed her gaze and noticed the unusual garb that Ross was wearing. He didn't speak, but instead raised an eyebrow and almost imperceptably shook his head in distain. His eyes met Ross'. Ross looking as shocked as Jaydee, merely shrugged and pulled his new fedora down over his eyes as he glanced away.

Jaydee looked that others in the shop for help, inspiration or a means of escape. In that moment none was forthcoming.

"Well, dahlin'" the rancher spoke in a heavy southern accent, "y'all didn't return any o' my calls, so I thought I could swing on back here and see if I could take you out for dinner pretty lady ..."

His words hung in the air as Jaydee struggled to utter a reply ...

(to be continued)

J--'s Trivia 'n' Tidbits ... Part 11 ...

"Did you see the article in the paper today about the group of people in the States who are suing Pfizer over the little blue pill?" J-- asked as he approached the table where a couple of the regulars were sitting enjoying their coffees.

"What it didn't work for them?" chuckled one of the regulars, as the other sipped his coffee.

"Nay," said J-- as he sat down and waited as Kriss brought out his tea, "nothing like that. It seems that the little blue pill worked a bit too well."

"What the heck does that mean?" asked the second regular, setting down his coffee and watching as Kriss brought J-- his tea.

"Morning gentleman," said Kriss with a broad smile, "what are we talking about this morning?"

"The little blue pill," answered the first regular, "you know the one from Pfizer."

"Really?" said Kriss as she arched one eye brow and looked at J-- with a smirk.

"Hey?" snapped J-- laughing, "We're not talking about the little blue pill personally, I was just telling them about the law suit that some group in the US have launched against Pfizer over the little blue pill." The last syllables were stressed heavily.

"Yeah," laughed Kriss, "sure. Likely story." She turned and walked away smiling and chuckling.

"It's not about me," protested J--, holding up the newspaper, "it's about an article in here." He waved the paper as he spoke.

"Sure, sure," said Kriss, "I believe you." Her voice was dripping in sarcasm.

"Man," J--, shook his head and smiled, "now she's gonna think I'm on the blue pill."

"Are you?" asked the second regular.

"Not telling one way or the other," said J--.

"So, back to this law suit," said the first regular, "what does the article say?"

"Oh yeah," said J--, looking slightly startled, "I had forgotten about the article." He opened the paper and unfolded it searching out the article, "It's right here," his finger pointed at a small article, "it says that the company was marketing the pill to social circles where it would be used to enhance 'one's sexual prowess'."

"Really?" scoffed the first regular.

"Really!!" answered J--, "they claim that Pfizer encouraged the recreational use of the little blue pill and as a result gay men on the party circuit used it and exposed themselves to HIV and AIDS and other STDs, and now they want to sue Pfizer."

"STDs?" asked the first regular.

"Sexually transmitted diseases," answered J--, his voice expressing his disbelief.

"NOW what are you talking about?" asked Kriss, who had just approached the table to clear off the empty cups.

J-- winced, "we're still talking about the article in the newspaper." His voice sounded more like a plea than a statement.

"Sure, sure," Kriss' face was fighting back a smile, "little blue pills, STDs ... " she paused as she feigned shock, "I don't want to expose my tender ears to such talk ..." she tightened her mouth as she fought back a smile, "THIS is a family place you know ..."

The two regulars laughed as J--, smiled broadly and just shook his head.

"I'm telling you," J-- pleaded, "It's all in the article ..." his finger pointed a the newspaper sitting on the table in front of him, "we're talkign about the article."

"Sure, sure," snickered Kriss as she turned back towards the kitchen, her shoulders shaking from her surpressed laughter.

J-- was left shaking his head and smiling.

"So, about that article," said the first regular, "these guys use the blue pill and now they want the drug company held responsible for their stupidity and foolishness?"

"They want to sue the company?" asked the second regular.

"Yup," answered J--, "they claim that they wouldn't have engaged in such high risk behaviour if it hadn't been for the advertisements encouraging them to use the blue pill recreationally in a reckless manner."

"You're serious about this?" said the first regular.

"It's right here," J--'s finger landed on the article. The first regular leaned over and began reading the article and chuckled.

