I’ve been blessed throughout my life in having good friends. Most all possess a keen sense of humor. Perhaps at the top of my list is Mary Ostendorf. Mary’s quick wit is the cream of the crop. She’s a pro at keeping jokes going!
Several years ago I attended a sexual harassment class at work. It was required. A co-worker of mine Dee Linton went along. Lo and behold on the morning of the seminar we bumped into Mary. We knew immediately the meeting was going to be a hoot.
There were mostly middle-management employees attending although a few upper-management supervisors were there as well.
When break time rolled around Mary and others walked to the coffee pot with Styrofoam cups in hand. Dee, seeing her headed that direction called out for all to hear,
“Mary – would you fetch me a cup?”
There was a scripted non-use of the word please on Dee’s part. Fetch was also inserted for effect. The room went deathly silent with all eyes focused on my friend. From the distinct tightness on several employees’ lips, I sensed they eagerly awaited Mary’s response.
“Yes Dee”, she playfully responded. “Would you like one lump on your head or two?”
The room erupted in laughter for all but a few. Our instructor even chuckled. One gal with utter disgust on her face remained smugly quiet. Mary took things in stride. She was not offended in the least.
On another occasion Dee and I were on the south of town where Mary worked. There was a little coffee shack a few blocks away from her office. Going through the drive-thru we grabbed raspberry mochas for ourselves as well as her. Taking Mary’s beverage inside the building a receptionist asked if she could help.
“Coffee delivery for Mary Ostendorf.”, I responded with a straight face.
Anticipating that such an unusual statement would prompt the woman’s curiosity I eagerly waited for her reply. Looking confused the gal inquired if delivery was a free service. I informed her that delivery cost five bucks. By now others in the room took notice.
“A ten dollar cup of coffee?”, she countered.
“Yes mam…. nine dollars and fifty cents.”
Pointing me towards Mary’s cubicle I walked through a maze of desks before handing her the drink. Whispering to Mary what was going on, she kept the gig going. To this day I believe co-workers believe the woman had a serious caffeine addiction.
Last on my list of Ostendorf java tales is an unusual one. It was never intended to be funny yet turned into humorous drama.
There was a coffee supplier in Juneau that was trying to break into the Alaska market. Dark Horse had one store in Anchorage plus a few kiosks at various locations. One place in particular was located at The Red Apple Restaurant on Boniface and Tudor. All kiosks were independently owned including this one.
My pal Dee Linton came in possession of ‘free latte’ coupons from someone working at Dark Horse. From what he was told, a coupon presented to any business selling their brew would garner a free 12-ounce drink.
Dee and I took our coupons to Red Apple Restaurant handing them to the manager who was also part owner. She went into a tirade complaining about how the coffee company was slow on refunding money.
“I’ll go out of business!”, the woman whined.
We were granted our coffees with two lumps of seething anger. Making sure to tip the woman Dee whispered,
“Never again!” as we walked out.
There was one solitary coupon remaining in Dee’s wallet. Seeing Mary Ostendorf later that day my pal presented it to her. Mary thanked him and said she’d stop in at Red Apple and snag a cup.
Dee and I looked at each other, before quickly deciding to drive across the street and see if she scored. We had a perfect view from parking lot into the front window. The restaurant cash register could clearly be seen including latte machine. Mary stood there a bit while the owner rang up several patrons.
We watched as she handed the woman her coupon. Within milliseconds the restaurant owner went ballistic. All we could see were arms flailing and head bobbing. We couldn’t hear words yet knew the woman’s language was not nice. After several minutes the incensed restaurant owner abruptly walked away.
When our friend Mary came out empty handed we drove up asking what happened. She was ready to kill us at that point, thinking it was an intentional prank.
“Why’d you guys do that to me?”
Dee and I couldn’t stop laughing. Mary began doing the same. Dee partially made it up to her by delivering a 20-ounce raspberry mocha the next week. I still owe her the same.
The best coffee in Lake Havasu City is at The Human Bean. There’ll always be a 20-ounce raspberry mocha there with Mary Ostendorf’s name on it. Same goes for Dee Linton.
All they have to do is come get it!
On a side note: Red Apple Restaurant’s coffee kiosk was yanked soon after Mary’s incident. Within a year the business folded for obvious reasons.