Okay, so have you ever stumbled into your favorite coffee shop – no, I don’t mean Starbucks – I mean a real, honest-to-goodness coffee shop, diner, greasy spoon – and sat down at your favorite table yearning for your first cup of coffee? The waitress finally saunters over after flirting with the big tippers or the cook, whoever is cuter and says, “Coffee?”
“Yes,” you stammer and try not to sound too needy. She nods and does the bump-grind-sashay, bump-grind-sashay across the room (the coffee pot is always across the room, apparently it’s a rule) and grabs the pot. If you’re lucky, it’s the one that hasn’t been sitting on the burner for the last three hours and holds the remnants of the coffee syrup that has formed. Another regular walks in and she stops, flirts, kind of swaying the pot with her index finger. You watch, mesmerized as the coffee does a little splish-splash and you’re starting to feel a little sea-sick.
Finally, she remembers why she has the coffee pot and does the bump-grind-sashay, bump-grind-sashay back to your table. You hold out your cup greedily. She pours, splashing a little on your fingers but you hold back the wince. “Want anything else?” she asks though you know she doesn’t want to bring you anything else anyway.
“Not right now,” you say to her back as she goes away.
Now you have what you want – you’ve only to doctor it to the special sweetness and lightness and then you can whip out your notebook and pen and sip as you contemplate the world and all its woes. You like the raw sugar but your table doesn’t have any in the stupid little, square white container. You scan the other square containers on the other tables til you zero in on it. Ah hah! You snag the whole thing because you know there will be refills to consider. Next and most importantly, the creamer. Now, the reason you go to this diner in the first place is because they use the real stuff. Not that white junk they make out of coconut oil and chemicals – nope this is real half and half. Not fat-free something, or Cremora or low-fat milk or 2%. Not any of that garbage! The real thing. The stuff that comes out of the cow – nature’s coffee companion. Yes!
Naturally, your creamer is empty. Again the eye scan kicks in for full creamer within reach. Thank God, there is one at the next table. Got it! You take it by its dainty handle and tip it ever so nice. I like to hold it high above the cup and watch the white liquid flow and finish it with a little hand flourish (okay, I have too much invested in the Food Channel). Just as it begins to pour into your coffee you see it. The thing. That little globule poised ever so tenuously at the very tip of the spout. “Oh Christ, it’s a cream booger!” you cry but too late. It’s made the journey with the rest of the cream into your coffee cup.
Dilemma. Do you drink it and hope it slides down with the first gulp or do you fish it out with your spoon? Either way the idea of how long it took the cream booger to form, what bacterial varmits may be playing hopscotch inside it makes your mind churn. Are your antibodies at the ready? Can they kill the little bastard once it makes its journey through your small intestine? Is this where Avian Flu really comes from? Yet another trickle-down effect of Global Warming? I mean, cripes where is Al Gore when you need him? And is it me, or has Al been having a little too much half and half in his coffee lately?
You peer into your coffee and there it is, doing a lazy backstroke in your wake-up juice. You squint your eyes and could swear that it winks and waves and is singing some old Simon & Garfunkel song. Eh. You shrug. Put the cup to your lips and drink it down. “Ah, morning coffee! Nothing like it. Oh waitress….”
Writer Chick (guest blogger)