Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Pssst ...

It's JayDee's Birthday !!!
Have a Happy One !!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Overheard at Chipperfields' ... Part LXX ...

Dani, JayDee, The Rev and J-- were standing across the street in front of the Hardware store watching as the fire men entered and exited the front doors of the store. Wisps of smoke were still curling out the door that was propped open by one of the iron chairs used outside in the summer time.

"I knew I shouldn't have played a country song," said The Rev, trying to smile slightly, "I always said it was just bad news ..."

"Not really funny Rev," said JayDee, "how are we going to tell Ross and Bonnie about this?"

"Well, if this doesn't smoke them out of their basement, nothing will," said J--, his face looking serious, "pardon the pun ..." a slight smile crosed his lips.

As they stood with a group of folks from the community they noticed the fire chief heading across the road. He had removed his fire helmet and was carrying it tucked under his arm. He was wearing a forced smile as he approached. He nodded at J-- and The Rev as he stepped up in front of JayDee and Dani.

"The fire's out," he said flatly, "it looks like the juke box is toast and the pictures on the wall around it are gone, but we managed to get it out before it did too much damage." He paused briefly, "You're just lucky a couple of us were up at the station when this was called in, or it would have been a total lose."

"Like the Church," said The Rev shaking his head.

"Pretty much," said the Chief, "I'd hate to think about losing another Main Street institution."

"So, how bad is it?" asked Dani, shivering from standing outside without her coat.

"It's not as bad as it could be," said the Chief, "but it's pretty bad. There's a lot of smoke damage. But the place looks prett good. Nothing a good clean up and a coat of paint and some repairs couldn't set straight."

"When can we go in?" asked JayDee, biting her lip, "and when can we get the cleaners in?"

As she spoke the firemen dragged the charred remains of the juke box out and dumped it unceremoniously on the street in front of the store. The stepped away as one of thier comrades hosed the juke box down.

"So, what happened?" asked J--, "can you tell anything?"

"Well, I took a look in the Juke Box and it looks like whoever tuned it up used a fair bit of lubricant and oil, and my guess would be that that stuff overheated and lit up. The 45s in there would have lit up like a christmas tree, and the rest is ..." he exhaled, "your just lucky it wasn't worse."

"So can we go in?" asked JayDee, "to atleast lock up the cash and get out coats?"

"Oh sure," the chief said, "the fire marshall happened to be in town, and he's cleared the site already. The only loose end right now is contacting the owners of the building, and Bonnie and Ross so they can get the insurance involved."

"So, we can go in?" asked JayDee, her face serious, her eyes wide.

"Yeah sure," said the Chief, "come with me." He turned and headed back across the street. JayDee and Dani followed the Chief, JayDee turned and noticed The Rev and J-- were standing on the curb not moving.

"Come on you two," she said shaking her head, "you're part of the family."

Together the four of them followed the Chief across the street, past the remains of the juke box and in the front door. The interior of the store was dark, and the distinct smell of smoke caused them to gasp and cough.

"Gee, I didn't think I'd smell this again anytime soon," said The Rev as he stepped in the door and looked around.

"This isn't quite as bad as the Church," observed the Chief.

"No this is like the episode of Happy Days when Arnolds burned down," observed JayDee taking in the darkened tableau spread before her, "Where do we even begin?" a slight tear formed in her eye.

"I'd call Cascade Cleaning in Brandon," said the Chief, "they could be up here tonight and you could be up and running again in a couple of days."

"Don't I have to wait for Ross and Bonnie to open the Insurance claim?" asked JayDee.

"Well, if you explain the situation to them," said the Chief, "they might start the clean up so you can get back up and running. But I don't know. It wouldn't hurt to ask."

"So, do we need to find Ross and Bonnie?" asked Dani.

"I could drive up to their house and let them know," said J-- with a laugh.

"Not Funny," said JayDee flatly, "what if they really aren't at the house? What do we do then?"

