Remember when you were a kid, and you would be "anxious"? Anxious for Christmas, anxious for summer vacation; anxious for it to finally be May 25th, 1983, so you could prove to your stupid brother once and for all that when Yoda said "there is Another", he was referring to Obi Wan Kenobi, who would have to come back from the dead to rescue Luke (who of course would be turned to the Dark Side) and not Lando-freaking-Calrissian, because that would just be lame. "Anxious" was a code word for sheer, depthless joy, unbridled and unbounded; a word your parents and teachers used to describe you, back before there were more technical terms like "ADHD".
In adulthood, we call it (along with ADHD) anxiety. Anxiety is the same vacuum, teaming with the same vibrating nervous energy, but now its filled to the brim with all of your grown up baggage. Work!Money!Kids!"Holy Crap, the north facing wall of my 100 year old house is sinking into the earth!!" that sort of thing.
Anxiety, if I'm not careful, becomes a sort of default setting for me, the fumes on which I conduct my busy day after the inevitable caffeine-crash happens. Mornings at Casa Del Caff are a tightly choreographed affair. Out of bed and into the shower to drag a razor over my melon. Get Princess Plucky (a morning person) out of her crib and feed her whatever she wants to eat(Usually "Ba-na-na-na-na!". And whatever her brother doesn't finish). Tend to my son (emphatically NOT a morning person) who stumbles out of bed every morning in his tight little underwear like an angry white Gandhi; force feed him the exact same breakfast he's been eating since he broke his first tooth (two Eggo waffles with butter and a glass of apple juice), then drive my daughter to daycare while the wife talks number one son off the ledge. I may have the better end of the deal, but the routine can still get a little stressful.
I was running late the other morning, so I stopped by Mile High Coffee for my morning jolt, avoiding the 3 Starbucks that are also within the same distance from my house. I want to support this place, I really do. But man, does their coffee have some problems. And it's not like it's consistently bad, It's just that, when I least expect it, after a couple of visits where I've actually gotten some good stuff... that's when they'll hit me with a cup that's as flavorful and aromatic as a can of motor oil. By the time I got to work, 100 proof, pure liquefied anxiety was coursing through my veins. Compound this with the fact that every 15 minutes, the radio on my co-worker's desk taunted me with the meandering pop-pabulum of "Had a Bad Day". This was not a "bad day", this was what the kids call a "bad trip". After gritting my teeth through the mind numbing Deejay banter, they follow up with the umpteenth playing of "How to Save a Life". Hey! Corporate radio overlords, wanna know how to save a life? TAKE "HAD A BAD DAY" OFF OF HEAVY ROTATION!!
I actually wasn't even having that bad of a day. I was just a little annoyed. Intense. Slowly, it dawned on me what was happening... this was the work of my old arch nemesis....
MR. COFFEE NERVES!
Just look at that smarmy, see-through bastard, torturing those poor people like that - with his clunky moniker right there on his shirt, and that stupid little handlebar mustache. You just know he twirls that thing between his thumb and index finger. What an asshole.
When Mister CN comes back into MY life, fraying my nerves until they're the limp consistency of the fringe on the back of a heavy metal chick's acid washed jean jacket, I know it's high time for a detox. A couple times a year, just to prove to myself that I'm not actually an addict, I go on a caffeine purge. I mean, whoa... not all caffeine, of course. Let's not get all crazy, now! Usually, I'll have some green tea in its place. And, you know, not necessarily a full week... we're supposed to be going out with some friends this weekend, and I certainly can't deny myself the traditional, post-club coffee and pie. But just a few days off the stuff will do me some good.
So, dear reader, welcome to my nightmare... this is 'FAUX COFFEE WEEK!" If I'm not my usual charming and clever self, I'm sure you'll understand. Just don't bug me when I'm shaving, like the picture above, or I'll cut you. I'm not kidding.
Rather than make you, the reader, suffer through the long, detailed account of my DT's, and to prevent this blog from being polluted with the sort of existential musings that come along when one faces the long, dark coffee break of the soul, I've decided to experiment with some popular "coffee alternatives". So you don't have to. You can thank me later. I started off this morning with a big, tasty cup'o POSTUM. Postum is a CAFFEINE-FREE coffee substitute that's been all the rage among the Big Love crowd since 1895. If I was the flavor of Mormon that could have a couple of sister wives to cavort with every night, I could actually see trading in my coffee for this stuff. Hell, if I could have a couple of sister-wives to cavort with, I would trade in my lungs for this stuff. Not that I'd actually ever drink it... I'm just all about the hot, sister-wife on sister-wife action. The drink itself tastes like a thirst quenching gulp from a glass of sand, flavored liberally with molasses. Is there anyone who can't be described by the term "mountain folk" who actually likes the taste of molasses? On the bright side, Postum is chock full of healthy, fiber-licious WHEAT GERM. Considering I drank it alongside a great big bowl of oatmeal, and chased it with a couple of prunes, there was one effect from my morning coffee that wasn't missing.
In the advertisements seen above, Postum was hailed as the bane of Mr. Coffee Nerves' existence, the liquid equivalent of the Scooby Doo gang, leaving the villain cursing it's amazing ability to bring families back from the very brink of distraction. Time will tell. But right now, Mr. CN is walking outside my house, sneering, mumbling "you'll be back, bitch." under his breath.
Unlike the many other Ted Campbells on the interwebs, I'm neither a minister, nor a professional motorcyclist, nor a gay realtor from Florida.
What I AM is an ass-kickin' father, a corporate schlep, and an occasional freelance writer.
If you've found your way here, why not give my awesome "Blog of Note" blog-novel a look-see?