|"A small cup of coffee" by Julius Schorzman - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons|
Every work day I stop at the same Dunkin' Donuts here in Fair-Rhody-By-The-Sea. (Not my town's real name but as the Cap'n has his MetroParkCentralis and Tam her Broad Ripple I now have this. Such as it is. Okay, so I'm not that creative. Now where was I... Oh yeah, coffee.)
Now this is not the same Dunkin' Donuts I used to frequent on my way to my place of employment. No, that was pre-exile, this new one has become my Dunkin' Donuts only in the last couple of years. I started going to this one because it is within a quarter-mile of Chez Sarge and I got into the habit of acquiring the occasional Saturday breakfast there. I got to know the folks who work there, they chided me for using the one "downtown," and eventually I transferred my allegiance to this "new" place. (Which when we first moved here was something else entirely, not a Dunkin' Donuts, but that is a story for another day. If I remember...)
I arrive to find three annoying things. The first is the standard big pickup truck parked immediately in front of the store in the special "Fire Lane, No Parking" parking lot. Apparently if one is in a hurry it's okay to violate the parking ordinances here in Fair-Rhody-By-The-Sea. So that's the first thing.
Inside we have the owner-operator of said pickup truck waving his receipt in the air and looking all around as if he's expecting someone to react to that. As far as I can see, no one, other than me, even notices his somewhat odd behavior. So that's the second thing.
Now at the counter is a guy ordering coffee and approximately 8 feet from the counter is another guy who is giving no hint as to his purpose in the store. Is he perusing the list of things one can buy at Dunkin' Donuts or is he actually waiting in line? Some folks around here have a concept of personal space that is admirable but rather impractical for waiting in line. If one is going to wait in line one should actually be, you know, in line.
The chap glances at me, I look to the counter and then look at where he is standing with a quizzical look on my visage. He gets the point and moves forward to actually be, in line. That was the third thing.
So now I'm actually in a line, Waves-Receipt-In-Air (Annoying Thing 2) has left the building (and moved his humongous pickup truck - Annoying Thing 1) and only Doesn't-Know-Where-Line-Is (Annoying Thing 3) is left. He gets his coffee and moves on. Probably to Montana as he does like his personal space.
I am about to order when OMG-You-Must-Be-Kidding enters the store.
I have seen this guy before and he is a colossal pain in the arse. He appears to be in his sixties but acts like a 12-year-old. A not very bright 12-year-old.
Today he has an old coffee cup full of change which he is cradling and shaking back and forth like some sort of weird tribal ritual is about to begin. Yes, the sound is mildly annoying. Then it gets better, much better. He approaches the counter and stares at the three people working behind the counter. Shakes his head and returns to the wide open spaces behind me. Where I can hear him pacing back and forth, shaking his change container. Then I hear this -
"What the Hell? Three people all working on one order! This is unbelievable! What is going on here?"
Like I said, a 12-year-old. Bear in mind, the guy is not mentally handicapped or deficient in any but the finer graces of civilized society. Yes, he is what we like to call, an asshole.
I know, hard to believe but we get a few here. Not many, thank the Lord, and usually they don't get up that early.
Anyhoo. This post is supposed to be about me and my coffee, not random assholes you might meet on the street. At this point The Nuke and The WSO would no doubt point out that Your Humble Scribe could, on certain days, fall into that category. Yes, yes, it's true. There are days when I am not fit for polite company. But Wednesday was not one of those days. Tuesday? Yes. But not Wednesday.
So coffee. What about it?
Oh yeah, me and my coffee.
I didn't start drinking coffee until I got married. Primarily because The Missus Herself drank coffee and would actually make coffee. One fine morning she asked if I would like a cup. So I said, "Why yes, yes I would."
Bear in mind, I had tried coffee as a lad when I would go hunting with my Dad and kid brothers. Dad drank it black, I thought it horrid stuff. 'Twas my better half who taught me about cream and sugar. (I'm sure right now that there are any number of you guys out there thumping your chests and proclaiming your alpha-male status because "a man drinks his coffee black." Nope, sorry. The type of coffee you drink isn't what proclaims your manhood. I would say the ability to field strip a firearm is a better quantifier of manhood. And yes, many women know how to do that and many men do not. Still and all, seriously the ability to savor coffee with nothing in it makes you "a man?" Hhmm, I think I just revealed a pet peeve. So be it. Where were we?)
Coffee. Cream and sugar (nowadays milk and Splenda) and mostly iced. Something else the light of my life introduced me to. I will drink iced coffee when it is 20 below (and have).
One morning in February, walking into work with my iced coffee, one of the security guards fixed me with an unbelieving stare and asked,
"How can you drink iced coffee when it's this cold?"
First I played the born-in-Vermont-you-call-this-cold card and then countered his question with two of my own.
"Do you drink beer in the winter?" To which he replied in the affirmative.
"Do you warm your beer in the winter?" At which point he saw the unassailable logic of my position and ceded his position.
Typically I only drink hot coffee on the weekends. One cup on Saturday, at home, and another on Sunday, at church.
Though lately I have been quaffing a nightly cup of hot decaf in the evening while I ponder what tales to
The WSO got me that cup when I was last out Sandy Eggo way. For to ride the boat*, visit Lex and drink Guinness at Shakespeare's.
What, there are other reasons to visit Sandy Eggo?
* I know Nuke, I know, it's a ship, not a boat. Please humor me, I come from an aviation background. It's only natural that I would adopt the jargon of the Air Wing and not that of ship's company. Besides which, you hate the term "bird farm" even more. And I was sore tempted to use that instead. Sore tempted.