"It's too bad for the guys who got infected," said the first regular shaking his head, "but how can the company be held responsible?"

"The ads on TV say clearly that the pill doesn't prevent any transmittable diseases," said the second regular.

"Really?" snickered J-- with a broad smile, "you been watching the ads?"

"Watching the ads," said the second regular, "but I didn't say I needed, nor used the pill ..." He lifted his coffee and took a sip as he smiled and winked. The three men laughed.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Helping Breast Cancer Research:

Today at the real life Chipperfield Coffee Company, Bonnie and Ross launched a new awareness and fundraising initiative ... Behold: The Breast Cancer Research Stix To Go, for our coffee cup lids !!

Gone are the red, blue, green and purple shaped lid plugs, and in their place are these lovely pink ribbon festooned lid plugs that remind us of an important issue that touches the lives of women of all ages ... Breast Cancer is something that touches every life in some way ... we all know survivors and sufferers ... and because of that, we all need to be part of the support for Research into preventing and treating this disease.

Today, Chipperfield Coffee Company took the plunge - not only are the small white lid plugs a very visual reminder to the customers and the community of the importance of this issue, the large jar under the microwave by the jukebox machine, by the computer is a way of raising awareness, and in time, money for Breast Cancer Research: Each time the jar is filled, Chipperfield Coffee Company will make a donation to Breast Cancer Research in honour of their loyal customers who have brought back the white plastic lid plugs, rather than simply tossing them out ... So, in the coming days, tuck that lid plug into your pocket and bring it back.

It sounds cliche - but Cancer can be beaten ... all it needs is you and I each doing our part ... and at Chipperfield's it's as simple as saving a little piece of plastic and tucking it into a jar !!!

Thanks Bonnie and Ross ... This idea is a GOOD ONE !!!

Overheard at Chipperfields' ... Part LXIII ...

Jaydee came back from her lunch break with a parcel tucked under her arm.

"What's in the bag?" asked Adeline, brushing a stray clump of blonde hair out of her eyes.

"A gift for Ross," snapped Jaydee, her face set and noticably unsmiling.

"He do something wrong?" asked Adeline.

"Not him," said Jaydee as she rounded the counter, the parcel still tucked under her arm, "just his dumb ideas."

"What's he done this time," asked Adeline, leaning against the counter, the spray bottle of sanitizer in hand, "another one of his crazy schemes or something?"

"No nothing like that," Jayee's face softened into a smile, "It's just ..." she paused and put the parcel down, "you know how Ross is always saying we need to remember to be friendly to the customers and chat with them when we are serving them?"

"Yeah," Adeline's eyes widened, "what happened?"

"Well," Jaydee looked around the store, the only customers were a couple of the women who come in each afternoon for tea. They were out of earshot, so she continued, "yesterday there were two American tourists in here."

"The ranchers?" asked Adeline, her eyes widening even more, "the big guys with the cowboy books and the cowboy hats."

"That's them," Jaydee paused, "you weren't working. How did you know about them?"

"They came in last night when I was on," said Adeline, "and they were looking for you."

Jaydee gasped, "You're kidding?" Adeline shook her head.

"They were looking for me last night too?" Jaydee's voice was a loud whisper, "what did you tell them?"

"It wasn't me that talked to them," said Adeline, "it was Tracy, and she told them you were off for a couple of days."

"Oh," Jaydee sounded relieved, "thank God. I was worried for a moment."

"So, tell me about yesterday?" urged Adeline, her hands gripping the spray bottle as though she were about to strangle it. "What happened?"

"Well, these two guys come in," said Jaydee, "the two cowboys. And I know right away that they aren't from around here. Their accents alone gave them away. So, like Ross says all the time, I asked them to sign the guest book."

"So, we ask people to sign the guest book all the time," observed Adeline, "what's the big deal about that?"

"It wasn't the signing of the guest book that was the problem," said Jaydee quietly, "it was the conversation around the signing that was."

Adeline's face had no expression, "I don't get it." she said quietly.

"You will," replied Jaydee, "you will."

Jaydee stepped up to the counter and served a customer a large Chipperfield to go, before continuing, "So, these two guys invite me to sit down with them while they are signing the guest book. And they start chatting with me. I foolishly ask, 'what brings you to Canada?' and it turns out they both are looking to buy some ranch land up here, and so heard West Man was a good place to start looking."

