The thin atmospheric fabric of firmly controlled, almost robotic, servitude that exists at my local Pret-a-Manger has been rent asunder by the arrival of a new employee who refuses work by the usual constricting, contrived rules. In my defence, I rarely visit the place. The enforced chumminess and ethnic soups don't really float my boat. But I was weak and recently ended up there.
I was being seen to by a regular, generic employee, but I noticed a new face. He was greatly camp. There was no disguising it; he was a very camp man. A lady approached him and ordered a double latte or some such. He was expected to repeat this order to the barista who was standing 4 inches away from him and heard what the lady had said perfectly. But he refused. He mouthed the order silently in the general direction of his colleague, in a grotesque mime.
'I don't like to repeat things' He explained. 'I refuse to repeat things'
At that moment a lady behind us was attempting to clear away her meal, but was making quite a hash of it. She managed to scatter a coffee coup and soup container in two separate directions, casting them to the ground and across the table where she was sitting, crumbs flying liberally. She had a sly look around to check if anyone had seen her being so clumsy.
'We saw you!' My camp friend screamed across the shop in delight to the stunned amazement of his fellow pret dwellers. 'Everybody saw you'
It was marvellous to see the vacuum sealed atmosphere of this formulaic food dispensary destroyed, even for a second. I shall be following this gentleman's progress with interest.