"We could email them," suggested Dani helpfully, "I'm sure they'll figure something is up when they sign on to the security camera and don't see anything." Her hand waved toward where the camera once was. It was then that all of them noticed the charred and melted line of memorabilia and collectables that had taken the brunt of the fire.

JayDee gasped, "I thought you said it was only the juke box and the wall that was damaged," her hand motioned to the shelf, "there's a heck of alot more burned than just the corner."

"Well," The Chief paused, "the flames caught the fake pine tree stuff up there and it just went woosh ... looks like the TV and all the electronics there are done, and all the crap on the top shelf. I think the plastics just lit up like candles ..."

"Ross is gonna be some upset," said J-- quietly, "all his treasures are gone ..."

"Really," stated JayDee with a sigh, "I think losing his coffee memorabilia will be the very least of his worries ..."

"You okay?" asked Dani, arching an eyebrow, "you're sounding a little wound up ..."

JayDee sighed, "I'm okay ... I just feel so helpless right now ..."

Dani and J-- turned and looked at The Rev.

"Got anything to add?" asked the Chief glancing at The Rev too.

"Nope," The Rev shook his head, "I've been here before and helpless is all you get ..."

The other four nodded their heads.

"The best we can do right now is get busy and clean the place up," as The Rev spoke he pulled out his cell phone, "Phone the cleaning company now and get on to with it ..." he handed his phone to JayDee who nodded as she took it.

"Got the number for them Chief?" she asked as she flipped open the phone.

The Chief nodded and pulled a small book out his overalls and recited a number. Wordlessly JayDee began dialing it ...

J-- looked around and shook his head, "It's gonna be a big job ..."

"Got that right," said the Chief, "everything edible is gonna have to get dumped. And everything will have to be cleaned. It's gonna be big ..."

The four of them stood shaking their heads ...

"Bonnie's not gonna be happy," observed The Rev.

"Should we drive out to the house and let them know?" Dani asked, a slight smile crossing her face, "or do we email them in Costa Rico?"

Monday, March 19, 2007

Overheard at Chipperfields' ... Part LXIX .. x2 ...

"Let me see that," said J-- reaching out his hand and taking the email in JayDee's hand, "did you read it?"

"Oh yeah," said JayDee with a broad smirk, "It only adds to the mystery of whether they are in Mexico like they said, or in their basement on a stay-cation."

"Oh sounds good," said Dani, "let's hear it ..." she nodded at J-- who held the paper up and began reading.

"Hey gang. How are things in snowy Manitoba," J-- looked up and asked, "how do they know the weather if they're in Mexico or Costa Rico or wherever they claim to be?"

"Keep reading," said JayDee smiling.

J-- continued, "The weather here is sunny and hot. Our hotel is right on the beach. We've been spending most of our in the bar downstairs. It has a view of the beach and has a nice selection of beverages including coffee. I'll attach a picture we took last night. Next week we move to a hotel more inland. Ross wants to check out a couple of dairy operations near by for his bosses, and I want to see more Coffee Plantations to see about expanding out menu. ... Well, I should go. Hope all is well. We're having a great time ... see you in a week or so ..." J--'s voice trailed off, then he looked up and said to JayDee, "I still don't see where you think this is being sent from here ..."

"Look at the picture of their night out in the bar, for crying out loud," she glared as him as she spoke, "and look carefully."

J-- turned to the second page in his hand, a full colour picture of Ross and Bonnie sitting at a table in what appears to be a bar. "I'm not seeing it," he observed.

"Okay, look at the beer at Ross' elbow," JayDee said pointing, "It's a Canadian Beer."

"So?" said J--, "maybe they're homesick."

"It's a bilingual label," JayDee stated, "and the second language on it is NOT Spanish."

"It's an import," said J-- smiling.

"When the big breweries ship beer outside of the country they usually use green bottles and English only labels," said JayDee, "I looked it up on the internet. And further more, look at the tv playing in the background. It has the evening news from Brandon playing. What satelite provider would carry the Brandon station to somewhere like Mexico, or Costa Rico or wherever they claim to be?"

