I have done my absolute best to boost the takings of all coffee shops in my local area since going on maternity leave. In fact, a new Costa has just opened in Orpington, making a total of four within a 5 mile radius. I take full credit for that.
I imagine it’s the same all over the country, as pregnant women waddle in for their 5th decaff latte of the day, and then a few weeks later, gingerly push their shiny new pram through the door, tentatively making their way to a table as far away from any other people as possible, just in case anyone should drop or spill something anywhere near their precious little bundle, or – horrors – want to touch him. In all fairness, Costa Coffee should subsidise government maternity pay, since women on maternity leave probably account for about 80% of their takings.
So, if pregnant women and new mums are boosting the coffee industry, there is one section of society doing their best to undermine it. And here’s where I get to the point of this blog really, just in case you were wondering if there was ever going to be one (and you’d be fair in doing so since, so often, there isn’t, but if that disappoints you I suggest you read the subtitle of my blog and then rearrange your expectations. If it’s a point you’re looking for, you’re in the wrong place quite frankly). It’s a shocker, so prepare yourself. Here goes: I think the over 60s are trying to sabotage the coffee industry.
I’ve suspected this for a while, since they always take ages reading the coffee menu and then stubbornly order tea, but it’s not just that. It’s as though they are terrified of the entire concept of a coffee shop. Ever seen anyone over the age of 60 order a macchiato? No. But I bet you have seen, like I did today and have done so many times (mostly, it has to be said, from my own dear mum), a lady of mature stature standing in the queue, in the throes of a wide eyed panic at the sheer choioce of coffees available. “I just want an ordinary coffee!” she will say, looking searchingly at her companion, or the bemused barrista “just an ordinary coffee! do you not just have a normal coffee????” this is to be delivered in increasingly hysterical tones, presumably as she tries to come to terms with the horror of having her milk steamed.
If you find yourself in this situation, do NOT, for the love of god, suggest an Americano. You know what it’s called, the person behind the counter knows that’s what it’s called, but your mum/aunt/nan does not, and it will be the straw that broke the camel’s back, and you’ll have to leave and go to the cafe in BHS instead. The thing to do is to suggest they find a table and then deal with the matter at hand yourself. Big sighs of relief all round.