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Over-caffeinated chatter

Coffee drinkers need to stop talking about coffee

(Photo by Aly Khan)

(Photo by Aly Khan)

When I was quite young, my mother and I used to drive out to Kelowna for a week each summer to visit my grandparents.

My mother would pack the car and brew a pot of coffee before waking me up at 3 a.m.

So, when I got up, everything was ready to go. Before I could even wrap my head around what was happening, we would be in the car and on our way.

My mother treated me like a prince, and these are all memories that I look back on fondly.

At the time, though, the experience seemed hellish.

Imagine being pulled abruptly out of bed, your head pounding from the lack of sleep. 

You shuffle, half blind, down the hallway, trying not to get in your mother’s way as she races between the house and the car, making sure nothing has been forgotten.

And always, the thunderously strong smell of coffee hangs in the air. 

To me, the smell of coffee has always evoked those senses: the cold morning air as you crawl out of bed, a headache that is equal parts dizzying and nauseating and the taste of orange juice chased with toothpaste. 

Needless to say, I am not a coffee drinker.

In fact, I have never actually had coffee before. I have had tea a few times, but it was never exactly, well, my cup of tea.

I would never begrudge someone his or her personal preferences, but I do have to ask, “Can we please talk about something else?”

Really, I am more than happy to talk about anything other than coffee. You name it, sports, television, dreams, whatever.

At this point, I am even willing to talk about American politics if I absolutely have to.

If I get caught up in one more conversation about a grande triple shot, half-caf, half-sweet cinnamon dolce plus one pump vanilla, half-homo half-nonfat, extra-hot, extra-foam, cinnamon sprinkle latte then, I am going to scream.

Honestly, I do not even know what those words mean.

And, if you take your coffee black, you are not off the hook either.

People are always talking about coffee. They talk about how they take it, where they get it from, how much they drink, whether said coffee still tastes okay after you microwave it and a thousand other topics.

Coffee in hand, they explain their stance on all of these delicate issues to me at length.

I listen, idly, and wait until they inevitably look to me to validate their feelings, which, I never do.

Instead, like an idiot, I answer them honestly to mixed reactions of horror and confusion.

“What do you mean, you don’t drink coffee?” they ask as if I am somehow less Canadian for never having a Tim Horton’s double-double.

For some reason, this level of concern does not extend to other foodstuffs. 

“People do talk about coffee a disproportionate amount,” said Calgarian and occasional coffee drinker Douglas Packard, who went on to assure me that I am not crazy.

Every inch of Packard screams “tea drinker” from his mild-mannered disposition to his I-have-a-twin glasses, and he has suffered a similar fate to mine because of it.

“I guess I just don’t see what the big deal is,” Packard said. “It’s just a drink. It isn’t exactly life changing.”

Now, I would love to extrapolate this article to be about consumerism at large, and society’s abject failure to resist such sinister influences. But, secretly, I love it.

I love talking about Game of Thrones and whichever Marvel superhero movie has come out most recently, and I recognize that pretty much everything I said about coffee could be about The Walking Dead if you change a few words around.

When I wax poetic about why Hawkeye is my favourite Avenger, and how he would be better served by a low-key Netflix series than a standalone movie, I am sure some people are bored to tears.

I don’t care, though. At least we aren’t talking about coffee.

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