"I dunno," said J--, "it all sounds pretty shaky in the evidence department." He smiled as he spoke, "if you were a cop you wouldn't have enough to get a search warrant."

"Okay," said JayDee, "item three in the picture, look over Ross' right shoulder. Behind him is, not one, but two home tanning lamps. Tell me, what would a bar in the Caribbean, or in Latin America have a tanning lamp for??"

"Huh?" J--'s head snapped down and he lifted the picture, as he examined it he said, "Son of a ..." his voice trailed off as he lifted the paper, "look here." He pointed to the corner of the bar behind Ross' head, just below where the tanning lamps could be seen, "There on the bar is a copy of the Brandon Sun AND the Minnedosa Tribune. Why would either of those papers be in a Latin American resort?"

JayDee's eyes flew open wider, "What?" she exclaimed, "Let me see that!! I missed that ..." she leaned over to get a better look at the picture and snorted as she noticed the newpapers sitting in plain view, "Wait a second," she exclaimed, "we need a magnifying glass to know for sure, but if your look carefully at that window reflected in the mirror behind the bar it looks an awful lot like snow falling outside the bar ..." Her voice trailed off as she stared at the picture.

The four of them, JayDee, Dani, J-- and the regular were hunched over the table examining the picture carefully when The Rev walked in the front door.

"What are you guys doing?" The Rev asked as he swung around the counter.

"Looking at a picture of Ross and Bonnie's vacation," said J--, "we're trying to figure out whether they are really down south like they claim, or actually hiding on a stay-cation in their basement."

"A stay-cation?" said The Rev, "that idea again?"

"It's looking more and more likely that it's a stay-cation," observed J--, "we're finding stuff in this picture that looks suspicious, and that says they're hiding out in their basement pretending to be away."

With that all five of them glanced up to the video camera installed over the office, The Rev waved at it saying, "hello Ross, Hi Bonnie ..." with a broad smile.

"Does it matter?" asked The Rev.

"Not really," said JayDee, "I just would like to know."

"Why?" asked The Rev.

"Why Not?" said JayDee with a smile as she headed behind the counter and asked, "the usual?"

"Yup," said The Rev, "and thanks."

"You're welcome," said JayDee with a broad smile, "So, how is my darling "husband" today?" Her fingers made quotation marks as she said the word husband.

"Oh, I'm fine," The Rev smiled, "So, if you find out they are hiding out at home what difference will it make?"

"No difference really," said JayDee, "it would just mean we know."

"Oh," said The Rev, shaking his head with an amused smile on his lips, "I see." He continued to shake his head and smile.

"I'd say they're in the basement," said J-- at last looking up from the picture, "that snow outside the window reflected in the mirror here. And the Brandon Television station and newspaper pretty much tears it."

"That and the wet foot prints Kriss found on the back deck the other day," observed The Rev.

"The what?" said JayDee her eyes flashing open wide, "what footprints?"

"Oh you hadn't heard?" teased The Rev, "Well it seems that Kriss went up the Bonnie and Ross' house the other day to check on it and she had to walk in because of the snow in the driveway. So, as she came around the corner of the house she heard a funny sound like a door slamming and locking. Then when she got to the hot tub she noticed that it was still really hot, there was a cloud of steam lingering in the trees off to the side like the tub had just been opened, but then she saw two wet people footprints that were heading into the house."

"Maybe one of their kids coming out to stay while Ross and Bonnie are away?" ventured J--.

"Nope," said The Rev, "Kriss claims there were NO footprints in the snow other than her own. Her's were the only ones in and the only ones out of the driveway."

"Huh !" said JayDee, "she never told me any of this."

"She just told me last night when I stopped in and had a coffee with the EMS crew," said The Rev, "it had just happened either yesterday or the day before." The Rev moved over to the Juke Box and dug in his pocket to pull out a couple of quarters which he then dropped in the coin slot and began selecting music, "I think she was heading out there to use the Hot Tub, but I'm not 100% sure."

"Sounds like something she'd do," observed Dani with a smirk, "leave it to Kriss to go and party at the Boss' house while they're away."

