Steve shook his head and tapped his watch. He’d been standing at the bar waiting to be served for over 7 minutes. It wasn’t like the place was crowded or anything, there were only about 12 people in, so it really shouldn’t take that long. The problem was 3 of those 12 were drinking coffee, not just any coffee but bloody café latte which took ages to make. To top it off Johnny wanted Guinness which meant another 5 minutes standing at the bar after Steve had been served, waiting for the beer to settle and be topped up in the time honoured tradition.
‘What kept you?’’ Johnny put down his phone and picked up his beer.
‘Fucking coffee! When did a bloody pub become Starbucks?’ Steve puffed out his cheeks. ‘Who the hell drinks coffee at this time of night anyhow? Don’t they want a good night’s sleep?’
Johnny was about to answer but Steve didn’t give him a chance.
‘When I worked behind a bar if a fella ordered coffee they got what was left in the pot, we didn’t give a shit if it was sill warm, we just served it with a little plastic thing of creamer. But these days it’s all do you want skimmed or semi skimmed? Do you want a shot of vanilla? For fuzz sake, just pour a coffee and serve me my beer.’
‘It’s not…’ all about you Johnny was about to say but Steve cut him off at the pass.
‘Why do they only have one person working the bar?’ He asked indignantly. ‘It’s madness. As soon as someone orders a coffee or one of those bloody cocktails’ Steve pointed at the board advertising all manner of cocktails with titillating names, ‘ it creates a bottleneck.’
Johnny nodded, he’d given up trying to contribute.
‘And then your bloody Guinness, he spends time putting that little Shamrock in the top. Does it make it taste any better?’ The question was obviously rhetorical so Johnny let Steve answer himself. ‘No it doesn’t so why bother?’
Johnny was looking around for an escape. But he had a fresh pint so his usual escape route was blocked.
‘You know,’ Steve continued, ‘if they are going to serve coffee and tea, maybe they should make it like a café and have table service. That would mean we wouldn’t have to keep going to the bar, so we wouldn’t have this disjointed conversation.’
On the one hand Johnny thought that this was a good idea but on the other that would mean he’d never be able to escape when Steve got into one of these moods.
‘But would the service be any better?’ Johnny asked.
‘Well maybe not but at least you wouldn’t have to stand at the bar jockeying for position.’
Johnny nodded, it was a good idea but it couldn’t see it working really.
‘Anyway where were we?’ Steve asked and Johnny breathed a sigh of relief that his friend had changed the subject.