I decided to tip the barista off. “There’s some right clowns in here today.”
Passing me my coffee in a takeaway cup, she looked puzzled, and so I inclined my head towards the entrance to this Costa coffee shop.
Her face dropped. “Oh no. Clowns! That’s my biggest fear in the whole world. Then, tentatively: “Maybe they won’t come in.”
They came in.
She stood there as they began to approach, preparing herself, stealing herself, to serve with a smile.
“They’re gonna be squirting water in your face from flowers in their lapels and everything,” I helpfully said. “Then stomping out in their size fifteen feet.”
“Don’t. I won’t be able to cope.”
“You’re going to go viral. Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, the works.”
I wished her good luck and found myself a table. (Yes, I know I had a takeaway cup but it’s a peculiarity I’ve inherited from my wife.)
Later, as the barista was cleaning a table, I asked her what the score was with the three clowns and I learned that they weren’t actually clowns.
“What, so they weren’t on their way to a clown convention then?” I asked.
“No, I’m not sure what they said now, they were either out last night or they’re on their way out from here today.”
“What, around town you mean? Like that?”
“Yes,” she laughed.
I stroked my chin, taking one of them off. “‘Out with the lads tonight. Hmm . . . what shall I wear?” Then: “NOT THAT!”
You’ve got to love Manchester, haven’t you? You see it all. Hen parties, stag dos, clowns, the lot.
Before I left I showed her a photograph that I’d just saved onto my phone from Facebook. “Is this what you in the business call a drive through?”
Later that day it was my son’s football team’s end of season presentation. Along with his regular team member trophy he also won Most Improved Player Of The Season. Then it was my turn!
I contribute to the club by taking action photographs of the players along with submitting match reports, recording Man of the Match awards etc.
Imagine my surprise when I was awarded ‘Reporter of the Year.’
To be honest, I don’t think there was anyone else in the running but it was nice to be recognised. On the way out of the building, James and I compared trophies.
“Is Reporter of the Year even a thing?” he asked me.
I gave him a bit of advice. “When you get home from here, Google ‘Watergate’.”