Little Chef, Tadcaster

This morning I found myself
Eating pancakes and bacon at the Little Chef
Near Tadcaster. For some reason this location
Is an oasis of mobile signallessness, from which
No messages arrive or make their way
Out into the dull grey Yorkshire sky. It’s a
Lovely morning for a ride; not too warm, not wet, the roads
Just sprinkled with a few considerate drivers. I ended up
Behind a Vauxhall Astra whose tail-end
Vomited blue smoke, cheerful as it roared along.
And then I passed a bloke
Driving a Reliant Robin, British Racing Green
And both of them were nudging sixty-something, a
Decent turn of speed back in 1977. Meanwhile, the ceiling
Of the Little Chef lives up to its name, in sky-blue
Perforated tiles with fluffy clouds and silent gulls
And waitresses who drift between the plastic tables
Dispensing rubber food and artificial friendliness
To the scruffy drivers who will try
To leave without paying in exactly fourteen minutes’ time.
And even if I had a signal on my phone,
Who would I call? What would I say?

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