Itâ€™s breakfast time at the hotel. There are a lot of businessmen getting their calories before heading off to meetings. Itâ€™s a ferocious display of male territorial behaviour. Here is our field guide to the Beasts of the Breakfast Buffet:
He is 6ft 5in, 18 stone, and he wants coffee. He stands with legs apart, covering off the bubbling filter like a nightclub bouncer. It would take an Act of Parliament and a JCB to move him.
He wants dried apricots and he wants them now. As the fruit topples off your teaspoon on its way to your branflakes you hear an elongated snorting sound. You say: â€˜Sorry â€“ youâ€™ll just have to tell the Pope youâ€™re running a little lateâ€™.
Within seconds, he has mapped his escape routes, calculated the shortest time between the toaster and the scrambled egg and has GPS coordinates of the pastry counter. All he has to cope with is the hazard of Other People. While most of us wander to and fro like partially sighted sheep with acute amnesia, the Strategist brushes us aside.
HUNTING IN PAIRS
They have their sleeves rolled up and all angles covered. Hunter A blocks the old lady with the walking stick with a well-timed diagonal run, leaving Hunter B free access to the marmalade. B claims the toaster territory before a small child can intervene. Within minutes, they have snaffled all the bacon, drained the yoghurt and made a small lady visitor from Taiwan cry. How can they be stopped?
THE GRUNTING SLURPING AXE MURDERER
Gap between face and plate: two inches. Purpose of knife and fork: slaughter. Sound of mastication: as if the bowels of hell have opened and regurgitated a junior sales assistant in a badly fitting suit. Word of advice: avoid nearby tables.
By Mark Jones, Don Not Disturb (In-hotel Magazine)