One of the chief delights of having a meal at a popular café is the sense of luxury and importance it gives to its patrons. At home the need for economy is ever with us. The things we eat and the place we eat in are not those of our dreams they are those which can be afforded out of our meager income. But when we go to a café everything is on a grand scale. Electric light bulbs glow by the dozen instead of in single globes. Cakes fruits and sweets rise in mountains form the counters. Cups and plates abound waiters move about gratifying our slightest whim. Each member of the family can choose a different dish without causing undue pressure on the kitchen. We are indeed in a world of riches.
To make a visit to a café really satisfactory. We should of course go in a taxi. Then as it draws up out side the brightly lit portals. The gorgeously uniformed commissionaire with his row of medals for all commissioners are war heroes! Throws open a taxi door and courteously assist us to alight. We wait self consciously on the pavement while Father pays the driver, hopping that some of our acquaintances may be passing humbly on foot the other side of the street to observe our glory.
As we pass through doors held open for us the rich romantic strains of the orchestra thrill our senses. An aristocratic looking gentleman in evening dress enquired the number in our party and leads us to a table decorated with flowers and set with sparkling cutlery. If one of the family members is too young to reach the table with comfort he hastens to bring a special chair into which the small parton is deferentially lifted by an attendant waiter.
Then comes the exciting moment of choosing what we are to eat. The early part of the menu is usually passed over without interest it contains such utilitarian items as soup fish and joints all of which we are given at home with monotonous regularity. The thrilling part of the bill of fare is that marked sundries where the young can find unusual and indigestible dishes such as their souls love. Of course the bonne bouche is an ice cream of some sort preferably one of those highly colored confections in a tall glass bubbling and frosty with two long straws protruding from the top. The youngest member of the family conveniently at the higher extremity of the straw and has to stand on the kneel on the seat in order to arrive at the required height. But this trifling adjustment of posture merely adds to the excitement of the experience.
We sit a long time over our meal far longer than at home when meals are rushed through as quickly as parental authority will allow in order to get on with more interesting pursuits. The orchestra changes from waltz to tango and from tango to romantic ballad. Sometimes there is a crooner who makes noises that no music master would allow in a singing class and we wonder vaguely why it is that things punishable at school receive great applause in the adult world. But such puzzles do not worry us for commissionaire will blow a blast on this shrill whistle and like magic the taxi will draw up besides the curb and we shall all crowd in.
Tomorrow we shall be ordinary humble people again walking or talking a bus to school and eating pain whole some food in the family dining room but today we have sojourned on Olympus we are gods not men.