Sunday, October 17, 2010

The terrifying tale of Fatback and Shrewface

Back in the summer when it was hot and sunny and lovely and Yazzle Dazzle was working not far from my office we would meet each lunchtime for coffee and good times. Each day we would grab our beverages then hurry outside to nab one of the four tables situated outside Secret Starbucks where, because we're silly buggers, we often found ourselves descending into panicky, breath-restricting laughter as our conversation devolved into the latest round of inane banter (I've mentioned to Yazzle Dazzle on several occasions that we should do a podcast). Not only that, but while sitting there day after day we found ourselves seeing the same recurring cast of characters passing by, and we started giving them names: there's Michael, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Michael J. Fox; the trolley boys, two chaps who just seemed to walk up and down the road dragging trolleys behind them; and one old man who looked so much like a notorious serial killer that we dubbed him Harold.

Unfortunately there were also a number of characters whose presence we did not appreciate each day, such as the two ladies who would plonk themselves down at a table and spark up a ciggies without actually buying anything from Secret Starbucks. Outrageous, I think you'll agree; this is a reputable coffee bar, not fag-break alley!

And then there was ... THEM.

They are a fairly respectable middle-aged couple on first glance, but then you look closer; she is aloof looking and wears floral skirts held up by immense belts that would appear to do double duty holding in her not inconsiderable girth, and he has one of those horrible squished up faces and a nasty nasally voices that just makes you want to poke things up his nose in an attempt cure it and surgically rearrange his facial features in an attempt to make better use of the available space.

OK, so this sounds like a harsh judgement based on physical appearances, but let me explain their crimes further:

They hog the available space; there's not that much room outside Secret
Starbucks and they spread themselves out like they own it, or don't bother shuffling their chairs in if you're trying to squeeze in. They favour the same prime location table as we do. They don't even buy coffee - they buy tiny little bottles of fruit juice and take an age to finish them. And most heinous of all, when they do finish them THEY DUMP THEIR RUBBISH ON OTHER TABLES RATHER THAN TAKE IT TO A BIN.

I shit you not; one day Yazzle Dazzle and I were heading over to the only available table and as we walked toward it he - of the squished face and nasally voice - saw us coming and brazenly dumped his rubbish on it, leaving the table that he and his spherical accomplice were docked at clean and clear! Some withering glances were fired off that day, let me tell you.

And it was not long after that incident that we arrived at Secret Starbucks one day to find them sitting at our favourite table and Yazzle Dazzle angrily muttered "Shit! Fatback and Shrewface are here!"

Beautifully creative yet wonderfully fitting names, I think you'll agree.

And so, over the course of the summer months, the four of us engaged in a silent war of staring and scowling in an attempt to win the table of choice. One day we would get it, the next day they would. Every lunchtime was a new and exciting battlefield.

Then, one day, they were gone. we had won. Fatback and Shrewface had been vanquished.

I'm now lunching on my own again, Yazzle Dazzle having finished her tenure at summer job and skipped off somewhere else for autumnal job. And because few people like to sit outside Secret Starbucks on a breezy, potentially rainy autumnal day, I've had the pick of the outside tables each lunchtime. Well, assuming those two chain-smoking, non-coffee drinking harridans don't rock up for one of their fortunately infrequent appearances.

So there I was the other day, sitting there listening to some tunes on my iPhone, sipping coffee and watching the world go by, when I noticed that something large was moving in front of the West London skyline and blocking out the sun. Startled, I turned my head to the right and all was revealed.

Quickly I whipped out my phone and tapped out a text to Yazzle Dazzle. It read:


And this time, I'm facing them solo...


Inexplicable DeVice said...

Fatback & Shrewface sounds like a comic- Sorry, graphic novel, that's just itching to be transformed into an epic movie (somewhat like Scott Pilgrim vs The World [which I still haven't seen]).

Tim said...

Well it would have to be an IMAX exclusive if we have any hope of squeezing Fatback's fat back in frame…

Tara said...

Breath-restricting laughter is the best!

You could most certainly take that chain smoking, litter-loving couple on by yourself. They wouldn't know what hit them.

Tim said...

I might chuck a muffin at them.

Actually, that would be a waste of a good muffin.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

From the sound of things, Fatback would probably catch it in her mouth, swallow it down and then become Fatterback.

Tim said...

Ugh! She'd probably neck it down in one gulp like an anaconda or something too!