Café Demi Tasse 06

By Repeat Geek

Kids. Book bags. Noise. Summer is officially over and so is the blissful peace of my favorite watering hole. Ari himself looks a bit disheveled. He messed up an order and the line grows restless. Ha! I got here early enough that I can sit in my corner by the window and watch the drama. My 64 oz. DT Special and giant blueberry muffin stand in for the usual popcorn and soda.

While watching Ari doing his magic with steamed milk and flavored syrups, I think about his daily profit. Aside from the messed up order, he spends no more than two minutes with each customer. I open up a spreadsheet and start doing stupid things to simulate fifteen hours of customers. After a couple of minutes, I delete the file thinking, I don’t have a clue how many people come in after I leave.

That’s when lightning strikes. There probably isn’t a secret society of intelligent people. Who would possibly know? The only reason something is secret is that very lack of knowledge! I flip back through my notes to find out where the cockamamie rumors started. Ah, Professor Corke, in the dining room, with a candlestick. I’m not kidding; he showed me an ancient candlestick that he claimed was acquired at auction by his great-great-grandfather.

He started telling me and the other dinner guests about how it had passed through time, stopping at famous homes along the way. I only remember the Halton house and the Wideners. I was bored out of my skull until he started talking about why these homes were chosen.

According to Professor Corke, these illustrious art collectors were the leaders of a secret society of intelligent people. The candlestick was the symbol of that position, signifying a beacon. He wound up the discussion with the theory that members of the society identified each other by placing lit candles in their windows. The practice was discontinued (he said) after homes began burning to the ground.

I remember laughing so hard at the absurdity of his story that he turned purple and ordered me to leave his home. Even now, I’m cracking up. I suppose a real research project would be to discover where Professor Corke came up with this ridiculous idea. To make sure I don’t forget, I’m telling you now. Also, I opened a new project file: The Candlestick Conspiracy.

Oops! I better get going. Don’t want to be late for my day job.

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