A small story I wrote one evening. I wanted to write something for fun and asked my friend to give me prompts to inspire me – “giraffe” and “all day brunch” is what I got.
“‘ooks mow wike the Loff Neff monter to me. Ow a wamp poft”, Sandra was trying to talk and chew the last bit of triple chocolate muffin at the same time. She glanced at Jenny’s perplexed face and concluded that her message didn’t quite make it across. She swallowed the muffin (“Sorry!”) and repeated:
“I’m saying it looks more like the Loch Ness monster or a lamp post or something”
“Oh come on! I’m telling you – it’s clearly a giraffe. I mean come on, look at the tiny tail and the spots…”, once Jenny had made up her mind she was nearly impossible to argue with. They were trying to agree on what shape the chocolate powder in Sandra’s Chai Tea resembled most. Jenny had recently gotten over her passion for Astrology and moved on to coffee cup readings. This was a practice of looking at lefotover grains on the bottom of a cup of ground coffee and figuring out what object or creature they looked like. The theory was that each object had a symbolic meaning for how one’s life would turn out or signified some event that would shortly take place. Of course Chai Tea did not strictly fall under the “coffee” category, but that detail didn’t deter Jenny in her quest for predicting Sandra’s future. Nor was she bothered by the fact that chocolate powder floating on top of a cup of tea had little to do with ground coffee grains.
Sandra cared little for what the powder in her Chai Tea looked like. All she wanted was to gulp the tea down after finishing the two pancakes still left on her plate. Sandra and Jenny were sitting at a nice little cafe called Gustav Adolf in the center of Malmø. It served delicious Brunch buffet from 11:00 to 15:00 at a cost of 139 swedish kronor, which was very affordable considering the “all you can eat” deal. Sandra glanced at her watch – half past two. They made it to the cafe shortly after 11:00 and since then Sandra had eaten through an impressive amount of food. She started out with a portion of open sandwiches with herring, followed by two servings of bacon and eggs, large bowl of mixed salad with a generous topping of Thousand Island dressing, three Pepperoni pizza slices and a piece of vegetarian lasagne. Then she turned to the fruit buffet to balance out the heavy food and ate two oranges, a big grape branch and a few watermelon slices. Now she was just finishing up her dessert of muffins, cookies and the famous Gustav Adolf pancakes with strawberry jam. Sandra sighed while mentally recounting the day’s meal – it was a lot, even for her. Then again, she was eating for two, or possibly even three, if the sonogram lady’s assumptions were correct…
“…Besides, where have you ever seen a lamp post with legs?” Jenny was pressing on with her cup reading. Sandra snapped out of her daydream and blinked at Jenny.
“OK, OK, so it’s a giraffe. What does it mean though – will I meet a tall handsome man with an unusually long neck? If so I think you ought to warn Tom that I’m about to elope with a total stranger”
“Don’t be silly now, it’s never that straightforward. I mean come on, if it was that simple you wouldn’t have to study cup readings, anyone could do it. Now let me think. Well, if you see a giraffe in a dream it usually means that you have to consider the whole picture and where your life is headed. So that could be it. Then again, coffe cup reading isn’t like dream interpretation really”
“That’s fascinating. I have to consider the overall picture. Thanks Jen, I now know exactly what I should be doing”, Sandra couldn’t help but poke fun at Jenny who seemed to jump from one pseudo science to another without ever sticking to any one of them for too long and mastering it.
“Oh stop, you know what I’m saying. Just think for a second, maybe there’s something you’d like to change, or do differently. I’m sure you could probably eat healthier for example.”
“Hey, I’m pregnant, so don’t try to make me feel guilty. If the baby’s hungry it must be fed!”
“Right, but I’m quite sure the baby could well do without the bacon and cookies. I mean come on…” Jenny didn’t really know how to finish that sentence so instead she went silent for a moment, then switched the subject.
“So did you think of names yet?”
“Well we’ve got a few but it’s too early to settle on anything. Plus I want to find out if I’m having twins first. Anyways, if it’s a boy I could name him Giraffio”
“Very funny…” Jenny attempted to pout, but it came out more like a grin. She loved her Sundays with Sandra, especially now that they’ve lived relatively far apart and didn’t see each other as often as they used to. She glanced at her watch and looked up at Sandra:
“Do you realise we’ve been here for almost four hours?! That must be a new record!”
Sandra shook her head in mock annoyance. Jenny always made a point out of acting surprised at how long time Sandra could spend at a cafe, even though they must have done this a million times before. After they’ve paid for brunch Sandra walked Jenny to Malmø Central Station. Jenny had to catch a train back home to Copenhagen to watch Madagascar 2 with her little niece Olivia. Sandra said:
“You know there’s a giraffe in that cartoon, right? Are you sure we weren’t reading your cup by mistake?” Jenny didn’t say anything, but just grinned again, and Sandra continued, “So what will you be studying next? Maybe you can read my palm next time we end up having one of these all day brunches.”
“Girl, with you it’s always an all day brunch”, Jenny meant no malice and winked at Sandra. She waved goodbye as her train started.
Sandra lived very close to the station so it took her under ten minutes to make it home. She barely had enough time on her way back to finish the last cookie she snatched from Gustav Adolf. She found Tom in the living room watching reruns of Friends on TV3. He seemed to be in a giddy mood for some reason. Sandra hugged him and filled him in on Jenny’s newfound hobby. All of a sudden Tom burst into laughter, which left Sandra puzzled.
“Really?! A giraffe?” he gasped for air and continued between breaths: “That’s just uncanny. You know, this time Jenny was onto something. Except, perhaps it wasn’t all that symbolic and mysterious afterall.”
“What do you mean?”
“Oh I don’t know, maybe it was something a bit more on the nose.” Tom had tears in his eyes at this point, and Sandra punched him lightly on the shoulder:
“Aaargh come on, what is it?!”
“Why don’t you have a peek out into the garden?” Tom was wiping his eyes.
Sandra frowned and walked over to the kitchen, where the backdoor lead out onto a small 40 square metre garden. She swung it open and froze. A four metre tall giraffe was standing by the garage, staring back at her. It was chewing an armful of leaves and some were falling down onto Tom’s trailer parked outside. Two massive chains stretched from the animal’s hind legs to the apple tree in the middle of the garden, although it didn’t seem to have any intention of attempting an escape. Sandra stood there with her mouth open as Tom walked up and squeezed her shoulders from behind. She jerked involuntarily and turned to face him. Before she opened her mouth to speak he said:
“A job for the Knuthenborg Safari park. Leaving soon actually, just waiting for the call. But you’ve got to love the coincidence, eh? What are the odds?” Tom walked back inside the house, still chuckling. He worked for Johansson Brothers’ Transportation & Deliveries and through the years Sandra had witnessed him transport many peculiar cargoes, from jet engine turbines to Japanese blow up love dolls for a local sex shop. But a live giraffe and on the day Jenny decides to play psychic again? Unreal. She would have to tell Jenny about this. Tom was rummaging through the fridge in the kitchen and called out to Sandra:
“I’m making ham and cheese toasts hon, are you hungry?”
Sandra took one final look at the chewing four-metre giant. She used her tongue to fish out some leftover cookie crumbs from between her teeth and swallowed them. Then she turned around, walked back inside the kitchen and shut the door behind her: