Some of you may have heard of the notorious Starbuckle coffee parlour in the artist's district near the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Vermont Boulevard in Los Angeles. Recently, it was pointed out to M. Chariot that the Starbuckle Family own more than one shop, though I have no idea where the other may be found.
As is my wont, when visiting the establishment I will bring my Limoges porcelain coffee service, abhorrent as I am of refreshments in paper cups. One will typically see me carrying the full tray up from the bus stop, then glaring through the shop window until one of the barista come to hold open the door for my entrance — frequently to a smattering of polite applause from discerning patrons. Some standards must be maintained!
This particular venue is situated in a gutted antique bank building, and opens in the rear onto a stark, sunlit parking lot where one will encounter a few graceless tables with umbrellas. For all the planning and landscaping that most obviously did not go into it, the proprietors may simply be storing the tables there — M. Chariot can hardly pretend to know all!
And so it was on a recent bright and cloudless Sunday, after having my Limoges pot filled, I leveraged the entire 5-piece service out through the rear door held open by the barista. Setting down the tray on one of the rickety tables, I brushed off a dried palm frond with my gloves and arranged myself in this most barren setting. Distressingly, I had forgotten my sterling and was forced to include a little white plastic teaspoon from the smudged amenities bar, adding a dubious note to the presentation. Had my second wife, the heiress, seen the circumstances to which I had been reduced that day, she...
Sigh. One must simply avoid ruminations of divorce, musn't one? We march on, courageously.
A few feet away, in this grim car park to which I had abandoned myself, a group of dark-featured young men were busy repairing the innards of an antique Corvette. To keep themselves entertained — or just to deflect the torpidity which threatened to engulf them — vile, ghetto-marinated tunes thromped from the bowels of the auto, Biggie T-Bone and the Deep Fried Fat Balls or somesuch. The hammering blast of the music set my porcelain rattling to alarming lyrics, in a language I had not heard since a short, misbegotten stay in the state penitentiary in the late 80s.
Now, M. Chariot is not the total pantywaist so many of you have come to know and resent. Pondering the spirit of the entertainment in that parking lot, I considered that I too enjoy my bit of musique vive, I do indeed! Why, just Thursday last I found myself thrilling to the strains of La vie parisienne, a lively operetta composed by Jacques Offenbach, with a libretto by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, and for a foolish and magical moment I wondered if this selection might not be up next in the Corvette's CD changer. Alas, it was not to be.
Yo! Dump Yo! Bump Yo!
Dump bitches bump bootie-cake down!
You'll forgive me if my recollection of the poesy lacks exactitude. The entire chassis of the Corvette pranced to this and additional blaring verse of a not dissimilar nature, causing the Limoges to rattle precariously about on that dusty aluminum table!
I know what you are all thinking. Granted, Monsieur Chariot is not a parent — a regret from which I shall never recover! But there is no doubt in my mind that the rocket scientists assuming the role in this case most likely begged these children to make their automobile improvements not in the drive at home, but off in some distant parking lot, where they might inspire the entire community with Biggie T's homicidal and misogynistic lyrical stylings. These and other contemplations left me utterly incapable of drumming up the least resemblance of parental indulgence.
And so I fretted — then seethed! One can quite perfectly imagine that had the tables de parapluie behind Starbucks been filled with escaped convicts sipping Chai Lattes and plotting serial murders, the soundtrack might have put the finish on the very picture of urban tranquility. But the fly in the honeypot was none other than the bitterly-divorced-and-childless Monsieur Chariot, desperate for a moment's refreshment and not five feet away from this lawless spectacle!
Feeling something brush roughly against my top hat, I looked up to see the limp parapluie comically wobbling to the beat like an idiotic metronome, when suddenly, un accident très petit! My precious Limoges cup of (cold) French Cafe Bordeaux tipped off the edge of the tottering table and crashed in little broken pieces on the pavement underfoot!
Monsieur Chariot had reached la limite! And I am not one to be trifled with, Mesdames et Messieurs!
Blinded with rage by the shattered Limoges, the shilly-shallying parapluie and Biggie's truculent ululations, my delicate hands formed tiny, unnatural fists. Better judgement eradicated, for several unending minutes I leveled The Chariot Death Stare at the young men, a passive-aggressive strategy I learnt from my third wife. They ignored me. But so rigorous was my apoplexy that I heard an abrupt little snap, and suspecting I had broken my pinky again, I looked down in shock to see that I had snapped the filthy white plastic teaspoon in two.
Hearing the movement of a chair on pavement, it was at this moment I realized that another party had been seated during my diversion, and I glanced over to see one of the contestants on BRAVO's Make Me A Supermodel smiling at me. Thus began a Celebrity Encounter I hope to submit via another post!