I had hoped to go to Towl Park again, but as I step outside to get into my car, the wind nips hard at me. Hmm. I guess the promise of temperatures in the forties that I saw last night on the news was a dream. I check my phone. It is 27 degrees with a promise of a high of thirty four. So, no Towl Park today. Probably not until next week. I go to the list that I made on the back page of my notebook of all open, warm places. There are a lot of libraries but since I spend two hours at least every week day working on my book at Swanson Library, I don't really want to go to two libraries per day.
And then I see at the bottom of the list, the word: Hy-Vee. I decide immediately that this is perfect. Plus, I am hankering for a warm drink. Perfect. There's a Starbucks in there.
Decision made. I go to the Starbucks first and entertain myself by using a fake name and speaking in a British accent. I actually do a very passable British accent that I learned decades ago in college when I was in a Shakespearean production of "Much Ado About Nothing." Our director wanted us to perform it in a Shakespearean dialect and we all dived in. Our director was dating a woman from England at the time and he would have her check our accents to make sure that they were authentic. She loved my accent, although she did say that I sounded more like a Northern British than a Southern one. I had no idea what she meant. Strangely enough, since that play, I can jump right into a British accent, if I wish.
So, today, I do.
I saunter up to the Starbucks counter and order a skinny pumpkin latte with no whipping cream, and pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon powder on top. The barista is taken with me.
Ever since the Beatles, we Americans have been besotted with Brits, I think.
She asks for my name.
"Claire," I tell her, sweetly.
"May I ask a personal question?" she says, timidly.
I nod. "Are you from England?"
"Yes," I say, smiling beautifically. I mentally remind myself to never come back to this particular Hy-Vee.
"From which part?" the barista presses.
"Worcester," I answer, fast on my feet. I correctly give it the British pronunciation of Wooster. The barista looks delighted.
"That is where Kit Harington is from!" she says. "Do you know him?"
I tell her that, unfortunately, no...I do not know Kit Harington, but I wouldn't mind meeting the man. She heartily agrees and hands me my drink.
"Goodbye, now!" she calls after me.
I waggle my fingers at her and wander off to find a booth. I feel a little guilty about my act and then I decide to feel just fine about it. It was FUN. On my way out, about an hour later, I stop to throw my cup in the recycling bin by Starbucks.
"Goodbye again, Claire!" calls the barista.
I go up to the counter and get bold. "Are you one of those trumper people?" I ask in a loud whisper. She looks sideways and then back at me.
"We aren't supposed to take sides at work," she says.
I nod, understanding. I lean over the counter and whisper again, conspiratorially. "Well, you Yanks were off your onion when you put that poxy prat in the White House now, weren't you?"
She giggles. I rush out and get into my car...back to the same old me again. But, hey...that was jolly good fun, mate.