You hear it somewhere between eight and nine of a weekday morning — a quick blast of a car-horn playing ‘La Cucaracha’. It reminds me of staying at my grandmother’s house in Deer Park in the 1970s. Someone in Salmon Street always played that horn as they peeled out of the the street at night, probably in a Charger.

As a kid I thought all Chargers had that horn installed at the factory and I don’t care to be disabused of that notion.

These days, though, I associate the sound with this bloke, La Guerrilla Barista. He toots his horn, rolls into the empty carpark in front of an old factory that dreams of being luxury apartments someday, and swings open the doors of his sweet old Bedford delivery van.

“La Cucuracha” is a great theme; as soon as he starts making coffee, people scurry out of all the places in the street that you never noticed people even could be and mill around waiting for their coffees. He knows most people’s orders, even the bloke who has a convoluted order for eight of his co-workers back in the shoe warehouse.

Sometimes he leaves the engine running — the battery in the Bedford probably needs replacing and there’s no way he’s turning down the tunes. More reggae than I’d like (my reggae tolerance is 10 picomarleys per annum), but it’s his van and he makes great coffee.

He’s terrible at social media. He has an instagram with no posts on it, and domain names he’s never bothered pointing anywhere. “I’m old-school, man. Why do you think I drive a Bedford?”

Because you’re La Guerrilla Barista, man. Godspeed.

 

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