Any chance of a coffee, Cheryl?
I’m busy, John. Can you get one from the machine? It does a good job.
Not as good as you, Cheryl.
She smiled but it was no go. So I went to the machine. There was a sign on it saying, Apologies. This Machine Is Out Of Order.
So I went and told Cheryl.
That’s funny, she said. It was working earlier. I’ll have a look.
A few minutes later, she brought me a coffee.
The machine’s working, John but I brought you a coffee anyway.
That’s funny: the sign said it wasn’t working.
The sign was on the side of the machine, she said. Only if it’s on the front does it hold true.
Oh? I said. Oh.
So I thanked her and after I drank the coffee, I left, a little troubled.
At home, I flipped through the community newspaper and found just the course I wanted: How To Read Signs. I filled out the form, sent in the cheque and enrolled immediately.
Never again would I be caught short before a sign.