Forgot your password?

We just sent you an email, containing instructions for how to reset your password.

Sign in

  • The Chinese gent walked into the French cafe with an old school brown leather briefcase hanging from his arm stump, and a long pointed stick in his one hand. He missed not a beat. He walked over to the table beside me and proceeded to poke that long pointed stick into the neck of a man speaking Arabic with his buddy.

    He poked and poked the stick. The Arabic-speaking guy switched to English and continued conversing with his pal, giving no indication that he noticed his neck was being poked with a long wooden stick.

    The Chinese gentleman went down the neck and was now poking the man, who had gone back to Arabic, further down, at the point where your back neck muscles are linked to your ribs. Poke, poke, poke.

    The crepes arrived.

    The waitress placed the plates down. The pointed stick kept up its voyage down the man's neck.

    I was alarmed and my face must have showed it. Alarmed and chuckling, as I looked up from my daily New York Times crossword puzzle, loading my lips with Sweet Lorraine, and putting my cheeks into my face-sized bowl of cappuccino, my Grand Creme.

    The pointed stick with its sharp end was now down the crepe eater's spine. He looked at me and said, "He's good. Really, no, yes." He was laughing. The stick was on the job. The stick had no opinion. "No, he's good. He's really good. Down a little further. No, down. Yes, that's it."

    He and his partner kept on eating. I went back to my puzzle with my left eye on the spontaneous re-alignment. A man walks into a French cafe....

    The Chinese gent left the dotted indents he had created on the crepe eater's bare neck and sat down on the opposite side of the cafe. In a loudish voice he began to talk Spanish to the young man behind the counter doing food prep. In Spanish the young woman also behind the counter and also doing food prep, said to the Chinese gent, "He's Serbian." Nodding her head to her counter prep mate. "He's Serbian. He's from Serbia."

    Well, then, I thought, that explains everything.

    The crepe guys leaned back, their faces now in their own bright coloured face-sized creamy coffees. The one who had received the free off-the-cuff treatment looked at me and said something in Arabic. No idea. Still, we we were all laughing. Then again he said, "No, he's good. He's really good. Ask him. He'll come over and poke you with his stick."

    "He's Serbian," the French Spanish woman said again to the Chinese gent. The Serb arranging the French crepes said to him in Spanish, "I'm from Serbia."

    Okay. Everything makes sense now.

    Me, the Snowbird, shaking grey inward sunless winter logic off my feathers, was in addlepated sunstruck heaven. I jumped in the Grand Creme and did a couple laps, letting the multiculti world have its tropical afternoon.

    I got no worries, I got a bowl of coffee big as the sun.

    (Photo by D. of Susan)

Better browser, please.

To view Cowbird, please use the latest version of Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera, or Internet Explorer.