As I am not at work today and departing to foreign shores later, I decided to have breakfast out this morning. There’s hardly any point in buying a litre of milk only to have to throw it out when I get back.
And I thought I would be spoiled for choice, living as I do in the financial area of the city with all sorts of freeze-dried, organic, locally sourced, handwoven cafes in the immediately vicinity. While my neighbourhood is not exactly a ghost town at weekends, it does become far more low key from 7pm on a Friday evening until about 8am on Monday morning. And many of the eating establishments in the neighbourhood don’t even open for business at the weekend. Which is logical considering that the bulk of their business comes from the upwardly mobile, financial sector staff.
Well todays is Wednesday – everything will be open.
My first port of call is an organic breakfast and lunchtime called Foodie. Now this is a name that I find irritating in its pretentiousness, but I was willing to be reasonable for a change and to give it a chance.
I entered and read the menu. Hmmm porridge with honey, and scrambled eggs with herbs. And individually plucked and massaged coffee beans. This looks like my type of place. I approache the counter to order. Wait. What that. From the corner of my eye I spotted a simple sentence on the menu, that was so offensive to me that I put the menu down, turned on my heel and marches straight back out the door.
What was the offensive sentence. Well I can’t remember the exact sequence of words, but it went something along the lines of ‘Dublin’s finest breakfast and lunch eatery’.
Now this may strike people as strange and bizarre and a touch obsessive-compulsive on my part, but the word ‘eatery’ absolutely infuriates me. There is a plethora of words already in existence to describe eating establishments – diner, grill, restaurant, snackbar, cafe, coffeeshop, take-away. The word eatery really grates on my nerves as it screams new-age pretension and fakery. And eatery in my mind means fakery.
I am my father’s son – he too had a list of random words that used to irritate him no end – boutique, pharmacy. ‘out-there’. There was no logic to his dislike of these words – they just enraged him. A strategically placed ’boutique’ in a sentence uttered by one of his children could result in a massively entertaining outburst. What cunning brutes we were.
I though that I should inform the barista (another word that sets my teeth on edge, although not to the same extent) about why I was leaving.
But I am self-aware enough to understand that a vocalised loathing of the word ‘eatery’ on my part would indicate to him that I might possibly be certifiably insane and he would call security on me.
Instead I backed away and over to the college canteen across the road where I say on a a canteen bench and had a bowl of porridge, a glass of orange juice and a large cup of coffee with milk.
And then I came home to pack.