About twelve years ago, while visiting an aunt (and my mother, who was visiting from out of province) we did a quick side trip to the Aberfoyle Market. No, I don’t know why either. While there, I decided to buy an old bayonet from an older gentleman selling war memorabilia. It was marked ‘1903’, which I took to be the year, and seemed to have a few Arabic characters scratched into the bottom of the blade. I’m not sure why I bought it; it’s possible I was re-reading books about WWI, or was just bored and saw something at the market that seemed interesting. I held onto it for all these years too, through two or three moves, even though there was never really anywhere to put it. I just couldn’t bring myself to get rid of it; there was craftsmanship to it, and it clearly had a story. I did hope it wasn’t a bloody one though. A little interwebby sleuthing tells me it was actually a British Enfield P-1903 1st Model SMLE bayonet.
A couple of weeks ago I walked into my favourite recent addition to my neighbourhood, Fahrenheit Coffee. I don’t even like coffee, but I like their coffee, and have become accustomed to drinking one of their Americanos each morning. They’re cool guys in there too — friendly and funny, and they remember my drink and mark my prepaid card for me so I’m in and out quickly. Anyway, that day a couple of weeks ago two of the staff were talking about collectibles, and one of the guys — Benny — said he collected bayonets.
A couple of days later I went back for another caffeine boost. Benny wasn’t working, but I left the bayonet with Benny’s colleague Brad. He thanked me and said he’d get it to Benny, who’d be pleased. Great. Cool. I went on my way, happy that Benny’s day would probably be made when he came in. A week or so later I was in and saw Benny behind the counter; he thanked me profusely and comped my coffee. Greater! Cooler! I made somebody happy and got a free caffeine burst. The universe works.
Yesterday I dropped in on the guys for my usual hit. I knew I’d nearly run out my prepaid card so, once they’d filled my cup, I made to buy a new card. Sameer and Brad smiled and told me it wasn’t necessary. Benny had bought me two prepaid cards to say thanks, and just not said anything. What a guy.
So yeah, I have a month of free coffee, basically. All for a bayonet that I’d held onto for years without really knowing why. The universe works even better than I thought.
Anyway, the moral of the story is to always buy your coffee from a local independent coffee shop. And to always have a spare bayonet.
Photo by Subsetsum, used under Creative Commons license