JayDee nodded in agreement, "Makes you wonder what will happen if Bonnie and Ross really are hiding out at home and know about Kriss' nocturnal adventures."

Dani and JayDee both laughed as J-- began to speak.

"So, we have a beer bottle, tanning lamps, a tv image, two newpapers, wet foot prints and nothing to say they've actually gone away," said J--, "sounds like the evidence is all in."

"And the verdict is?" asked The Regular.

And as he opened his mouth to answer there was a loud "woof" from the juke box and a cascade of sparks showered out of the side closest to the microwave. This was followed by the flickering of the lights of both the jukebox and the store it's self. Then rather than music, the speakers emitted an harsh screeching sound and smoke began to pour out of the back of the juke box and the pictures of Def Lepperd's Animal and Glass Tiger that were displayed on the back of the jukebox began to curl, brown and suddenly they burst into flame behind the plastic cover.

"OH CRAP," J-- yelled, as he rose from his chair.

"What did YOU do?" accused Dani as she spun and looked at The Rev, who was standing beside the table looking dumbfounded.

"Nothing," The Rev exclaimed, his feet rooted to the floor, "I just requested a country song," as he spoke he turned and headed for the door, following J--, "We better get out of here." he called back to Dani, The Regular and JayDee who were hot on his heels.

As she moved past the counter JayDee snatched up the portable phone and began dialing '911'. She turned to look back as she rounded the corner of the counter and gasped at the sight of flames lapping up the wall behind the jukebox ...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Overheard at Chipperfields' Part LXIX ...

"So, my husband decided to order a pizza when we were in Winnipeg," said JayDee as she and Dani stood behind the counter, "He asked if the mushrooms were fresh, and the girl serving us said, 'oh sure, the can was just opened a half an hour ago!!'"

"Are you serious?" asked Dani, her eyes widening, "She said that?"

"Yeah," said JayDee, a smiling brightening her face, "she said it."

"So, did you order mushrooms on your pizza?" asked Dani, her eyes wide with wonder, her face looking innocent.

"Nope." said JayDee flatly, "He decided against mushrooms on the pizza, and went with black olives instead."

"Yum," said Dani as she turned to greet the customer who had stepped up to the counter.

"You're looking good too," said the regular who was standing in front of Dani smiling. Behind Dani, JayDee was blushing slightly as she turned and headed into the kitchen laughing.

"What can I get for you sir?" asked Dani with a serious dour look on her face, "We have a fine selection of items on the menu ..." with a flourish she waved her hand up towrds the blackboard hanging from the ceiling.

"I'll have my usual thanks," laughed the regular, "I'll have a large Chipperfields' with room for cream."

"Sure no problem sir," Dani replied as she pumped the coffee into a mug and fought hard to surpress a smile, "would you like a cookie or a slice of carrot cake to go with it?"

"No, I'm good," said the regular as he took the coffee from Dani and turned to put the cream in the mug. He turned and headed toward a table along the wall as J-- passed by the front windows and headed came through the front doors.

"Hello J--," said Dani, as she looked up and smiled at J--.

"Hello Dani darling," said J-- with a broad smile, "the bosses around?" J-- glanced around the store. He nodded in greetng at the regular sitting by the juke box.

"Nope, Ross and Bonnie are on holidays," her index and ring fingers made quotation marks as she spoke, "they're in Mexico." Her fingers again made quotatin marks.

"What do all the quotation marks means?" asked J-- as he watched Dani get his Manitoba Organic tea ready.

"Oh," answered Dani, glancing to the kitchn and speaking softly, "it's just that we aren't really sure if they've gone to Mexico, or whether they're actually at home having one of those Stay-cations that Ross is so big on."

"Really?" offered J-- with a broad smile crossing his face, "what makes you think that they're not actually in Mexico like they said, but staying at home."

"Well, it started when JayDee was coming back from taking her daughter to riding the day before yesterday and she saw Ross' car parked in their driveway." said Dani, "Then she found this ..." she pulled out a piece of folded paper from under the cash register and handed it to J--.

