ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

“That’s funny, I should have almost $3000 on that card,” he said loud and bright like a flashbang.

“Here, try my American Express.”

The card linked to Samuel Davis’ everyday transaction account had just been declined.

As part of his morning ritual, the 27-year-old city worker stopped off at his favourite hole-in-the-wall cafe in the French Quarter before he made his way up the hill to his boutique – yet charmingly bespoke advertising agency that pays him to coordinate accounts.

However, his handsome pay packet didn’t save him from a violent embarrassment this morning.

Seconds after his American Express footed the bill for his $5 large-almond-milk-flat-white-with-five, he had his banking app open to check what had gone wrong.

On the other side of the cafe countertop paved with banana bread and muffins stood the barista trying his best to mentally escape from his harsh reality of wage theft and job insecurity.

Cassie Willis makes a pretty average coffee but her blasé attitude towards the perils of life and her job has garnered her a dedicated, cult-like following among the faceless office clones that do things with computers in agencies around town.

“Ah ha,” said Samuel.

“Looks like the error was you. There’s like $3500 in that account. See.”

He held his phone out so Cassie could see how much money he had.

She smiled and raised her eyebrows before placing his coffee on the counter for him to pick up.

Young Sam smiled back at Cassie, who he thought could only dream of amassing such wealth as an economic remora-fish cafe serf, and took off down Rue de Putain Chateau with a very broad smile on his dial.

His ego, safe.

More to come.


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