Posts Tagged ‘caffeine’

scary man with red eyes and bloody teeth

A New Friend Hoarseman met over Halloween

My friend Frank (NOT the guy pictured here) has a great post on his “Running of at the Mouth” blog, called Writing–And Good Taste, inspired by Betsy (also not pictured here, who must have gotten a call from some over-caffeinated Seattle lawyers) and a quote from John Updike.

The HoarseMan wants all of you to know that most of the time Frank is not such a bad guy, and that many of the HoarseMan’s friends also really like writers who taste good. (a little celery, some jalapeños, blue chips, a couple of margs…)

scriptores bonum gusto
HM

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“How did that work out for you,” I ask myself.

“Not well, not well at all. I hate cold coffee.”

Ok, so I had to make a run to Longmont today to take care of some business. Thursdays in Longmont are kind of a regular thing for me. In fact you might call it a “habit.”

Thing is, I developed another habit in four years or so of making the drive from northern Denver to Colorado Springs. Let’s just call it Regular Stops at a Very Famous Coffee Place (or RSVFCP for short). Driving 90 miles on I25 between 10:00 and 11:00 pm takes a lot of caffeine–to maintain concentration, ya know. Somehow, early this year when I started the 35 or so miles to Longmont (which, for trivia fans, I used to call Frogmont when growing up there) the trips decided on their own that they needed RSVFCP, too.

They. Were. Taking. Over. My. Life.

So I stopped, pretty much cold-turkey (not Wild Turkey), except for the you-know-occasional-slip. [But I digress.]

Today, on the way back, I was “Being Good,” which is a euphemism for driving-right-on-by-the-green-circle. Because… (this is a pause to build tension)

Because there was a really great sandwich shop right across the street where I could get something really healthy. And it was a place I’d been to several times before and because of their diligence in preparing my sandwich with the complete avoidance of anything onion-ish made sure that I left ALIVE. This, although some of you may think differently, is a good thing.

But alas! (I love that word… alas, alas, alas!) I saw a sign in the window that said “FOR LEASE.” Excuse me… For Lease?

I was starving. Hungry. Famished. (sorry, thinking of a Carol Berg workshop on word choices…) Right next door was a Pretty Famous Grocery Chain Store which, I knew, had a deli. SAVED! So I went in, and started reading labels for ingredients. With my allergies, I never ASSUME* anything. But I ASSUMED that this Pretty Famous Grocery Chain Store – Not the dangerous WAY – would have something already prepared that I could ingest (thanks, again, Carol).

How many times have you heard somebody say NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING?

Not finding anything, I was somewhat disheartened. OK, that is an understatement. Let’s call it “at the precipice of being pissed-off.” But suddenly, (cue Montovani-esqu soundtrack) there was a round green sign. So I ASSUMED that everything was right with the world. It was a message from Providence (not the one in Rhode Island) that it was ok-to-make-that-occasional-slip — this time. I ordered a blended Chai creme in the largest size available (they, of course have another trademarked name for both the drink and the size) with electric anticipation. The young lady behind the counter listened carefully to my order, tapped the screen of her computer, and told me – with an air of confidence – $7.20. I handed her a ten-dollar bill and a quarter.

Then all hell broke lose. She tried to enter $10.25 as the amount tendered and the register locked up.

“I’ll have to go get a manager… today is my first day alone… sorry.”

What the heck? I ASSUMED that the register would be able to process my $10.25 and tell that nice young lady to give me back $3.05. But NO! It locked up. What! Was the cash register expecting a tip? So… it… took… some… time… for… her… to… get… the… manager. (Snore) Then it took him time to explain to her that she had to VOID the transaction, with his approval, and then give me my quarter back, and then redo the transaction with a tender of $10.00 EVEN. (What does everybody just use a piece of plastic anymore?)

That taken care of, I ASSUMED next, that I would get my Chai and lemon something-or-other-that-looks-like-a-slice-of-bread and be on my way.

Foot tapping… patiently…

“Here you go,” she said with an embarrassed smile, and I was on my way.

(note: here is where the suspenseful climax comes)

I opened the door of my car, got in, and took a sip. Hmmmm. I took another sip. Cold Coffee! Not only Cold Coffee, but Cold Espresso Coffee, Cold Bitter Coffee.

Did I say I hate cold coffee?

Ok, I could have gotten angry and yelled at the poor girl behind the counter, but what? Am I Patty Hewes? It wasn’t her fault, it wasn’t that big a deal, and I was already running late.

I started the car, backed out of the parking space and looked at the “FOR LEASE” sign again.

In the empty storefront NEXT to the sandwich shop — which was wide open and filled with happy people eating sandwiches.

Methinks I doth ASSUME too much.

HM