Café Too Late


Running Time: 1:30

Released On: "Faff (Part III)" - Various Artists (9 tracks)

Label: V. Poiskah Dodo & Friends (Shorty Music)

Release Date: 3rd June 2021

Format: Download

Buy Link: Bandcamp




I think the 'me too' movement, particularly the revitalised incarnation that kicked off after the Harvey Weinstein affair, it pricked quite a few male consciences. In all honesty, who amongst us can say they have never treated a woman with less respect than she deserved? Me neither. So, this may be a rather light-hearted take on it, but don't get me wrong, I do recognise this as a very serious subject.

The roots of this particular piece go back the best part of 40 years, to a one act play I wrote for an amateur dramatics group in Surrey that Shona and I were members of at the time, The Priory Players. It was a two handed (though the waiter got some good lines too) light comedy about a young couple whose marriage was coming apart at the seams, and all over a frothy coffee and a slice of fruitcake. He was a completely self-obsessed and inconsiderate individual who would proudly tell his friends; "I'm no male chauvinist pig, I love women, I think every man should own one!" She had put up with it, until over the 15 minute duration of the play, it finally dawns on the poor girl that she could do better. Let's call it semi-autobiographical, I'd already screwed one marriage up by the age of 20, and that's pretty much why. Disappointingly, it was never performed and the original script ultimately vanished into the great black hole that is life.

I don't know what it was about Vladimir Vpdodo's "Faff" theme that brought it back to mind again after so long, possibly the fact I've thoroughly faffed a couple of marriages in my time! Whatever it was, I was conscious that I wasn't going to have a quarter of an hour to get the idea across on this occasion, but it would be possible to condense it if the lion's share of the concept was achieved by making the females kitchen appliances, an idea I owe to a couple of ladies in Blackpool a few years back. I was having a brew in a café there one rainy morning, there were a couple of women on a nearby table complaining bitterly about the men in their lives, how they treated them like machines, et voila, our lead lady became a food processor. Skit wanted her to be a power tool, but it somehow undermined the irony. Of course, I realise that not everybody speaks machine language, so I've reproduced the script (right) with more or less what was in my head when creating her 'lines', hope it helps!


Meself in The Priory Players production of "Wanted One Body" (1985)

In the Café Too Late, a food processor sits at a window table, impatiently waiting for her eternally unpunctual fiancée...


Food Processor: What time do you call this?
Man: Hi, sweetheart, I'm so sorry I'm late
FP: Again.
Man: Again, yes, it really wasn't my fault.
FP: Hah.
Man: I'll make it up to you, I promise. How long have you been waiting?
FP: The best part of an hour.
Man: Shit, I am so sorry, I'm sure there's something wrong with the alarm on my phone.
FP: Right.
Barista: Good morning, what can I get for you?
Man (to barista): Oh, good morning, Americano with milk, please.
(to FP): Seriously, how about I take you for a nice meal this evening, just the two of us, somewhere special?
FP: You'd better not be talking about the kebab wagon again.
Man: No, not the kebab wagon, somewhere special, you choose.
FP: I'm over here, hello?
Man: Sorry, I just got distracted. Talk to me.
FP: By the new coffee machine?
Man: A new coffee machine? I hadn't noticed.
FP: Really.
Barista: Your coffee, sir.
Man (to barista): Thank you.
(to FP): Okay, she's attractive, very sleek design, but you know I only have eyes for you.
FP: Attractive, very sleek design, fancy that.
Man: Why would I want a coffee machine when I am already engaged to the most beautiful food processor in the world?
FP: And that toaster?
Man: Come on, you know the toaster was a mistake, she was just a one night stand.
FP: ALL one night!
Man: Okay, and made me breakfast, but it meant nothing.
FP: You're looking again.
Man: No, I wasn't looking at the new coffee machine again, it's just that the coffee she makes...
FP: Enough!
Man: I...
FP: Shut it!
Man: But...
FP: Quiet!
Man: What...
FP: Shut up!
Man: Don't...
FP: Uh-uh!
Man: But...
FP: Blah blah!
Man: What
FP: Gibber!
Man: Don't
FP: I'm gone!
Man: But
FP: And you can stick your 'nice meal' where the sun doesn't shine. Goodbye!

Barista: Sir, can I get you anything else? Is the lady coming back?
Man: No, I don't think she is.


T h e   E n d