Just a ‘regular’ coffee drinker

By Scott Green

Last summer I began waking up to a sweet, warm, brown concoction that, throughout my childhood, I had always been a little wary of: Al Roker.

Also I started drinking coffee. My summer job was at a law firm, where I was learning to be mature and lawyerly. I had to be awake enough by 9 every morning to act like a responsible adult, which of course I am not. But one night I stayed up too late doing mature, lawyerly things, such as drinking beer and watching poker reruns on ESPN, so I needed something to wake me up the next morning.

I settled on McDonald’s coffee. I figured, what the heck, millions of consumers can’t be wrong, plus if I didn’t like it I could just spill it all over myself and use those mature, lawyerly skills to win an out-of-court settlement.

The coffee was delicious, though it kept me from taking my usual mid-morning nap. I spent that time instead in the restroom, because as it turns out, coffee is basically a caffeinated enema of the strongest degree. If some smartass ever poured a pot of coffee in the Colorado River, the Hoover Dam would burst open.

A few days later, to consummate my new relationship with coffee, I went to Starbucks for the first time. Your average Starbucks has approximately 9,417,203 ways to order, but the one I chose (“I would like a cup of coffee, please”) was not one of them. The “barista” – I learned that if you call the server a “coffee wench” she will not take your order – suggested a few different options, and I ultimately settled on the “Yukon blend,” so named because it tastes like a dead moose.

Next I had to translate the meanings of the various sizes, because the barista stared at me blankly when I tried to order a “large.” My choices were “tall”, which I thought was the biggest size but is in fact the smallest size; “grande”, which also sounds big but is in fact the medium size; and “venti,” which is actually the largest size but sounds like it might be the Italian word for “breezy.” I have since learned to love these code words – when I go to Old Navy, I now ask the salespeople to show me pants in Venti.

For the adventurous, Starbucks offers more exotic beverages, such as the cappuccino (made with espresso, steamed milk and milk foam), the frappuccino (basically a milkshake-coffee hybrid), and the burlappuccino (a frappuccino made with pieces of burlap, served in a 12-ounce burlap sack.)

To accommodate my new addiction I even purchased a coffee machine, whose job is to sit on my counter in such a way as to cause me to forget to clean it. The original idea was, it would be incredibly easy and convenient to set the automatic timer to brew a hot, fresh pot when I awoke each morning. The day after buying the machine, this was exactly what happened.

Of course, the packaging neglected to mention that I would personally have to clean the filter basket, carafe, mug, my pants when I spilled, etc. So since that first cup, various parts have sat upside-down in my sink, waiting for the Coffee Machine Fairy to come by and clean them. It would probably be easier just to get a girlfriend.

Yes, the world of coffee is a large and scary place, though I should also mention that there are numerous upsides to drinking the stuff. These include a decreased likelihood of developing diabetes or cancer, increased cognitive abilities, x-ray vision and flight. Also it helps keep you “regular,” in that you will regularly need to buy toilet paper in bulk quantities only available at Sam’s Club.

So I definitely recommend starting your day with a percolated, perky mug. And if Al Roker is unavailable, drink coffee instead.

Scott is a second-year law student. He recently found out that the Coffee Machine Fairy was actually his father.