"So?" said Adeline, looking bewildered slightly.

"It was the obvious attempt to pick me up that was the problem," said Jaydee her eyes glaring at Adeline.

"Pick you up?" Adeline said clearly confused, "but you're married. Why would they try to pick ..." her voice trailed off as her mouth formed a soundless 'O', "Oh I get it now!" She exclaimed.

"Exactly," said Jaydee, now smirking slightly, "these two were trying to pick me up right here in the store, all because I followed Ross' crazy edict that we need to chat up the customers and flirt with the a bit."

"Flirt with them?" marvelled Adeline, "he's never told ME to flirt with them."

"Okay, not exactly flirt with them," said Jaydee shaking her head, "those are my words not his. But you know what I mean. Ross wants us to be extra friendly to our customers and to make them feel special and important."

Adeline shrugged,"I guess it does sound like flirting doesn't it?"

Jaydee nodded her head in agreement, "So, anyway, these two guys both invite me to come along with them as they look at ranches and land and so on, then they offer to take me out for dinner and maybe some dancing in Brandon or somewhere."

Adeline's eyes were again wide with wonder, "Did you go?"

"NO!" hissed Jaydee under her breath, "but they wouldn't take no for an answer. They wanted to know what time I was off, and what my number was and so on."

"Why didn't you tell them you were married?" asked Adeline.

"I don't think they cared one way or another," said Jaydee, "they had one thing on their minds and it was ME."

"Wow," Adeline's mouth formed another 'O'. "Did you tell Ross about it?"

"Yeah," said Jaydee, her mouth forming a frown, "and he just laughed. He thought it was big joke or something. I told him about it and he said he was just trying to pimp us out for extra profits for the company."

"Seriously," Adeline's face was filled with shock and wonder, "He said that?"

"He was kidding," said Jaydee, doing her best to reassure Adeline, "but he didn't see the problem with the two cowboys trying to pick me up. He said 'consider it a compliment' and just laughed."

"So why are you giving him a gift?" Adeline motioned to the parcel Jaydee was holding, "if he's not taking you seriously is it a good idea to give him a present after all that?"

"Oh this present is more than a good idea," laughed Jaydee, "afterall, if he wants to pimp us out, he might as well look the part ..." Her voice trailed off as a customer came up to the counter and ordered a specialty latte. Adeline shook her head and went out to clear off the tables and use the spray bottle she had been holding so tightly.

(to be continued ...)

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Overheard at Chipperfields ... Part LXII ...

Ross pushed the button on the handset and slammed it down on the counter beside with the cash register with more force then he intended. Beside him Madeline jumped, Kriss, working behind him by the espresso machine turned and gave him a glare.

"Easy cowboy," Kriss said looking over her shoulder, "just cause you're sleeping with boss doesn't mean you can trash the place." She paused for a moment, "that is assuming you aren't sleeping on the couch ..." a broad smile crossed her face.

"Har Har," said Ross, as he blushed slightly, "I didn't mean to slam down the phone, but the call just made me mad."

"Talking to The Rev again?" asked Madeline, with a smirk.

"No," Kriss turned and put two specialty lattes on the counter for her customer with a smile, "The Rev isn't talking to Ross since the whole Prairie Spring Ministry fiasco."

"That's not true," said Ross, his voice resembling a bleat, "he is talking to me ..." He paused as he considered his next statement, "we just don't talk about certain things ..."

"Like anything beyond the weather?" taunted Kriss with a smile.

"So, what was the call about?" asked Madeline, "anything important?"

"Not really," answered Ross, looking relieved by the shift in direction, he glanced around the store before continuing, "it was my son. You know the one who has been having problems with the former secretary at his office."

Both women nodded.

"Well, it turns out that she's been still spreading rumours about him, and has threatened to go to the police about him," Ross shrugged as he finished.

"About him?" said Kriss with a laugh, "you gotta love people like that. They have their problems and instead of looking in the mirror and dealing with their crap, they want to pull everyone else down to thier level." She turned her attention to cleaning the espresso machine as she shook her head.

