Joe had worked long hours in the weeks before he went to the café, and had reached such a level of exhaustion that he looked forward to any small pleasure. When he arranged to meet his friend Bob one Friday lunchtime, taking a break for the first time in as long as he could remember, he could not sit still with the excitement. His expectation was heightened still further by the fact that a pamphlet advertising the café had been pushed through his letterbox the previous week that contained a coupon for a free half a cake.
When the fabled time finally arrived, it met his expectations. They spoke of many things: their wives, the weather, and the new photocopiers that had been installed in the office. In fact, they were so immersed in conversation that Joe almost forgot about the coupon, until suddenly, reminded perhaps by the whiff of patisserie, the smell strengthened by being carried on a cool wisp of air conditioning, it came to him in revelation. He took the coupon from his wallet and showed it to Bob with the pride as if it had been a picture of a beloved daughter. Bob could hardly restrain himself:
“That’s good that is.”