Archive for September, 2008

Mr. Bean Moment #1

September 1, 2008


I’m not really sure where I am with this blog. I’ve had ideas for columns, and we see how that has gone. The School Bus Diaries were good while they lasted, but I’ve had so many behavior problems this year with the kids that I hardly let them talk anymore. That has hurt my source material. I thought blogging about things I love and things I hate would work. Obviously it didn’t. My next idea is to write about my “Mr. Bean Moments.” We’ll see how that goes. If I can just discipline myself to one post a week, at least that will keep the blog alive.

You see, I have decided that I am Mr. Bean. You know, the bumbling yet adorable idiot portrayed by the great Rowan Atkinson. I constantly find myself in awkward and confusing situations that would make great episodes of his television series. The example that follows happened while Britney and I were in Scotland this summer.

It was a rainy day, and Britney and I had just hiked into town from our hotel. The hotel was, by the way, owned by Scrooge McDuck, but that’s an entirely different story. As we entered the town, we decided that a cup of coffee and something to snack on would be a nice treat. After walking a bit longer, we entered a small cafe that seemed promising. It was a self-service establishment, complete with its own fancy coffee machine that typically would be found in a place like Cups. It seemed oddly out of place in this small Scottish village. As it turns out, I was the one who was out of place there. Britney filled her coffee cup with no problem whatsoever and proceeded down the line. I took a coffee cup from the counter and placed it under the machine. After pressing the appropriate button, I waited as my cup slowly filled up with hot, steaming coffee. And kept filling. And kept filling. And kept filling . . . Little did I know that I had chosen the cups for tea, a cup that is half the size of the coffee mugs! The manager saw what had happened and offered to clean up the mess. I thanked her and said that I would clean it. She also offered to allow me to fill another mug with coffee at no extra charge. I thanked her and politely refused, accepting the consequences of my idiocy. She returned to her register as I continued to fix my coffee. It was then that I saw what I thought was a steamed milk dispenser on the coffee machine. I was excited about this, as the thought of adding steamed milk to my coffee made me think of the delicious coffee from Spain, where we had been only the week before. I pressed the button, giddily anticipating the foamy, frothy milk. Except milk did not come out of the attachment. Oh, it involved steam alright, but not milk. Just steam, and lots of it! Hot, wet, steamy air loudly shot out of the attachment, much to my horror and embarrassment. And kept shooting. And kept shooting. And kept shooting . . . The manager rolled her eyes yet remained polite as she stepped over to help me once again. I apologize profusely as I explained what I was trying to do. She kindly dealt with my idiocy and explained that this was a new machine and that she did not know how to turn off the steam. In fact, she said that they needed to cover up the button, as they had never used this button before and prior to this occasion did not know its function. She suggested that I go ahead and pay for the coffee and see if the machine would stop on its own. I paid for the coffee, but the machine did not stop. I asked if I should press the button again to see if that would shut it off, and the manager replied that she did not know if that would work. I could see her grimace as I reached out to press the button anyway. Can you guess what happened next? Well, it stopped. I know, I’m as surprised as you are!