"What is it?" asked J--.

"Look at it," Dani waved her hand over the paper in J--'s hand, "Its pretty self-explanitory."

J-- opened it and read aloud, "Four fifty kilogram bags of play sand," he glanced up, then looked back at the paper and continued reading, "three sun lamps, two chaise lounges, one poolside table and assorted hot tub conditioning chemicals ..." J--'s voice trailed off, "what is this?"

"It's a bill from the Hardware store," answered Dani, "and it was for a delivery the day they left for Mexico." her hands again made the quotation signs.

"So, you don't think they've actually gone to Mexico?" ventured J--, "where are they then?"

"I think they're actually staying at home," said Dani, her face serious, "I think they've rigged up their basement like a beach so they can say they went and spent two weeks in Mexico, while they actually had a stay-cation here." She nodded for emphasis.

"Really?" said J--, a smile crossing his face, "are you the only one who thinks this?"

Dani shook her head, "JayDee does too and so does Kriss. We just can't prove it."

"Why don't you just drive out to their house and have a look around?" asked J--.

"That would be too much like being a peeking Tom or something," said Dani, blushing slightly, "besides, when we went out the other day we couldn't see in the windows anyway. All the blinds are drawn."

J-- laughed, "SO, you did check?!"

Dani blushed and shrugged her shoulders, "It was actually Kriss' idea, but I drove because I have the 4X4."

J-- shook his head as he laughed, "but you couldn't tell if they were really there or not?"

"Nope," answered Dani, "but we couldn't see where the Hardware store left all this stuff," she waved the bill between her and J--, "if this came while they were away, it should be sitting outside somewhere."

"You're too suspicious," said J-- with a laugh, "maybe Gord and his crew didn't deliver it."

"Oh they delivered it," said Dani, her eyes narrowing, "I saw the truck pull out of the store lot," she jerked her thumb over her shoulder in the general direction of the Hardware store across the street, "and when they came back none of the stuff was there."

"How do you know it was the stuff for Ross and Bonnie?" asked J--, still smiling.

"OH I Know," said Dani emphatically, "I know."

"Okay," J-- waved his hand in front of himself as he spoke, "I give up. I can't argue this, and I just want to have my tea."

"Sure thing," said Dani as he picked up the tea brewing pot and came out from behind the counter, "you sitting over there." She motioned to the corner table where the regular was already sitting.

"I guess," said J-- smiling and following her.

"Mark my words though," Dani set down the tea pot as she spoke, "when we get an email from Ross and Bonnie, they'll send us a picture and we'll be able to tell they're actually in the basement of their house and not on holidays some where south."

"Sure" scoffed J--, "whatever you say."

Just then JayDee came out of the office waving several pieces of paper in her hand, "Hey, we just got an email from Bonnie with pictures ..."

J-- and Dani glanced at each other and both of them burst out laughing.

"I guess we may know the answer," said J-- as he sat down at the table and held out his hand to JayDee as she came towards him holding out the papers before herself ...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Overheard at Chipperfields' ... Part LXVIII

Kriss was working behind the counter cleaning up after the last order. In the corner by the juke box were the Emergency Medical Services crew who are regular late night regulars. Kriss looked up and smiled at her fiance, then startled slightly as the phone rang. She reached for the wireless hand set and answered it.

"Good evening, Chipperfield Coffee," she said cheerily, "how may I help you?"

Kriss' brow furrowed as she listened to the caller before speaking.

"Yes, we'll prepare an order to pick up," she said confidentally, "what would you like."

She again listened as the caller conveyed the order which she then repeated, "Yes, two large Rolo lattees to be picked up." she paused, "Yes, I got that, too, a cinnamon wedge and two snicker doodles."

Kriss paused to listen, "No, you're welcome." she said. She was about to hang up the phone when it dawned on her she hadn't gotten a name for the order, "oh wait," she implored the caller, "who is this for?" She again listened and her eye brow furrowed even deeper, "Okay, I got it ..." her voice trailed off as she hung up the phone.