Ross' eyebrows raised, "that was profound," he sputtered, "and a little scary coming from you of all people ..." his voice trailed off.

"Oh, I've been there," said Kriss, "I've lived through the horrors of small town gossip." She shook her head again, "most of it is nonsense and hurtful and comes from small minded spite filled people who will never achieve anything in their life, and try to destroy others as a result of it ..."

Ross interupted her, his jaw hanging open, "What?" He sputtered again, "where are you getting all of this?"

"I'm just naturally brilliant Ross," Kriss' face was dead pan, her blue eyes sparkling with underlying mirth, "you should know that by now ..."

For a long moment no one spoke, a slight smile danced at the corners of Kriss' mouth, but she resisted.

Ross simply shook his head and turned to retreat into the kitchen at the back. As he left Kriss' face broke into a broad smile.

"Where DID you learn all that?" asked Madeline, her eyes wide with wonder.

"Oh it was in a book that The Rev recommended in his blog," said Kriss with a smile, "it's about working with psychopaths and how to deal with them ..."

"OH," Madeline nodded her head in understanding, "I saw that too. You read it?"

"Parts of it," said Kriss, "I was at the library when he brought it back so I signed it out."

"Good book?" asked Madeline.

"Not bad," answered Kriss, "but a bit frightening. It makes you realize what kind of mess screwed up people can create when no one stops them."

"Oh yeah," said Madeline nodding in agreement.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Overheard at Chipperfields' ... Part LXI ...

"So," J-- approached the table where a couple of other regulars were seated, "how's things?"

"Good," answered the first.

"Fine," answered the second as he turned and glanced out the window, "you driving new wheel?" his thumb hitched towards the window as he turned back.

J-- grinned like a cheshire cat, "Yeah, ain't she sweet?"

"That the car you've been waiting for all this time," asked The Rev as he approached the table, coffee in hand.

J--'s grin widened, "Absolutely," he sat down at the table with his tea, "nice aint it?"

"I guess," said The Rev as he sat at the table, "for an import."

"What?" squawked J--, "an 'Import' !! Why that's a product of some of the finest European engineering."

"Saw you fiddling with glove box," said The Rev quietly, "problem with the engineering?"

"You saw that?" said J--, his eyes narrowing, "when?"

"When you were pulling up," said The Rev, "is there a problem with the glove box?"

"The latch is broken," J--'s shoulders sagged slightly, "I closed it too hard this morning. And with the cold and everything ..."

"Fine European engineering," snorted the first regular. The Rev raised his eyebrows and smiled as he lifted his coffee to his lips and took a sip.

"You guys," snapped J--, "none of you know a fine car when you see it. That," he paused as he pointed out the window, "is one of the finest automobiles ever put on the road. And when I'm filling up behind restaurants for cheap, don't come crying to me."

"So you like the french fry wagon then?" asked the second regular.

"Don't be calling it a french fry wagon," laughed J--, "it's a highly tuned diesel hybrid."

"French Fry Wagon," chimed the two regulars and The Rev simultaneously.

"Hey," called Jay-dee with a smile from behind the counter, "If you don't simmer down, I'll have to throw you all out ..." her eyes narrowed into a stern expression that was tempered by the smile she was trying to surpress. She glanced around the busy store before heading over to the table. As she approached she asked, "what are you guys arguing about anyway?"

"Oh we're not arguing," answered The Rev, waving his hand towards J--, "we're just discussing J--'s hot new wheels."

"You FINALLY GOT YOUR CAR??" Jay-dee exploded excitedly, "Really?"

"Shhhhhh," said J--, waving his hand at her, "otherwise, we'll have to throw YOU out ..." he laughed as he spoke, "yes, I got my car," he looked out the front window, "it's sitting out there."

"I can't believe it," said Jay-dee excitedly, "you've been waiting months for that car."

"Months?" scoffed the first regular, "it seems like he's been waiting since they lifted the war time embargo on Volk-vagens for that car," his voice emphasising the Teutonic pronounciation of Volkswagen.

"Har, har" smiled J--, "you guys are just too funny." He turned to Jay-dee who was smiling broadly, "I guess you've earned the first ride."

"You can pick me up at 4 when I'm done work," she said very excitedly with a broad smile, "I can hardly wait."

