Taking A Dump in A Health Food Shop

Losing all bowel control in a quaint neighbourhood eatery is less fun that it sounds

A somewhat soul-searching start to a Thursday morning.

It all began with a triple-shot cappuccino. The problem of being a monosyllabic moron redressed, Stavros’ wisdom in his Easyjet brochure sprang instantly to mind. There is no such thing as a free lunch. Meaning that on top of being woken the hell up, said amount of caffeine has a side effect of shifting everything through your system. Fast. To call it a side-effect is a bit unjust.

It’s an effect.

Healthy Stuff is like being in someone’s living room. It’s got that homely feel to it, unsurprisingly it’s the kind of place that gets pram-heavy, but it’s resolutely not the kind of place you drop the kids off in. And yet somehow three shots of caffeine removes all choice from the equation.

The pram-brigade not yet arrived, asides from a biddy in the corner enjoying history’s most over-brewed cup of tea, I was on my own. Having paid for my coffee and asked if I could duck into the loo, I then emerge fourteen minutes later. Walking back past the bar where the Finnish chick owner is having an in-depth conversation on the merits of activated almonds with some Australian dude made exclusively out of hemp, she clocks me.

The look on her face can be broken down into 3 key stages:

1. You’re still here? I thought you’d left ages ago.

2. Oooh, you’ve been in the toilet.

3. Oh.

This is where the soul-searching comes in.

Separated by a hair’s breadth of plasterboard, that loo can’t be more than 2 feet away from where she spends six hours a day frothing up babyccinos for the little ones. It’s a violation of all sorts of stuff. It was plainly there, in the lines of the consternation etched onto her face. Yes I felt two stone lighter, but my heart was heavy. How do you come back from that. I’m not sure I can go back there for a while. Probably not until I have kids of my own. Which now I’ll be sure to take with me when I leave. Both sets of them.

There’s a moral in this story. There’s a certain sort of business that needs handling before you leave the house in the morning. Or more aptly put, buy your food in departures before you get on the flight. That way you won’t have to pay Stavros six quid for a packet of mini cheddars.


 A few months later I found myself sitting on the loo – at home this time – ruminating on the explosive events of that February morning…

Something along the lines of…

Leaving the poor owners like…

and my conscience like…

But they say the key thing after a shark attack is to get back in the water. In lieu of exorcising my digestive demons, and with six months of water under the bridge and down the cistern, I decided to revisit the scene of the crime. In fact I spent a happy few mornings in there chatting to the owner Ben, who seemed cool. So I figured what the hell, and anonymously sent him the first half of this story.

No offence caused. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

Which if you’ve taken a massive dump in someone’s workplace, mere inches away from their face, strikes me as pretty nice behaviour. I should get in touch with the Collin’s English Dictionary guys. I mean whatever they have down as the definition of magnanimous, I’ve got a better one.

I went in there the following morning, and Ben started telling me about a blogpost he’d been sent by some guy who’d taken a du-….. etc etc. I gingerly raised my hand in admission of my crime, he cracked up, started telling me how funny he thought it was, we shot the breeze, then his Finnish wife came in and pointing at me, he was like… so this is the guy…

At which point she cracked up, and the first thing she did?

Offered me a triple-shot cappuccino.

Einstein said the definition of madness is to do the same thing over and over again while expecting a different outcome each time. So the moral of this story, is under no circumstances ever order a triple-shot cappuccino in a small neighbourhood coffee shop, but also remember that if you look hard enough, the world is full of very lovely and very forgiving people, who also happen to make incredible smoothies.