We’ve been told forever that coffee and caffeine were bad for our health.
So we cut back from 12 cups a day to 6.
Still too much, said the doctors, but we ignored them. Caffeine withdrawal headaches were like death. You got all the flu-like symptoms of weakness, tremors, and nausea without the flu. Who wanted that? At least with the flu you got the added benefit of calling in sick from work.
Our bodies clamored for caffeine and we said yes.
Besides, coffee wakes you up in the morning, and keeps you purring during the day. It also gives you energy, a fake energy but who cares, energy is energy.
And it’s always a great finish to a good dinner. A great excuse to have a conversation. And a must-have if you’re a writer in a cafe.
This week we heard another report. It came from The New England Journal of Medicine. It said that frequent coffee drinkers have a chance of living longer than their de-caffeinated brothers and sisters.
People who drink the brew have a lower risk of dying from diabetes, heart disease, infections, and respiratory problems, to name a few.
If that’s true, I say haul in the grinders and let’s have a percolating party.
Of course, the study didn’t say if drinking more coffee would ensure better health. That’s for us to find out.
So crunch those beans and down that espresso.
Whether you drown your cafe in cream or soy, take it with or without foam, make sure it’s fully leaded and strong.
Coffee – it builds better bodies.
Everyday on my way home I walk past a cafe that has one gold chair in it. You can’t miss it. It’s one-of-a-kind shiny gold snakeskin faux leather. It’s by the bookshelf spilling with pre-owned books that nobody reads. The other tables and chairs are functional and boring, and usually filled with customers. The gold chair stays empty.
“I find it odd that nobody sits in it,” I said to Jasmine, my friend at work.
“Oh, it’s because nobody reads anymore,” Jasmine said.
“Like nobody sits down anymore either?” I said.
“Not in that chair, they don’t. They’d be self-conscious.”
“You mean, reading is now a self-conscious behavior?”
“If you’re not reading on a tablet, or your smart phone, you’re dated,” Jasmine said. “Nobody wants to stand out like that.”
I love to read. Real books. The kind with lots of pages crammed with words.
The next day on my way home, I made a detour and went into the cafe. I ordered an espresso at the counter, paid for it, and walked over to the gold chair. I sat down. I looked around. The other customers were engrossed in their conversations. Nobody noticed me sitting there. While I sipped my espresso, I turned my attention to the book titles. One of them caught my attention.
The book was: Historical Rumps on the Gold Chair by Sir Robert Bottoms-Up.
I laughed out loud.
A few people stopped talking to look at me.
Then the chair began to vibrate. At first I thought it was an earthquake. Nobody else seemed alarmed. The vibrations got stronger to the tickling point. I laughed louder. This time more customers stared at me. I looked around me. I was the only one experiencing this. I had a choice. To enjoy the massage or bolt.
What would you do?
At a cafe. Lunch break. Two techies drinking coffee and talking.
Techie 1: You have no patience for obvious arguments. You want the different, the new, the next creative idea.
Techie 2: I want the real.
Techie 1: What if it’s not out there?
Techie 2: The real is always out there, even if I have to invent it.
Techie 1: If it’s invented then it’s not real.
Techie 2: People with no imaginations say that. Where did the laptop come from? Fifty years ago it wasn’t real.
Techie 1: I was thinking mountains, storms, earthquakes. That’s real. Could there be categories for real?
Techie 2: I guess. Maybe theory vs absoluteness. The laptop started as a theory but became an absolute.
Techie 1: And an earthquake is an absolute and will never be a theory. We’re talking origins.
Techie 2 – checking his cell phone: That’s way too philosophical for me.
Calvin says, “Good grief. That’s enough to scramble my beagle brains. How about we talk farts and bad doggie breath? Now that’s real.”
“There’s something intimidating about all this social media stuff,” Mark said over a cup of coffee. “For example, let’s take Twitter. I don’t want to be followed. Who wants to be followed?”
“The younger generation, they love that stuff,” Leslie said as she sipped her double-decaf espresso with a hairline’s worth of foam on top.
“But why?” Mark said.
“It connects them to their friends and family,” she said.
“What’s wrong with the phone or a letter?” Mark said as he sipped his coffee. His coffee was the real kind – strong and black in a cup. No whipped cream. No double shot anything. No flavoring. Just coffee in a real cup.
“Too time consuming. These kids have been raised on instant gratification – from a mother’s breast to tweeting. That’s why these platforms are so popular. There’s no work involved,” Leslie said. She was sporting a miniscule foam mustache on her upper lip. She looked like a milk commercial.
“Too ridiculous for me. I wouldn’t know how to use them anyway,” Mark said.
“Don’t you want to stay connected to me?” Leslie said with a gleam in her eye.
“I thought we were. Twenty years ago when I said, ‘I do.'”
“But you’ve been a bit distant lately,” Leslie said.
“Yes. You’re in your own world. Don’t know what you’re thinking. Makes me nervous.”
“Don’t be. I’m only thinking of you,” Mark said finishing his coffee and putting his cup back on the saucer with a real clink.
They both got up and walked out of the coffee shop.
Suddenly Mark’s cell phone buzzed in his pocket. He pulled it out and opened it. “Let’s talk about me then,” the text message said.
At a cafe. Late morning. Two writers.
Man: I heard a story just the other day of a woman who swallowed her contact lenses.
Woman: That’s hard to believe.
Man: She had woken up in the middle of the night and was thirsty and drank the contact lens bottle thinking it was the bottle of water.
Woman: Did the insurance cover that?
Woman: You never know.
Man: The next day she groped everyone at work and caused a fuss.
Woman: Did they send her to the eye doctor?
Man: No. They sent her home in a cab with a case of bottled water.
Calvin says, “Hm…I just thought of something. Dogs don’t have eye doctors. That could explain why we don’t come when you call us.”