Today I undertook a routine health inspection
of Café Kafka on Ludgate Street.
It’s a little hole-in-the-wall takeaway coffee joint.
The entire kitchen is no bigger than four square meters.
I walked in with my inspection pad and thermometer,
then introduced myself as the local Health Inspector,
but before I got started I asked the barista
if the café was named after Franz Kafka?
‘Yes, it is,’ was her brief reply
‘Well,’ I began as I clicked my pen,
‘I read The Trail a few weeks ago,
and found it to be the most frightening depiction
of mindless bureaucracy
that I’ve ever encountered.’
She offered no response.
So I checked the temperature of the milk,
made sure the basin was working,
then ticked the boxes on my inspection form
and was out the door in five minutes.
I hope she appreciated the irony.
Peter Horgan has studied for a bachelor of science and works in quality assurance. When he isn’t monitoring production lines or leafing through QA manuals, he’s writing short stories or poems on the everyday experiences of city life. His writing has previously appeared in Poets Corner, and Underground Writers, and he’s the author of a self-published novel.
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