Well, if you’re an Earplugger, the good news is – the story is complete. Done. Over. I didn’t need to shoot any further shots to do it either. It runs to eight chapters, so it’s not quite as short as I’d anticipated. But we don’t care about such things do we? Just as long as it’s fun. So now on with Part Eleven, with plenty more to come…
No one had noticed Rupert Piles on a coffee break – his camera resting quiescent beside him. His ears pricked up. Moments later those same ears heard the distinctive ‘tromp’ of Scrotonite hobnail boots outside…
“Do they have waitress service?” Beatrix inquired. “Or do we go straight to the counter?”
Beatrix found out soon enough…
The Baristas were very young, working to pay for their university tuition: they knew very little of worldly affairs. Of off-worldly affairs, only ignorance reigned. They had no idea who Nigel – the Golden One – was…
“Yeah, whatta ya want?” Mary-Sue asked impudently.
“What do you have?” He inquired.
“Ya didn’t see the sign outside the door?” The Barista spoke around a wad of bubble gum.
“The wind must have blown it down.”
Mary-Sue sighed loudly, before reciting the menu.
“That one.” Nigel interrupted the flow of noise. “The last one you said.”
The young female seemed surprised. “Caramelised Onion? You sure? No one ever buys caramelised onion coffee. Our regular stuff is crap; but caramelised onion is…well…”
“Um…yes…it’s my favourite.” Nigel – feeling every bit the country hick on his first trip to the big city – replied.
“Mine too.” Beatrix added. “I can’t get enough of it – though the last one on this counter menu looks interesting. What is it – decaffeinated?”
“Defecated.” Mary-Sue corrected the ruler of Scroton’s wife, “coz it tastes like…”
“Whatta ya want on your caramelised onion?” Jungle-Jake interrupted as his coffee machine gurgled and spat.
Beatrix looked to Nigel for guidance. She found none.
“Try sponge fingers.” Hair-Trigger suggested.
“Sponge fingers.” Beatrix replied to the male Barista’s question.
“Take a seat.” He responded. “Someone’ll bring ya coffee to ya.”
Shortly, after everyone had ordered and found themselves a table to sit at…
…the coffees began arriving, though not necessarily to the correct customer. The sheer size of the table menus amazed Nigel…
“Is everyone myopic in the Museum of Future Technology?” He jested. “Wish I’d chosen the Iron Lungo now: sounds delicious.”
Closer to the door, Rupert Piles grabbed his opportunity to catch some footage of the Café Puke’s illustrious guest…
“Oi,” Jungle-Jake yelled. “No cameras: you know the rules. You might steal our secrets!”
Rupert’s professional activity and the reaction of the Barista gave Magnuss pause for thought. Perhaps it was unwise to begin an important discussion with a foreign head of state in such a public place, and with no many prying ears and eyes. Hair-Trigger caught his look and dutifully joined him when he took centre stage…
“May I have your attention?” He bellowed like a plugmutt giving birth.
“Shut your noise!” Hair-Trigger added like an ill-balanced lathe loaded with pig iron
Everyone present knew exactly who the great heroes of the museum were. Silence descended like night in the desert.
“Sorry everyone,” Magnuss said through a cherubic smile that was enough to melt the heart of any old grandmother, “but you’re all gonna have to down your coffee and sod off. These guys are from Scroton, and they’re gonna help us with those aliens who destroyed La Ciudad de Droxford. So we gotta have some peace and quiet. Understand? Baristas can stay: we need you to keep loading us up with caffeine.”
Hair-Trigger turned to Rupert. “Mister Piles: you need to record this for posterity. However I wonder if you might do it from outside? You have a personal aroma problem. You can shoot through the window.”
Shortly the slightly disgruntled customers made their way out of the café through the main entrance…
“Oh look,” one of them said, “the wind has blown the menu sign back upright again. What a wonderful place the Museum of Future Technology truly is.”
Once the café was their own, Nigel adorned himself with his plume of office, whilst Magnuss put on his famous Cossack hat…
“Right then,” Nigel said without preamble, “show me some pictures of these flying saucers. I don’t think I’m going to be overly surprised at what I see.”
© Paul Trevor Nolan 2022
That Cafe Puke set was a labour of love. Unlike other cardboard creations, this one is not going in the recycle bin. Expect to see that ‘fifties diner’ decor in another Earplug Adventure!