"It's only a car," observed The Rev dryly, "and it's a small car to boot."

"It's a precision piece of German engineering ..." J-- began only to be cut off by the second regular.

"Yeah and Hyundai, really is Korean for reliable," he said.

"And IKEA really is Swedish for common sense," observed the first regular.

"Funny," said J-- smiling as he shook is head, "very very funny ..."

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Overheard at Chipperfields' ... Part LX ...

The door opened and closed with a loud whump, partially from the wind, and paritally from the speed at which Ross entered the store.

"Is he here?" Ross asked as he rounded the counter.

"Who?" asked Bonnie, looking up at Ross, "and why are you coming in the front door?"

"The Rev," answered Ross, glancing around the seating area and nodding at J--, who was in his usual spot by the wall, "Is The Rev here?"

"Haven't seen him yet this morning," answered J--, smiling.

"Ross!" Bonnie's voice was sharp and had a parental tone, "Why are you flying in the front door like you've seen a ghost? AND why are you looking for The Rev."

"I think he's trying to avoid The Rev," answered Jaydee, fighting not to laugh.

Ross was glancing around the store and out the front windows much like a caged animal will pass and glance about nervously.

"Ross," Bonnie again snapped, "calm down will you. The Rev isn't here, and you don't have to be afraid of him anyway."

"I would be so sure about the last part," said J--, now laughing, "and it is almost 10 o'clock, so The Rev is due in anytime." J-- paused for effect, before finishing his thought, "if he comes in today."

Ross glanced nervously out the front window as though he expected The Rev to suddenly materialize on the sidewalk out side.

"Why are you so worked up?" asked J--, as he stood and walked towards the counter where Ross was standing before Bonnie and Jaydee, "and what's in the box."

"Umm," Ross glanced out the front window for the umpteenth time, "I'm not worked up," he stammered his words slightly, "I just want to show him my latest idea."

"Oh God Ross, what are you doing now?" groaned Bonnie, "did you just get The Rev settled down after you Prairie Spring Ministries idea?"

"Hey, we're still making good money off of that," answered J--, motioning to the pile of envelopes he had been opening at the table by the wall.

"So, that's what you were up to over there," Bonnie spoke in a low monotone voice, bordering on a growl, "I kind of wondered if you were in cahoots with Ross."

"This isn't a ministry idea," said Ross pulling the small cardboard box tighter under his arm.

"Then what is it?" said Bonnie, her eyes narrowing.

"A sales opportunity," answered Ross, holding the box tightly.

"What kind of a sales opportunity Ross?" asked Bonnie, her voice sounding out each syllable concisely, much like the computer voice in 2001 A Space Odyssey.

"Let me see," said J--, snatching the box out from under Ross' arm and pulling it open in one fluid motion. He gasped as he opened the box and then began laughing as he withdrew a small yellow box from within, "are you planning on selling these?"

J-- held aloft a Jesus Bobble-head doll in a bright yellow box.

"Ross !!" Bonnie gasped.

"Oh My God," snorted Jaydee.

"Let me explain," offered Ross in a choked voice, "it's not like it seems."

"It's not like it seems," answered Bonnie incredulously, "if it's not what it seems, then what is IT?"

"Umm," Ross hesitated as he tried to find the right words, "well, you know the advertising campaign that the United Church is doing," around him all three heads nodded, "and you know how The Rev is quite taken with the campaign and the Jesus Bobble-heads?" again heads nodded in assent, "well, I just thought that ..."

"Please tell me you just bought him one for a gift," Bonnie's voice bordered on a plea.

"Well," Ross paused, "we could give him one as a gift ..."

Bonnie interupted him, "WE??" she snapped, "what do you mean WE?"

"I," Ross corrected himself, "I could give him one as a gift, but I thought we could sell them as part of the Prairie Spring Ministries."

"I thought you shut that down?" Bonnie's voice was like a gutteral hiss, "You DID shut it down didn't you?"

"Well," Ross glanced at J--.

"Hey, leave me out of this mess," J-- raised his hands as he shrugged his shoulders, "I never thought it was a good idea, I only agreed to open the mail and deposit the cheques."

