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The Baguette

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Chris Thomson

It’s a rare weekday at home for Mark, a nurse at the local hospital, but he pulled a double shift yesterday and so has earned today off.  He woke at his usual time of 6 am and, while still a bit bleary eyed, decided he wanted to make the most of his ‘free day’. 

In his early forties, and in what is often a physically demanding job, he likes to keep fit. As he no longer plays competitive sport, he works out when he can and has already done a light gym session and swum his regular twenty laps. Although it’s only 11.45am, his early activity together with breakfast over by 7.30am mean he’s now like a bear fresh from hibernation – he’s hungry! 

A quick look through the fridge reveals a nice piece of brie, a cucumber, and a capsicum – perfect with some dressing in a crusty bread roll, “A baguette!” he says out loud!

Placing the brie to soften on the bench, he grabs the car keys and drives the kilometre to town. As it’s approaching lunch time, he anticipates parking will be a challenge, and he’s correct. Cars are circling and turning, like sniffer dogs hunting for truffles, with drivers hoping for a space to materialise. However, as Mark turns left into the block with the French Bakery, the very first parking spot is just being vacated, and it is directly opposite the bakery – “Oh yes, my luck is in”, he says to himself. 

He's about to get out of the car, when he realises he’s forgotten his wallet. Damn!  A rummage through the loose change of the car, and he finds a little over seven dollars. That will cover the baguette, but parking! What to do? A quick scan reveals no parking officers wandering the street and, as he estimates he will only be one minute, he ignores the meter and sprints across the street to the bakery. 


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