Cuppa Joe

June 9, 2006

Like most offices mine has a communal coffee pot. Well, it’s sort of communal. You pay to be part of the "Coffee Club", or "Java Joiners", or the "Latte League", or the "Frappe Fraternity", or the "Redeye Runners". Right now the going rate for all you can drink is six bucks a week, and the rule is that the person who empties the pot has to make more. At least I think that’s the rule. I don’t really know what the rules are because I’ve never joined the Joltin’ Joes. I don’t want to sound like Cheapy McSkinflint, but for six bucks I can get one of those expensive double-whipped mocha breve granita doppio lungo half caf with an extra shot and a twist. Admittedly I can only get one, but after one I don’t need sleep for three days…and then I need to sleep for a week.

The other reason I won’t join the Muddites is I’ve seen the warnings on the bulbous coffee pot. It’s bad enough that they use one of those round glass coffee pots with the brown bakelite handle that was manufactured in 1953 that you used to find in greasy spoon restaurants, before all greasy spoon restaurants turned into fast food places that get their coffee from a mysterious metal spigot that’s attached to a pipe that disappears underground. I’m not a stickler about where my coffee comes from. I don’t care if it was hand-watered on the slopes of Mount Kinabalu, or if Massai runners carried it to Khartoum on their heads. I just want it to be made from beans, preferably coffee beans, because I’ve found that grinding adzuki beans and running hot water through them makes pretty lousy coffee. The office coffee scores on that point at least, but I also like to know where the coffee pot’s been, and since I don’t know how many greasy spoons it’s been in, although I have a pretty good idea that some greasy spoons have been in it, I’m not going near it.

The pot also has a warning on it that says, "Discard if heated while empty", which makes me wonder what kind of toxic chemicals it produces if heated while empty. For that matter, what kind of toxic chemicals does it produce if it’s heated with coffee in it? I don’t know if the pot’s ever been heated while empty, but it’s come awfully close. Since the rule is that the person who empties the pot has to make more there have been several days when mere milliliters have been left in the bottom of the pot, just enough to barely be considered liquid. As evaporation occurs this stuff slowly turns into a thick black sludge which, in many restaurants, is served as Turkish coffee for six bucks a cup.

Enjoy this week’s offerings.

Top Ten Rules of Chocolate

10. If you’ve got melted chocolate all over your hands, you’re eating too slowly.

9. Chocolate covered raisins, cherries, orange slices & strawberries all count as fruit, so eat as many as you want.

8. The problem: How to get 2 pounds of chocolate home from the store in a hot car. The solution: Eat it in the parking lot

7. A nice box of chocolates can provide your total daily intake of calories all at once. Isn’t that handy??

6. If calories are an issue, store your chocolate on top of your fridge. Calories are afraid of heights and they will jump out of the chocolate to protect themselves.

5. Eat equal amounts of dark and white chocolate for a balanced diet. They will actually counteract each other.

4. Money talks. Chocolate sings.

3. Chocolate has many preservatives. Preservatives make you look younger.

2. If not for chocolate, there would be no need for control top panty hose. An entire garment industry would be devastated.

And the #1 Rule of Chocolate….

1. Put "eat chocolate" at the top of your list of things to do today. That way, at least you’ll get one thing done.

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