Bonnie's eyes narrowed again as she glared at J--, then she turned her withering glare to Ross, "what do YOU have to say for yourself."

"Nothing," said Ross, swallowing, "I just thought that if we had something like this," his finger pointed to the bobble head sitting on the table, "that we could attract a whole new demographic to the ministry web site."

"Oh God," Bonnie groaned and held on to the post beside the till for support, "you can't be serious about this can you?"

Jaydee's eyes widened, her face fighting off a smile, she glanced at J-- who was grinning like the Cheshire Cat. When their eyes met, they both burst out laughing. Bonnie shot Jaydee a glare.

"I wouldn't want to fire you," Bonnie snarled at Jaydee, and glancing at J-- she added, "and I wouldn't want to throw you out." In reply both Jaydee and J-- burst out laughing again.

"Bonnie," Ross' voice was definitely a plea, "Hear me out."

"Oh I'll hear you out," snapped Bonnie, "then I might throw you and your toys out." She paused and her face suddenly changed as though she had a very new and very ominous thought, "Ross." Bonnie paused as though she were measuring her words, "HOW many of those thing did you order?" Her hand motioned to the bobble-head.

"A few?" offered Ross, looking nervous.

"A few?" replied Bonnie, looking unconvinced.

"A couple of dozen?" offered Ross.

"A couple of dozen," said Bonnie, "how many exactly is a couple of dozen?"

"A hundred, or so ..." ventured Ross, his eyes avoiding Bonnie's.

"A hundred?" Bonnie shrieked, "How much are they?"

"With that number, I got them wholesale," offered Ross hopefully.

"How much?" Bonnie's voice returned to the Hal-like tone.

"Seven bucks each," said Ross.

"Canadian?" asked Bonnie, her eyes widening.

"Um," Ross paused before he continued, "American."

"Oh God," said Bonnie her hand tightening on the post, "Ross, how could you?"

"We'll sell them for 15," said Ross, his voice sounding hopeful, "and I bought them with the money we've taken in from the Prairie Springs Ministry. It didn't cost a us a dime."

"That IS true," said J--, the smile still plastered on his face, "there's been a serious amount of money taken in from the sales of the merchandise and the holy water packets."

"I thought you weren't going to do THAT!?" Bonnie's statement was more of question than a statement, "I thought you to The Rev you were shutting it down."

"Well, we were going to ..." said Ross as the front door opened. All four heads turned to see The Rev strolling in the front door. The smile on his face faded as he saw the four of them standing by the counter together, then he noticed the bobble-head sitting on the table and his eye brows furrowed.

"Oh God, now what?" asked The Rev his hand lifting the Bobble-head.

"Oh you don't want to know ..." said Jaydee, her eyes wide with wonder, and her lips fighting back a smile, "you really don't want to know."

Ross smiled and swallowed ...

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Some Blogs to check out over Coffee:

Whether you're sitting in Chipperfields' at the Internet station, or at home - I would humbly offer the trio of blogs listed below as places to check out ... they are worth the visit:

1) Damn Cool Pics - Cool, funny, crazy and weird pictures and videos loaded daily - or so the creator claims. The site has a veritable wealth of images and just plain funky pictures that are fun, entertaining and simply fascinating. I particularly like the recent Beer Can Truck series and the Images of Spheres ... wonderfully creative ... Check it out: Damn Cool Pics

2) Post Secret - an ongoing art project wherein people are encouraged to write out their secrets on a post card and send them in ... It's fascinating, disturbing and at times shocking. I've laughed, I've cried and I've gasped - it is an amazing site that is updated each Sunday and is well worth the visit ... Check it out: PostSecret

3) Aerophant (saving the best till last) - a collection of "fleeting observation, very short stories, brief histories and amazing tales of derring do", Aerophant is one of the newest blogs to his the net. Created and maintained by a talented and creative American woman currently living in California, it is a place with HUGE potential. Tai has just gotten started through the encouragement of Katie, the creator of At the Half Note (there is a lovely introduction over on Katie's Blog), and the site has enormous potential. Tai is a creative soul and a great writer to boot, so visit it and just savour her undertaking (as a book collector - I particularly enjoy one of her latest postings) ... Check it out: Aerophant