The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Wake up and Smell the Coffee!

There is a ritual at my house each morning. Sometimes it is more like warfare. Subtle warfare, like scouting parties and recons. In reality, it is a group of small rituals centered around the main activity: Morning coffee.

My house has three adults in it. Well, chronologically speaking anyway. We all drink coffee, some more than others, and we all must have it soon after staggering out of bed. The trouble is we only have one coffee pot and it holds only 12 cups of coffee.

Actually, that's not true. The manufacturer says it is 12 cups but it is more like 6 to 7 cups in Real Life. This is because while the industry defines a "cup" as "6 ounces", Real Life provides us with 12 to 16 ounce coffee mugs. My personal favorite is a 14 oz insulated steel travel mug, of which I use about 12 oz. The insulation ensures that the coffee will stay hot enough until I am finished.

[ramble mode on]
I used to drink a lot of coffee during the work week. At least 2 pots a day, often more. I did this for several years. One Saturday, I noticed I had a massive headache. Then I realized I had these headaches, the massive ones, almost every Saturday. They would last until I had breakfast (which was usually late in the morning and at a Denny's restaurant on Saturdays) and I had swallowed at least 2 or 3 cups of coffee. Being an aspiring genius, I quickly deduced that my headaches were symptoms of caffeine withdrawal. I was addicted! It had taken me only 10 years to figure this out. I was proud of myself. I set about weaning myself off coffee. Not entirely, mind you, I am no fool. But down to a couple of cups a day on average and only in the morning. It took some time and a great amount of willpower but I have achieved my goal. Mostly... I do backslide on occasion, for which I am duly repentant.
[ramble mode off]

What happens is that the first person up in the morning turns on the coffee pot. (running joke; one leans over the coffeepot and whispers, "Oh baby, oh baby") Then that person (hereafter known as First Drinker) is entitled to, and definitely will take, the First Cup. If a usurper manages to sneak in before the First Drinker then strong words are often exchanged. Fortunately, blows are never exchanged, though dirty looks and snide asides tend to fly about. We are all entitled to two cups, any after that is considered a "bonus cup". The person (Last Cupper) taking the last cup must perform the Last Cup ritual.

The Last Cup ritual is not complex. Last Cupper announces/asks if he or she should make a new pot. Sometimes, Last Cupper will simply start a new pot without announcement because he (or she) knows that someone (usually Last Cupper or First Drinker) will want More Coffee. In that case, Last Cupper will announce "I have put on a fresh pot!" or words to that effect. At this point, all may finally relax as the Morning Coffee ritual is now completed and we have, once again, become reasonable and rational adults. More or less.


Argentum Vulgaris said...

Oh Douglas, I understand that so perfectly. I am a coffeeholic (admitted during the tagging ritual). I make 3x1.7lt thermos flasks in a 24 hour period, that equals 5.1lts of coffee daily and apart from hairloss, I have suffered no ill effects. I have even calculated my hourly coffee consumption is on an average .2946lts/hr. I mean this is serious stuff, I understand, despite people laughing at our predicament, it IS serious.

Like you I spent years wondering about the headaches, which were actually close to migrainish, but being of an equally clever military background I deduced the cause, eventually, slowly...

I am an early riser, 4am onwards, so there is no ritual as such, rather just actions as defined by necessity. I even reheat yesterday's dregs while the water is heating for fresh coffee.

Now you mentioed "turning on" the coffeepot, I assume then you have eith an electrical or mechanical apparatus, I don't. I am a purist. I drink only the finest Brazilian coffee available (and people wonder why I live in Brazil) which I make so that it falls just short of the category of being a syrup. Once I have achieved that, I can only describe it as being as close to heaven I am likely to ever get.

[I should have warned Ramable Mode On - I suppose]

Any having rambled, its off again.


Douglas said...

I use a Hamilton Beach Brew Station. It's advantage is that you don't have to wait until the carafe is full, it dispenses like a soda machine (press for coffee) in a mini-mart (do they have those in Brazil?) It isn't bad as American coffee goes. I envy you the TRUE coffee. A friend of mine in Dade County, a Cuban expatriate, introduced me to Cuban coffee (much like what you describe as Brazilian)way back in the early 60s. Coffee has never quite been the same to me since.