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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Yes! I WILL have another FIVE cups!

Posted on October 18, 2010 at 1:31 PM

We already know that as a White Person, I am predisposed to liking coffee.

I can’t even remember when it started to be honest. Like many people, I’m sure that my gateway drug to enjoying this yuck-bitter-bitter, eh-it’s-not-too-bad, hey-this-is-kinda-good, I-must-haves-you-my-precious! drink was Coffee-mate Irish Cream and Hazelnut flavored creamers. My first non-family paying job was actually working as a barista (though we never had such a cool term for it) at a coffee and gelato shop while in high school called Gepetto’s. This was before coffee was the cool beverage it is now. Back before Starbucks sucked the soul out of independent coffe-tailors and you couldn’t go 100-meters in any direction in downtown Chicago without the SB logo staring you in the face. Back when a cappuccino was pretty much unknown outside of cool Italian restaurants and where the only variety available was as it should be, Illy.


But coffee is kind of like audio – and wristwatches – in that it covers an incredibly broad gamut of enjoyment levels. Everybody at any economic level can enjoy a cup (or some tunes or own a watch). Sure, you can get a bottomless cup at places like Denny’s for under a buck and pick up a coffee maker at a yard sale for like fifty cents. But for the people that want to go all Krell and Wilson Audio (or IWC or Patek or Audemars) you could drop close to a grand on a NASA-precision bean grinder, and spend $20,000 on a Japanese Siphon Bar. You can even drink coffee beans that have been magically “improved” by passing through the digestive track (yes; *that* digestive track) of a monkey-like animal called a civet.

“Wait!” you say. “These beans are eaten and then digested? How do they get them?”

Why you merely wait until the beans work there way through the stomach, intestines, colon and anus and then allow the animal to defecate them into a pile of coffee-berry goodness and then hand-pick the beans out of the poop pile, silly! It's about the most natural thing there is! Like this exactly what Juan Valdez was doing in those commercials.

Now, as if the brave pioneer that tried the first cup of regular coffee wasn’t heroic enough – “My, God! This tastes like a bitter poison! Surely if I dry it, grind it and then pour boiling water over it and keep drinking it over and over every daily it will eventually grow on me! And if I could only somehow make it Fair Trade...” – I can only picture the guy that was motivated to go poop foraging for this particular $100-600 pound delicacy known as Kopi luwak.

“Peterson, I told you! I need coffee to keep my inspiration flowing, dammit!”

“Sir, I'm afraid all we have is Folgers.”

“Dammit, man! Folgers! Folgers?! You know that Folgers gives me the poops!”

“I’m sorry, sir. I'm not sure what else you want..."

“Peterson, I don’t care WHAT you have to do, man. Do. NOT. CARE! But you are not going to come back in here until you have a cup of coffee ready for me. NON-Folgers coffee! You got that?!”

Here, for the first time ever, is Peterson’s lost diary account on the harvesting process: “After noticing that this certain civet was eating fleshy berries with a voracious speed, I decided to follow the little fellow. But after tracking the civet for several hours, I discovered that the creature had a bit of a shy colon. After secreting myself away, I was able to watch the animal relax to the point where it was able to do its 'business.' It shall serve the good Professor right to drink his coffee thusly! The stool is very loose and runny, making it quite easy to retrieve the beans. Just thinking of the Professor drinking this both fills me with giddy laughter and makes me vomit in my mouth a bit! No Folgers indeed!" (Then the words "Ha-Ha! Bwahahaha!" continue on for several pages...)


Now, one thing that separates coffee from audio (and watches)-- besides the poop drinking --  is its presumed health benefits (or health hazards. I think you get a dead-even number of pro and con hits on Google. Though, to be honest, when you start listing things like “feeling of extreme alertness, exhilaration and hyper-awesomeness” as detriments, you are pretty much only insuring that I want even more of whatever you are warning me away.) (Also, to be fair, I’m pretty sure that audio has some health benefits and concerns of its own. It is well known for its “calming the savage beast” properties, but beyond its calmative effects, if I ever find out that I have kidney stones or an impacted bowel, my first treatment option is going to put on some low-frequency sweep tones and then stand right next to my Def Tech Trinity Reference subwoofer and let those 120 dB 16 Hertz notes lithotripsy the problems away. Also, I know that a consistent and repeatable side-effect of listening to the Blue Man Group at almost any volume is to rile Dana to fits of heightened agita and barely contained rage.)


So, while browsing MSN yesterday, I saw this little banner ad:

Now, as a 40 year old male, I should probably be more in tune with exactly what the prostate is/does, but my prostate knowledge can essentially be summed up in three bullet points

1    I (men) have one and you (women) don’t

2    It is a ticking, pee-blocking, cancer-waiting-to-happen time bomb

3     The doctor checks your prostate by jamming a finger into your buttey


Aside from Point 1, I’m not seeing much upside to the prostate. And apparently 50 is the magic age when Point 3 starts kicking in.

So, as Glengarry’s Blake so poignantly pointed out, “Coffee’s for closers only.” (Blake also said, “F--- YOU, that's my name! You know why, Mister? 'Cause you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight, and I drove an eighty thousand dollar BMW. That's my name! And your name is ‘you're wanting.’ You see this watch? You see this watch? That watch cost more than your car. I made $970,000 last year. How much you make? You see, pal, that's who I am. And you're nothing.” ) 


And if there is one thing that I am interested in “closing” at the Dr. Buttfinger’s office, it is the, uh, prostrate hole.


Here’s the gist of the Men’sHealth report: “Having a few more cups of coffee…can reduce a man's risk of dying of prostate cancer, two studies indicate. And while the study found just a weak relationship between consumption of six or more cups of coffee a day and a reduced risk of all forms of prostate cancer (down about 19 percent), the reduction for the aggressive form was much more marked -- 41 percent. And there was a clear relationship between the amount of coffee consumed and prostate cancer risk. Kathryn Wilson, Ph.D, said: ‘The more coffee you drank, the more effect we saw.’”


So, yes. I will take that refill, thanks! And perhaps some relaxing tunes to go with it.

Categories: October 2010, Coffee, Bizarre

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