Hump Day: Cormier’s Law: complex coffee kills calmness

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

As a kid, I remember watching TV shows such as The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie.

Whenever one of the adult characters drank coffee, it was out of a quasi-rusty metal pot that was full of dents.

The coffee that was poured ran like cold molasses going downhill in the middle of January.

The stuff looked strong.

It would curl your hair if you had any.

If you were bald, it would grow you some hair and then curl it afterwards.

This stuff was potent. One sip and you didn’t sleep for a week.

And there was no cream or sugar.

People drank it black – black as tar, I tells ya!

I drink a lot of coffee. Some of you may be nodding your heads and agreeing with me.

“Honey? That brilliant and handsome columnist in the newspaper drinks a lot of coffee just like we do!”

Thanks for the compliment, but you don’t drink as much coffee as I do.

You just don’t – and I’ll fight you in the middle of the street at 3 a.m. because I’m still wide awake after having downed a pot of coffee at 10 p.m. the night before.

I’ve never met a cup of coffee I didn’t like.

Well, that’s a lie. I have.

You see, I just don’t see the need of a choice of 10,000 different variations of coffee that some of the fancier shops are offering these days.

I’m not loyal to one coffee chain over another.

As for the coffee I buy to make at home, I tend to buy whatever’s on sale.

I’m not a coffee snob.

But maybe I am.

When I think about it, I wonder whatever happened to the plain ol’ cup o’ coffee that we all used to enjoy in the not-too-distant past?

When did we become a bunch of allergy-ridden lactose-intolerant pantywaists with extra-strength asthma puffers who stand in line for 30 minutes at high-end coffee shops to give an order that lasts longer than the Queen’s Christmas message?

Whatever happened to the double-double?

One milk, one sugar?

Double cream? One cream?

If you’re particularly mean to your body, even the heart-crushing triple triple?

And if you’re a really crazy coffee guzzler, how about even, “Black.”?

Surely, the finger of God Himself would descend from Heaven and tap that person on the shoulder.

“Excuse me, sir. Did you just order your coffee black? You did? Come with me.” Poof! Dead! Cue the angels!

Anyone who orders their coffee black these days deserves to go directly to Heaven.

Do not pass Go and do not collect $200, as they say in Monopoly.

Even Tim Hortons is getting into the ‘fancy drinks’ business now, so I hear.

Great! But honestly, that onetime bastion of quick service went downhill when they started turning it into a quasi-restaurant.

And for some reason, I always end up behind the person who’s ordering breakfast for the Royal Canadian Navy.

This leaves me standing in line, weeping uncontrollably and blubbering uncontrollably, “I just want a black coffee, that’s all; a b-b-b-black c-c-c-coffee.”

What makes it worse is that I really don’t look good with mascara running down my face, so that doesn’t help.

What the fancier coffee shops lack in food variety, they certainly make up for in variety of drinks.

I’ve heard comedians make fun of some absurdly complicated coffee orders in their stand-up acts.

The sad thing is they aren’t that far off.

Seriously, take the time to listen to some of the orders at Starbucks.

I can’t help but smile at how complicated people are making their coffee experience.

I think some people deliberately make their coffee order as obscure and unique as possible just to impress others in line.

“I’d like pumpkin spice latte with no milk, no pumpkin, no spice and no water.”

“Sir, you mean you just want a scoop of ground espresso coffee beans in your cup?”

“Yes, but hold the cup.”

One of these days, after the person in front of me goes on a five-minute litany that is supposed to be a coffee order, I’m going to jump up from behind the counter dressed as Liza Minnelli and sing at the top of my lungs, “And a partridge in a pear tree-e-e-e-e!”

With jazz hands, of course.

Gotta have the jazz hands.

You’ve heard of Murphy’s Law, haven’t you?

Well, there’s Cormier’s Law, too.

“The length of the line at the checkout counter at the grocery store is in opposite proportion to the length of time it will take you to go through said aisle.”

In other words, if I choose the line at the grocery store checkout with the fewest number of people, it will take twice as long to get through as the one with the longest line.

Usually, this is because I always end up behind someone who’s buying some foreign fruit or vegetable “just to try it” and the cashier has no clue what it is and can’t even find the code.

At the coffee shop, it’s usually because I get behind someone who’s allergic to everything – and I mean everything – and has a coffee order so complicated that it ends with, “And please have it blessed by the pope.”

I yearn for the good old days when coffee was a simple drink.

Plain old black coffee served in a mug with maybe even a chip out of it.

The bottom full of grounds.

The taste so strong that your eyes water.

So much caffeine in it that a mosquito unfortunate enough to bite you is suddenly able to fly to China and back in under five minutes.

Put down your asthma puffers and cartons of soy milk!

Black coffee is the new fancy drink.

One Response to Hump Day: Cormier’s Law: complex coffee kills calmness

  1. I am that person with the unusual fruit the cashier cant figure out. why in the heck would the sign say star fruit if it wasn’t that? to make up for it though I don’t drink coffee. …yet…