As his pine marten friend flipped through the channels of the TV mounted on the wall above her tables, Tinarandel voiced his own commentary on the reports that each one presented. One ear was flexibly turned to listening to the girls giving their orders, the other straight to the audio. He quickly snapped open the cash register took the girls' pay, pulled his ears back together, then opened up the ice cream counter to prepare the special sundae.
"Storm across the eastern front, huh? Pray it doesn't devolve into a hurricane. Whatever higher powers we believe in, if any at all, we must hope they will make it only a small passing rainstorm or something like that."
He scooped two helpings of vanilla ice cream into a plastic bowl, then peeled a banana, sliced a cherry into pieces, and spread thick hot chocolate fudge over the bunch, all in the space of one minute. Sticking the creamery's trademark rainbow-colored spoon into the bowl, he put it down beside the cash register and pounded the silver bell to indicate the prepared meal.
"Ylan, order up! …Sharptooth, as in Devran Sharptooth? He's my apartment neighbor, lives right next door to my family and me! Good to know that he'll be all right after the appeal of an unfair court decision. Devran is a great wolf, a skilled honorable sword fencer and an overall highly moral beast! He'd never do any harm to anybeast!"
Tinarandel swiftly set to gathering three more scoops of vanilla together in a new bowl, then added a pinch of colorful sprinkles to them for decoration. He placed that order beside the first and rang the bell a second time.
"Thanks for letting me keep the change, young ladies," Tinarandel winked gratefully at them. But he then sighed and shook his head disgracefully at the contents of the third channel.
"Crest, Rook, and Ruben again? Will their controversy ever end? That's, what, the fourth time this month they've been in trouble? Did the humans have any choice but to move here to New Yak from their war-torn homeland? See, this is why I hate politics so much!
By the way, would you two like anything to drink?' He posed to the two human girls, leaning tiredly again on the counter. "Water, fruit juice, soda, iced tea?"
As the report on yet another anti-beast extremist video came on, Tinarandel couldn't help but feel crestfallen, sadness twinging at his heart, but daring not to let it show on his face.
"Why can't they just stop? Next thing you know, there's riots in the streets. Beast and human alike will be hurt. Innocent blood shed - the government needs to take action to stop this now! I haven't even been on my Facebook or Tumblr in almost nine months!"
The squirrel walked out from behind the counter through the half-door and sat on one of the spinning bar stools to get a better view of the TV. A salvation sounded through the parlor as a classic rock song boomed through the speakers. Tinarandel's despondent expression was effortlessly replaced by a brightly shining cheerfulness.
"Now that's better! Give me music any day! What a relief!"
Spinning to his right, he saw the coyote approaching the counter as Star and Ylan took their food and cleared the line. Tinarandel slid off his stool and hurried back to his place, prepared to serve. He bit his lip disapprovingly at the canine barely paying attention except to the music in his earbuds. Instinctively, Tinarandel shot a paw forward and pulled the left earbud out of the coyote's ear, leaving it to dangling lazily on the collar of his dress shirt.
"Food first, entertainment later, buddy. Or I can turn on the jukebox, if you just ask. Whatever you were listening to, we might have it. The box gets updated with the times and trends, you know, but it tries to remain as comprehensive as possible. How can I serve you today? The sundae special or something basic?"