Wipe Your Mouth

Written on 05/05/2007
Mark Allardyce

One of my old business partners, ‘The Reverend’ was a very senior Mormon. 


We went to the US on a business trip and the Rev had arranged that we stay in Salt Lake in the family home of one of the inner circle. The family were wonderful. The patriarch was the owner of one of the biggest privately owned house builders in the US. And they knew everyone that was worth knowing. They were great fun, generous, fantastic family values and charming in the extreme. 

I wanted for nothing, except a coffee or a cup of tea! Until they were restricted from my grasp, I’d never really paid much attention or been aware that I needed a fix and a regular one at that! A man can only drink so much orange juice and soft drinks. I hadn’t thought of milk as a drink since I was in nursery school. 

After three days of the finest hospitality, we went on a trip to a Shopping Mall in Salt Lake City. As soon as we entered, I could smell it. The aroma of Saint Arbucks entered my nostrils and I was drawn like a zombie in the direction of the whiff of legal stimuli. As my eye’s glazed over I heard myself telling this lovely family, who had been nothing but kind to me, lies, ‘I’m just going to nip over to the shops to buy the kids some souvenirs’. I drifted in the direction of the stink of Starbucks. Like a junkie needing crack I ordered a Supersized Moccachino. 


It was the US, so when the cup arrived, it was the size of a bucket. Red hot Heaven. I couldn’t wait and took a blistering mouthful, it delivered like a needle to my brain. Sucking through the lid wasn’t working fast enough. I wanted my fix quicker. I needed to consume every last drop fast. The lid was discarded and tossed to one side as I glugged and slurped at the chocolaty, frothy remnants. 


I left to rejoin my new found family with the glazed eye’s of someone clearly high. I decided I would focus and never let them find out where I’d been. So, buying a mouthful of mints and a handful of crappy souvenirs, I found them, the Rev was looking at sunglasses. 


Like sniffer dogs at an airport – how could they know. How did they know with such certainty. I looked at the Rev, who did the eyeball glancing thing towards my mouth, giving silent directional hints. I looked into the mirror on the sun glasses stand only to find I was sporting a magnificent handlebar Moccachino moustache!


AND THE MORAL IS: When things go wrong (and they will) wipe your mouth and carry on.