o come to where the Fat Dog wags
its nimble backside, where you’ll be glad
you rolled your rotund form on
in through the door, the
rolling slippy slidy wooden floors
where waitstaff glide
waists pinched and arms long
with heavy jowled food, warm lumpy cups
of coffee, plates indigestive
with chocolate cake.
Come to where the cream is piled high as an iceberg,
swerve to avoid creaking chairs
as schoolgirls sail upon
their swooning love affairs.
For your own chair sits
beside the potbellied stove
which has swallowed a fire
much too big for it. Stay, guest;
but not too long – for they say
we make our own nests; and then we must lie in them.
Slipping sliding, the hippy trippy
waitress slides along olive oiled
avenues towards you. You consume her
as you have already consumed the grape painted walls,
the twisted chandeliers, the candles, the poetry painted above the toilet. You consume
her, whole, in her tight black T-shirt with the Fat Dog wagging its brisk tail until the
end. You lick the fat globs of cream off his backside and belch wholeheartedly, for
your heart is not yet in its last convulsions. You drip silver drooled coins through
the hands of the man at the coffee machine and then you jangle merrily on your way
through the door.
The Fat Dog Cafe is probably one of the best cafes in the country and my favourite place to eat in Rotorua. In my first year as a doctor, I worked at Rotorua Hospital - one of the defining periods of my life and a year when I really grew up. With my flatmates, we were "regulars" at the Fat Dog - going there once a week, as a treat or when we couldn't be bothered cooking and just wanted to lounge around in front of the fire and eat chunky lasagne and garden-crisp salad with gobs of mayonnaise....