Confessions a 20th century ne'er do well: Drinking, fighting, stealing and other things one generally ought not do

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I got some coffee

So I was at the Yacht Club this weekend with the inlaws who belong. At about 4:30, someone asked if I wanted anything to drink, so I said, “sure. I’ll have some coffee please.”
“Oh. There is no coffee.”
“What? Of course there is coffee,” I said.
“I don’t think there is anymore, and you can’t drink it over here.”
“How can there not be coffee at 4:30?” I indicated the crowd “Of all these hundreds of members, don’t you think there is a handful who is accustomed to drinking coffee in the afternoon?”
“I don’t think there is coffee,” she repeated.
So I went over to the bar.
“Can I have some coffee please,” I asked the teenager behind the bar.
“No, there isn’t any coffee anymore. The [cafeteria thing]”
“Well, is there any coffee up in the club house or anything?”
I was flabbergasted. Even amused by such absurdity.
What is it with the anti-coffee people out there? (I’m not suggesting these people were anti-coffee, but I encounter anti-coffee people from time to time) I don’t expect everyone to drink coffee, but there are people who are downright antagonistic about coffee! They’ll argue, for some reason, that soda has the same amount of caffine as coffee. Any coffee drinker knows that’s bullshit, and anyone who’s taken ‘drugs and human behavior’ a standard 101 class offered in many universities knows that there is 50X the caffeine in coffee as in soda. But, why argue with the drinker? Even if it weren’t true, what is the purpose of arguing with someone who wants a drink? Also. Why do people occasionally either try to trick you into thinking coffee doesn’t have an effect? “Hey, did that coffee perk you up?” They’ll ask. “I guess so.” You’ll answer to the incredibly irrelevant question – coffee is normative when you drink it regularly on the first hand, and it’s never considered some generalized ‘feel perfect’ drug, so asking someone if there energy level is increased an hour later, coffee or not, will often call for a different answer – energy goes up and down throughout the day, with our without coffee. None of this means caffeine is fictional. “Aha!” They’ll finish up. “That was DECAF!!!!!” They’ll say, triumphantly. Then, you’ll casually grab the coffee can and show them that it’s not, and they’re an idiot. Even if you felt different an hour after drinking decaf, like I said, it’s not unusual to feel differently hour after hour. And finally, why does this person I work with insist that there is no difference between strong coffee and espresso – to the extent that she occasionally argues when I want espresso.
The reason is they’re wrong, and that wrongness is indicative of their idiocy, so they desperately try to win these wasteful desperate arguments.
And the point of all of this is:

I didn’t want to argue. I just wanted some coffee.

I initially accepted defeat, and went to the bathroom. As I stood there, I couldn’t help think about this situation. This suggested that not only could none of the members have an afternoon cup of coffee – I’m not assuming a majority wanted coffee only a small minority, but large enough to warrant its availability – it also suggested that none of the employees could have coffee. None of the lifeguards, waiters, bar workers, guys giving out the lifejackets by the kayaks, guys setting the tables, people in the band, supervisors or anyone could have coffee. Absurd.
And since this was impossible, this means that someone was keeping me from the coffee – this yacht club wasn’t up against a 7-11 which I would gladly have walked to - this was after all about my wanting coffee, not about my being slighted.
Until now.
Now, I wanted the coffee, which I recognized as my right. If it was not actually a right. (I guess it’s not really a right) It was a want, and goddamn it, I was going to have my coffee.
I aspire to be a man who can get things done. I want to achieve greatness and nothing should stand in my way.
So I went back to the bar, which had a different employee at this point. I leaned in with a smile.
“Hi,” I said, easing my way in. Developing the air or rapport before going in for the kill.
“Hi,” she said, leaining in expectantly.
“Is there any way I can get some coffee around here?” I said with a smile.
The phrasing of the question was calculated. I was still open to going to the 7-11, if such a place existed, but I was also setting up the wait staff to tell a club member to take a hike. If coffee existed, I think they’d be hard pressed as the professionals they are to do so. I’d even guess it’s against the oath that wait staff take when they get their license. (I’m unaware of the oath, not being a waiter).
“Well, there isn’t really any coffee,” she said.
I smiled and knit my brow at her, not saying a word. Let her struggle with her own lies.
“Well, there is some ice coffee,” she said.
“Ice coffee? ” I repeated.
I said no more, letting her own conscious weigh on her. Such lies! How can there be no coffee if there is iced coffee? Coffee is born hot!
I kept the smile and raised my eyebrows, as though we were sharing a secret. I even lowered my voice so she had to move closer to hear.
“Isn’t there a coffee machine back there where you can throw up a pot?”
She seemed happy to oblige when I offered the solution, although still resistant.
“Oh, that’ll take at least 15 minutes.”
More bullshit. I’ve had probably 10,000 cups of coffee in my life, and it doesn’t take 15 minutes to brew coffee!
“That sounds great,” I said and went to sit down.
About five minutes later, she came back with my coffee. I was impressed with her (albeit weak) attempt to bluff me into not waiting the 15 minutes, but she had no reason to wait the full 15 when I called her bluff.
It was good cup of coffee, but it wasn’t as satisfying as the mere fact that I got it.