This one happened several months ago but is worth telling anyway. One weekend during a streak of warm weather we had the door open in the café, to allow the breeze and sounds of outside to blow through. It was a moderately busy morning as I recall, just busy enough to keep things moving but also slow enough so that I could get out from behind the counter and enjoy chatting with friends (I remember Larry and Peggy were in at the time).
All of a sudden a gal bursts in hurriedly trailing several small to medium sized dogs leashed to her hand. I stopped my conversation with Larry and Peggy and said something like "I'm sorry ma'am, but you can't bring those dogs in here." She shot back impatiently "You mean I can't even get a coffee!" to which I again replied while moving toward the door "I'm sorry but you can't bring the dogs in, but..." I actually didn't quite get to the second "but" because as soon as I said "can't" she sharply turned on her heel, sputtered "For crying out loud!" and stormed out, power-walking down the sidewalk.
Out the door I followed to tell her that I would be happy to bring her out a coffee if she wanted to tell me what she'd like, but she was already jackbooting her way down the walk and didn't hear anything I said. I walked back into the shop to be greeted by several open-mouthed and wide-eyed stares. "Well, that was interesting!" "She really thought she could bring those dogs in here?" "People are funny creatures aren't they."
Well, we made hay with that one for a while, until one day several weeks later a gal who is a semi-regular was in with her friend, Bob (also a regular), and in the course of conversation she revealed that she was the one who tried to get in that day with the passel of dogs. My own eyes got a little wider and I looked at her, looked at Bob, looked back at her, and asked incredulously "That was you!?" At the time of the incident I didn't recognize her, because she was wearing sunglasses and everything happened so quickly.
"Yeah, that was me!" she said. "And you wouldn't let me in or give me a coffee!"
I shot back, smiling of course, "You dumbass! What the hell's the matter with you thinking you can bring a bunch of dogs into a dining place? You own a restaurant yourself!"
Bob rolled his eyes and laughed. She started laughing a little and said "But all I wanted was a coffee!" I said "I would've been happy to bring one out to you, ya dope, but you took off like a screaming banshee." Bob just shook his head and laughed, "Oh man..." So we gave her a hard time for a few minutes, and all laughed about it.
The epilogue to this little story is that we've become friends, and this gal (might as well say her name now...hiya Shellie!) has opened a new shop in the downtown, one that caters to...yup, you guessed it...dogs! Or more accurately, dog owners. Bark, Bath and Beyond is a beautiful little space where you can go to give your dog a hassle-free bath in a big washing trough with hoses, soaps and other stuff that'll make him or her look and smell clean and fresh. They also have healthy, organic dog foods and treats and other good stuff for Balto or Lassie. And (this is also a little ironic I suppose) we've worked out an arrangement where they offer Stumpjack coffee to their customers.
How's that for a happy ending?