"Problem?" asked one of the EMS crew sitting in the corner.

"Well," Kriss replaced the phone handset to the base as she spoke, "this guy just called and placed an order for two rolo lattes."

"So," said Kriss' fiance, "that happens all the time."

"Yeah, but this guy called me by name," Kriss continued.

"You work here," Kriss' fiance said, "you were raised in town, people know you."

"It's not just that," Kriss said, the smile fading from her face, "it's that he called me by name, placed his order, but I don't have a clue of who it was ..."

"Who did he say it was?" asked the first EMS'er.

"He said 'the order is for Percy and Pete.' " Kriss replied, "I don't know any one named Percy or Pete."

"Hmm," said the EMS'er as he shrugged and looked around the table, "any of you know a Percy or a Pete?"

"Well, there's old Pete out on Mountain Rd," said one, "but I doubt he'd be buying a fancy coffee."

"And there's Pete the crazy old guy out on the Dump Road," said another.

"My dad is Pete," offered a third, "but he's in Arizona."

"Well, who could it be?" asked Kriss, "I don't know anyone named either Pete or Percy that have been in here lately." She paused and looked at the table of paramedics who all shrugged their shoulders as they started laughing, "Should I do up the order and run the risk of it being a prank?"

"I'd do up the order," said her fiance, "and if no one claims them, you and I could drink them."

"You gonna pay for them?" asked Kriss.

"Um, no ..." her fiance paused, "if they are done up and not claimed, they should be free shouldn't they?"

"Not since Bonnie made me a manager, buddy," said Kriss, her eyes narrowing as she glared at her fiance, "or did you forget about that?"

"Didn't forget," offered her fiance sheepishly, "I was just hoping to get a little fringe benefits."

"You get your fringe benefits elsewhere,"she said with a saucy smile as she turned and started making up the lattes.

As Kriss was busy behind the counter the Paramedics discussed who Percy and Pete might be, and came to no firm conclusions. As she was working and the paramedics were arguing a police car pulled up outside and two of the uniformed members stepped out and headed to the front door.

The paramedics turned and greeted the officers as they stepped into the shop.

One of them stepped up to the counter and asked Kriss for the order he'd phoned in. Kriss looked confused.

"Phone in order," she said puzzled, "you didn't phone in an order."

"Yes I did," said the officer, "I called about five minutes ago for two Rolo Lattes."

"You didn't call in an order," said Kriss firmly, "The only phone in order I had tonight was for two Rolos for Percy and Pete."

"Percy and Pete?" said the member bewildered.

"Yes," said Kriss, "Percy and Pete."

"Um," Kriss' fiance was trying to interupt.

"Stay out of this," Kriss snapped, her voice sounding irritated, "the order was for Percy and Pete, not the RCMP."

"Honey," Kriss' fiance was trying again to interject in the conversation.

"Percy and Pete?" the officer again asked Kriss, this time a broad smile crossing his face.

"That's what I said," snapped Kriss, growing irritated at the conversation, "I'll do up two more Rolos, but these two," her hand waved over the cups in front of her, "are for someone else."

"Percy and Pete," repeated the officer, his voice struggling to surpress a laugh.

"Why are you laughing?" Kriss was now very irritated, "what's so damned funny?"

"Well, I think I know who Percy and Pete are," said the uniformed officer, while Kriss' fiance was nodding behind him.

"Who?" asked Kriss.

"Me," offered the officer, "I think that order is for the RCMP."

"RCMP," repeated Kriss, "not Percy and Pete ..." her voice trailed off.

"That's what I was trying to tell you," pleaded her fiance, "Percy and Pete was actually the RCMP, you just mis-heard them ..."

Kriss growled audibly as her finace sat down, sensing retreat was the better action in this moment. Simultaneously, the RCMP officer put down a ten dollar bill and with a big smile took the two coffee cups, handing one to his partner, while he spoke: "Keep the change, I think you've earned it."

The two officers headed for the door shaking their heads and laughing. At the threshold of the inner door they paused and the second officer turned and spoke.

