Thursday, 10 January 2008

The joys of youth

In amongst this somewhat hectic week I’ve at least managed to catch up with a few friends. On Tuesday I hurtled into town to meet one mate in our local café, the Clipper, run by a couple who moved down from London and bought the place with no formal catering experience. She was a TV producer for an ad agency; he designed the intranet for DWP.

It’s a tiny café, with only three tables, so being able to get a seat is often a problem as it’s so popular. Regular customers include students, local shop owners, OAPs, lecturers, tourists, families with small children, people with dogs – in short, everyone.

When I got there Nik had managed to grab a seat and ordered me a coffee (I can never drink things hot), and we ordered our food and sat waiting. They were very busy and I’d already been salivating all morning as I’d interviewed the owners the evening before and had spent the morning writing up the piece that included their best selling favourites.

These included roasted vegetables with chorizo, ditto with houmous, bacon sarnies, home made soup, home made cakes, home made burgers with onion marmalade – and so on. Hungry yet?

Anyway, we sat there while my sugar level dipped, swooped and plummeted. This was when conversation became stilted. I’m unable to focus, let alone think when blood sugar level gets that bad. Then I noticed a young couple opposite engaged in a tongue swallowing contest.

They must have been in their early twenties and not just joined at the hip but at the tongue. Conversation was nil, obviously, as their mouths were otherwise engaged. Now I’m no prude but this was – well, it nearly put me off my food. Never have I seen such animated effort.

When their food did arrive (two huge sarnies on ciabatta), they actually stopped to refuel and ate in near silence. Just the odd whisper in between steady munching. Then it was back to the serious business.

I hope their tongues survive. Just imagine, in years to come, going to the doctor and complaining of a sore mouth.

“Well,” he might say. “It looks like you’ve done some serious damage here. Overly stretched tongue. It won’t shrink back you know.”

Oh for the joys of youth.

19 comments:

Philipa said...

I must be such a prude, I could never do such a thing in public when I was twenty something and flooded with those hormones. I can't really remember kissing and my overriding memory of kissing my ex in a dark street was wondering if I was being watched, can't remember the kiss at all.

I could quite happily look at Hugh Jackman or Chris Hitchens naked, but not on a formica table in a cafe, ya know? Time and place.

laurie said...

ICK

i don't like watching other people neck. it's much less glamorous than in the movies....

ick.

Lane said...

I couldn't eat while all that tonsil tennis was going on. Ugg:-(

On another note, that cafe sounds wonderful. I love cafes, especially small ones run by interesting people. It sounds great. Do you ever go back to the (slightly weird) writer cafe?

Flowerpot said...

philipa - I'm sure I did when I was in my twenties - but not to that extent!

Laurie - I'm glad it's not just me. Good point - how come they make it look so sensuous in the movies when most of the time it's not at all?

Flowerpot said...

lane - it's a strange thing isnt it? It was just too personal watching that. And no, I haven't been back to that weird writers' cafe. I'm not usually over there and the owner really put me off!

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Gross.

Maybe it's my own shyness, but I really don't like having to watch displays like that at all. Take it somewhere else, people.

The "tongue swallowing contest" line,on the other hand, I loved. Heh.

Flowerpot said...

RC - yes it was gross. But it was funny watching everyone completely ignoring them - in a British fashion - while these two carried on, utterly oblivious. I bet if someone had asked them to stop, they would have said, 'Who? Me?'

Akelamalu said...

There's a time and a place and that was niether! It would have put me off my food too. :(

Flowerpot said...

Ak - and there I was thinking I was being very stuffy! Glad it's not just me!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

Well I was hungry...

I don't mind affection (not that I'm in the least affectionate) but to see people doing it in public does actually offend me. Sorry, but I guess I am a prude.

Crystal xx

elizabethm said...

Good to catch up with your blog again (and I am with you on the tongue swallowing). Hope the chimney and stove saga is moving on nicely. It will be all worth it. I am sure you will love it!

Miss Understood said...

I'd have pulled up another chair to put my feet on, folded my arms and just watched them for a while. I bet that would have really put them off their stroke!

It sounds like a great place. My overactive brain is trying to work out how much they can potentially earn with only 3 tables!

Ellee Seymour said...

There is a time and place for everything, that's for sure.
Pip makes me laugh with her fixation on Hitchens.

Omega Mum said...

My own feeling is that they ran out of conversation within hours of meeting each other and decided this was the only way they'd get any stimulation from their meetings. If they stay together, they'll still be eating meals opposite each other, but without the tongues to break up the silences. Interesting - I always wondered how those relationships started, and now I know.

Philipa said...

I can't help it Ellee - in-yer-face rebellion in an oh-so-smooth package. Have you read 'Letters to a Contrarian'? So inspirational. And apparently Christopher was offering people a feel of his newly fuzz-free testicles, well you wouldn't get Nick Robinson or Max Hastings doing that now would you?

Philipa said...

Actually it's probably a good thing that Nick Robinson and Max Hastings don't do that - sorry fp, I'm sure the Max Hastings image is enough to put you off your supper.

So, anyway, back to the hungry young lovers meeting in a frenzy of darting tongues...

Sweet Irene said...

That must have been pretty unappetizing. Too bad the management didn't say anything about this behavior, because it was totally inappropriate. There is a time and place for everything and this was not it.

Flowerpot said...

Crystal - no, you're not the only one. I guess we all feel the same way!

elizabethm - chimney and stove saga continues but making great progress. Somewhat hampered by teh weather but it's all coming along well!

MissU - no I dont think it would have put them off their stroke actually! They were completely oblivious! As for making money - well, they do a lot of takeaways and deliver to local businesses. That's their main income.

Flowerpot said...

ellee - I quite agree!

omega mum - good to meet you and that paints a lovely picture. Silence. Minus tongues!

Philipa - my brain is whirling now!

sweet irene - teh management try ad encourage students so I suppose that's why they didnt say anything. also the owner is quite shy and would find that difficult I think.