Posted by Christopher America
Ron and Mildred’s Starbucks
The dynamic duo were out patrolling the mean streets of Chicago, protecting the innocent, keeping crime at bay, stopping for coffee? Yes, Zeb Martin and Rick Dickulous, after spending the majority of the morning searching for a cheap couch and coming up flat on suitable chesterfields were indeed taking a well deserved break. Ron and Mildred’s Starbucks, scene of the epic comeuppance of the eGG Bandits over the dastardly Hollywood Bruvs, was relatively empty for an early afternoon – indeed there was a single free table in the establishment when Zeb and Rick stepped/ducked through the doorway.
Rick pointed to the free table, then to Zeb.
“Va chercher la table, je vais chercher les boissons.”
“Got it, I’ll go get the table, get me a…whatever. Thanks, big guy!”
Rick nodded and took his phone from his pocket, tapping the screen and bringing up his Google Translate App as he patiently waited. Moments later a barrista summoned the mountain forward, and as he approached the counter he held up a finger as he spoke into his phone:
“Salut! Puis-je avoir deux café frappés à la citrouille et aux épices?”
Touching the little speaker icon on the app, Rick waited as the translation played, the feminine voice a comical juxtaposition to his overtly masculine frame.
“Hi! Can I please get two pumpkin spice coffee frappes?”
Without missing a beat, and clearly not forgetting his AODA training, the barrista looked Rick in the eye…or at least looked up towards Rick’s eye with a smile.
“Of course, sir! Two pumpkin spice coffee frappes, your total will be twelve dollars and forty seven cents, how would you like to pay today?”
Looking around sheepishly, Rick pulls a Starbucks gift card from his wallet and hands it to the barrista who swipes it quickly through the scanner on the register and hands it back to Rick.
“Fantastic! Can I get a name for your order?”
Rick meandered over to one side of the register and looked across the crowded coffee house at his newfound couchpatriot sitting diligently, waiting patiently. As he watched, Zeb found a newspaper and began flipping through the pages, stopping to read the odd headline.
Special Sunday edition Of the chicago tribune: Bandits Prove Hollywood Boyz Nothing But A Yolk.
The cry of a different barrista snapped Rick back to reality.
“WE RICK? ORDER FOR WE RICK?”
He raised a Hand in acknowledgement and reached for the two drinks after placing his phone back into his pocket. He deftly navigated the tight aisleways between tables and set the frappe in front of Zeb with a smile.
“Café frappé à la citrouille et aux épices … souvenirs de notre dernier exercice de teambuilding!”
“Pumpkin spice coffee frappe? Yeah, I reckon that does make me think o’that perty gud time beatin’ the beans offa them Hollywood Bruvs…now we gotta deal with them Hollywood Boyz. AND we gotta git us a couch. I fig’erd I’d take my mind offa the situation by readin thru thu paper, but there ain’t nothin in here bout Nascar, monster trucks, or bass derbys. How’s a man supposed to relax without them things?”
As Zeb reached for his frappe, his arm knocked the paper on the floor at Rick’s feet.
“Hollywood an’ Matthews ain’t gon’ be no walk in thu park, an neither’s this whole couch quest you’n I’s on here. It’s more difficult’n skinnin’ a live possum, not that I’ve dun that b’fore er’ nuthin’.”
Rick reached down and retrieved the papers at his feet, maintaining eye contact with Zeb.
“Hollywood et Matthews travaillent ensemble ainsi que des fourches et des prises électriques. Comme des pieds et des briques LEGO. Comme l’Allemagne nazie et l’hiver russe. Toi et moi allons ensemble comme du beurre de cacahuète et de la gelée. Vous et moi pouvons nous comprendre.”
As Zeb nodded, Rick dropped the paper on the table in between them, the classified section sitting right on top.
“Yessum…they dun werk together like forks and electrical outlets. Like feet and LEGO bricks…and even like them Nazis an’ Russian winter. I wanna think we’re like peanut butter an’ jelly, I mean, we shore do train that way, and you’re right…we DO unnerstan’ each other. This is really weird. Almost like Cancer an’ Dooze had a plan this whole time.”
“Eh! Qu est-ce que c’est?”
Rick reached for the paper, holding aloft the classified section.
Rick pointed to an ad as he placed the paper back down on the table in front of Zeb with an excited grin.
“Free, black faux leather couch. Gently used in movie, may have spill stains/scratches. Pickup only.”
Zeb smacks the table with an excited whoop, causing nearby patrons to turn and stare at the odd couple enjoying basic bitch frappes on a late summer’s afternoon.
“Know what this means? We dun made ten bucks each…all it’s gonna take is a little bit of liftin’, pushin’, shovin’ an’ maybe a little slappin’, but we gon’ get us a free couch! Not only that, but this whole experience has made me realize one thing: we ARE one hell of a team, and y’know what? Yeah Hollywood an’ Matthews may not be pushovers, an’ yeah we may have to work hard to make our Bandit brothers proud, but you an’ I kin do it. Hell, if we kin find a couch for free without even tryin’, we kin do just about anything if’n y’ask me.”
“Partons! Nous appellerons à propos de ce canapé en chemin. J’espère juste que ce n’était pas l’un de ces plateaux de cinéma où tout est trempé – ce sont les pires!”
Zeb stands up, clutching the classified section in his hand.
“Yeah, let’s go! I’ll call, you kin drive, might make it a lil’bit easier. An’ yeah, I hope it wasn’t one of them movie sets where everything gets soaked like, the fire extinguishers go off or sumthin’? Always smells all musty an’ gross. Can’t rightly complain if it’s free though, right? I wonder if it’ll have a certificate of authenticity?”
The pair turn and walk towards the door, cups in hand, smiles on faces.
“Les choses s’améliorent, Zeb!”
“You’re damned right things are lookin’ up, big man…come Saturday when you an’ I defend those belts an’ make the rest of the boys proud, they’ll be lookin’ up even more…come on, let’s go get us a movie prop!”