"Oh, and if Percy and Pete stop by, tell them 'Thanks for the coffee,'"

Kriss growled again as the two officers headed back into the night laughing.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Overheard at Chipperfields' ... Part LXVII ...

Kriss was busy with a batch of fresh muffins on the counter beside the cooler when one of the regulars entered the store. Kriss turned her head and smiled as the regular stepped up in front of the cash register.

"Nice muffins," said the regular with a broad smile.

Kriss looked shocked, "I beg your pardon?" Her hands involuntarily reached down to her derriere, "did you say what I think ..."

"I meant those muffins," said the regular pointing to the batch of sunshine muffin Kriss has been busily wrapping on the counter, "not the other muffins. Though both batches are pretty nice."

Kriss blushed deeply as she turned and pressed her bottom against the counter, hiding it from view while she smiled, "what can I get you?" She paused and her face grew serious, "and don't say muffins, or I'll slap you ..."

The regular laughed, "No, nothing like that Kriss. Just give me a large Chipperfield for here ..."

"Coming right up," said Kriss laughing as she pumped the coffee into a mug.

The regular looked around the empty shop, then glanced at his watch, "None of the regular crew this morning?" he asked as Kriss slid his coffee across the counter at him.

"Nope," said Kriss, "The Rev was in earlier and said he had a meeting in Brandon. J-- came by with the delivery truck and said he was working. And I haven't seen any body else."

"Sure is empty when the regular crew don't show up eh?" said the regular.

"Yup," agreed Kriss, "but the early morning crew was here," she glanced at the clock, "and the group of women who come in for tea are due in any time ..."

"Hmmm," mused the regular as he stirred milk and sugar into his coffee, "maybe I shoulda got this to go ..."

"I can swap cups," said Kriss.

"Naw," said the regular, "It's alright. I'll sit and check out the paper and see what's happening in the world ..."

"Have fun with that ..." said Kriss as she turned her attention back to the muffins and continued wrapping them in plastic wrap.

The regular had settled in on one of the couches at the front window when Ross and Bonnie rounded the front window of the shop and headed in the door. Bonnie headed straight to the back room, while Ross stopped to talk.

"Not working today Roscoe?" asked the regular.

"Actually a day off," said Ross with a broad smile, "but tomorrow I leave for a big trip up into Saskatchewan."

"Nice," said the regular, "so, what are you doing today?"

Ross glanced at his watch, "well, Bonnie and I have appointments at the tanning salon in an hour, then we're having lunch at the Main Street Cafe, and after that, we're just going to enjoy a nice winter day."

"Gonna do the lobster look again?" asked the regular with a smile.

"Nope," said Ross looking uncomfortable, "once was enough for me."

"Should teach you a lesson shouldn't it?" laughed the regular.

"The you could see wasn't as bad as the burn you couldn't," said Ross flatly.

"Woah, cowboy" said the regular holding up his hands, "too much information. Way, way, way too much information. What you do with your person is your business ..."

"I was just meaning ..." ventured Ross.

"Too much information," interupted the regular, "way too much information ..."

"Oh okay," said Ross with a smile, "I got you."

"Let's go Ross," called Bonnie as she headed from the backroom the cash register, "we've got an appointment."

"Okay," answered Ross shrugging his shoulders towards the regular.

Bonnie paused and glanced at the muffins Kriss has just finished wrapping.

"Hey, nice muffins," she said.

Kriss gasped and dropped the coffee mug she had in her hand, "Not you too ..." she said as she turned around, then as she and Bonnie both glanced at the broken mug on the floor and the muffins on the counter she said, "oh you meant THOSE muffins ..."

"What muffins did you think I meant?" asked Bonnie, redness rising in her cheeks.

"Never mind ..." said Kriss, as she stepped past Bonnie, holding her bottom towards the counter, "just never mind ... I'll get a broom ..."

Bonnie glanced at Ross, who met her gaze with a shrug. Then the two of them glanced at the regular who was snickering over his coffee and the newspaper.