There’s a regular looking café on the other side of the street.
Despite its unassuming presence, Scanta constantly warns me about it. Something along the lines of “The owner is a big meanie,” and “He and I have some history.” I don’t really understand how a grown man can talk about another (presumably) grown man like that, but I guess it makes sense given their context…? I don’t know much about their history though, I guess that’s a story for another time…
Anyway, for the past week, some workers from the other café have been coming here just to order a bunch of drinks. Two people in particular, I believe they go by the names Benj and Katie? They would come in wearing their uniforms and just mess everything up. Benj specifically is the biggest disturbance, he always orders the most complicated drink and spells out his name as loud as possible. We get it dude, your name is Ben with a J. Nothing special. Also, wasn’t he that guy who gave Genu a scrap of paper as a Get Well present? God, this guy.
He even spilled his drink on me a handful of times. See, at first I thought he was just a clumsy guy. I get it. But after the third time, I realized he was trying to piss me off.
After I realized this, I started noticing a bunch of things. Katie would pull all of the napkins out of the napkin container and just sprawl them out on the counter. Benj would pretty much empty out the communal sugar container into his drink, and sometimes he would “accidentally” spill the drink onto the floor!
Being basically the only employee, I had to clean up after their messes, but sometimes Scanta would help me. Now this is when I realized there was a deeper meaning to these antics, because Scanta would much rather jump off of a cliff than do any work around the café. Whenever he helped me out, he almost seemed as if he were reminiscing….? That doesn't make any sense to me, but then again, when has Scanta ever made any sense?
After today's shift, I was again reminded of just how psychotic Scanta is, and also just how big of a deal the rivalry is.
Today he called me into his “office” (the back room) to “catch me up” on all I missed before I started my shift. I’ve been off for literally two days, but I guess he bubbled up something “genius” in the time I was gone.
When we walked into the back room he gestured for me to take a seat. I sat directly across from him on the uncomfortably small table. Damn. This really takes me back.
It felt like he was breathing directly onto my face.
“Well hello, Tristan! I’ve missed you. How’ve you been?”
I eyed him warily. “Fine. Is there a reason why you called me to the back before I start my shift?”
He gave me his signature predatory smile. “Ah Tristan, you know me too well. See, I’m sure you know of the intense rivalry between my establishment and the dirty little café across the street.”
He paused and waited for me to respond. I gave him a small nod. Great, what has he planned this time?
“They’ve been making a bit more money than us recently. I think it has something to do with the Halloween fiasco… Remember the priest that told you to give me his number?”
“Yeah, that was pretty weird.”
“The guy who called the priest was at the halloween event, and he’s a regular at Café Moonbucks. I guess my little Halloween surprise was a little too much for him, and he’s been telling all the customers at Café Moonbucks to ‘spread the word’ about a ghost in my café. Stupid, right? The rumors spread fast, though. It’s been affecting our business.”
Oh, so that’s what that's all about.
Scanta continued. “So, I decided we needed to take some revenge. I have a master plan, and I need you to help.”
Ah, just great. “What’s this plan you speak of?”
His smile grew wider. “Listen carefully, Tristan. I am going to hire a bunch of people for a one day job. These people will dress up like the Henchmen from Bespicable Me… Are you familiar with that movie?”
“First of all, yes, I know that movie. Second of all, what the heck? What is this going to achieve? Plus, they’re not called henchmen. They’re called minio-”
“You didn’t let me explain. I will hire as many people as possible, and they will all rush into Café Moonbucks while acting like henchmen. I don’t want anyone to know I orchestrated this, but just in case the secret gets out, I will instruct them to not touch anything. They’re basically just gonna run in, yell for a bit, and then leave. Anyways I need you to spend your shift outside, handing out flyers so people will apply.”
Excuse me? I don’t even know where to begin.
I was in shock.
“Tristan, I don’t care what you have to say. I’ve already mentally committed to the plan. Just go with it, I promise everything will be perfectly fine.”
I kept staring at him, and he held my gaze.
I sighed, I guess he really wasn’t kidding. “Fine, I guess I have no choice then.”
Scanta’s eyes lit up, “Thank you Tristan! You da best!”
“Whatever, where are the flyers?”
He grabbed a stack of at least 50 papers from off the shelf, and dropped them into my hands. They were surprisingly heavy… I almost dropped them.
Scanta patted me on the back hard and a couple papers flew off of the top of the pile.
“Oopsie doopsie! I’d pick those up, but I think I heard someone walk in! Gotta blast, Tristan!” Scanta ran off to the cash register.
Ugh. At least try to be subtle if you wanna run away.
I placed the stack on top of the table and bent down to pick up the strays. I took this chance to get a better look at what the flyer said.
In bright yellow font, highlighted by neon purple, the flyer read:
DO YOU HAVE A BORING LIFE AND WANT TO SPICE IT UP? ARE YOU AN ACTOR? DO YOU WANT TO BE ONE? DO YOU NEED SOMETHING TO PUT ON YOUR RESUME?
COME WORK FOR ME NEXT WEEK! CURRENTLY HIRING 50 PEOPLE FOR AN INTERACTIVE ACTING EXPERIENCE! NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE NECESSARY! DROP BY CAFÉ ERIS FOR FURTHER DETAILS!
P.S please do not dispose of these flyers anywhere near this area, thank you
This was going to be a long day.