Tag Archives: coffee

1971. Oh sugar!

Pamela was a sound sleeper. She lived alone. She locked the house thoroughly each night before she went to bed. The neighbours were a bit strange – especially the wife. She was a bit of a recluse. Pamela had met her just the once. Word had it that she had been in and out of psychiatric care centres throughout her life.

It may have been because of this that Pamela was nervously suspicious. She had suspected for quite some time that strange things happened in the night. She was always meticulous about things, and sometimes she noticed that some household items had been moved ever so slightly, or even that she ran out of tea bags faster than she should. In fact she counted the tea bags. She used two tea bags a day. The seventy-eight tea bags in the box should last for thirty-nine days. She marked the date on her wall calendar.

Ashley, the neighbour, was a bit strange, but not as strange as his wife. He would come over once a week to Pamela’s for a cup of coffee. Pamela had never warmed to him. But a neighbour is a neighbour and it was after all only about thirty minutes in her week that his visits lasted. His wife never came with him.

Now the doctor had told Pamela to go easy on the sugar, so she filled the sugar bowl (in case visitors came and took sugar) and put the sugar bowl high in the cupboard. That was the last time she used it. It was a lot easier to give up sugar than she had expected.

When Ashley came over next she filled the conversation with the usual small talk. She had given up sugar. Did he still want sugar in his coffee? Perhaps he would prefer a cup of tea?

“Oh,” said Ashley, “I think you’re out of tea bags.”

1849. Midmorning coffee

Cyril liked to have a coffee midmorning. It provided a break from sitting at the office desk. Not that he didn’t take his mug of coffee to the office desk to drink, but it was different. He didn’t have any of those fancy gizmos that sophisticated offices have. There was simply an electric kettle sitting on a little table next to a plug, a jar of instant coffee, and a jar of sugar. Anyway, there was just Cyril and his secretary.

When Ivy his secretary left for a new job, Cyril didn’t replace her for several months. During that time, to be honest, he simply couldn’t be bothered making a coffee midmorning. It’s not that he didn’t want one. It just that he really couldn’t be bothered having to wash his mug and teaspoon first. And then if the teaspoon was wet the instant coffee would stick to the spoon, and how does one then use the spoon to get the sugar out of the sugar jar?

Eventually Cyril hired a new secretary. Delesia was the perfect secretary; pleasant, efficient, capable, hard-working.

On her first day of work, around about half past ten, she announced to Cyril that she was taking ten minutes of time out, and would he like a cup of coffee?

Would he what! What a dear creature! Yes please!

That was years and years ago. This Saturday they will have been married for forty-two years.

1843. Hearty food

Dean’s doctor told him to start eating healthy. He searched online for healthy foods. There were links to different foods that said “Eat these for a healthy heart”. Dean clicked on them, link after link. It took a good half an hour to download all the pages each with a different healthy food.

The following, in this order, were good for the heart:

Oranges, kale, garlic, red wine, chocolate, sardines, lentils, almonds, pomegranates, blueberries, beets, salmon, turmeric, chia seeds, apples, avocados, eggplant, broccoli, carrots, chicken, chickpeas, coffee, cranberries, figs, flax seeds, red hot chilli peppers, ginger, grapefruit, green tea, kidney beans, kiwi fruit, mackerel, cashew nuts, oatmeal, pears…

Dean tried them all, one after the other, and it made no difference. He was still hungry. Health food doesn’t fill you up.

He finished off with a big slice of cream sponge cake and at last was satisfied.

1832. A spoonful of sugar

Craig’s doctor had said he was to go easy on the sugar. “You’re getting perilously close to being diabetic.”

The only occasion that Craig used sugar directly was coffee. In the mornings he had two cups of instant coffee, black, with a heaped spoon of sugar. His wife, Tracy, was the same – instant and black, with one heaped teaspoon of sugar.

Of course, Craig didn’t tell Tracy about the diabetes. He didn’t want to worry her. He ever so quietly simply gave up putting sugar in his coffee.

A week or so later, Tracy seemed to be in one of her moods. It was not an uncommon occurrence. Every now and again nothing in the world was right. Craig couldn’t hiccup without it causing a tsunami.

“I’ve been meaning to say this all week,” said Tracy. Her matrimonial corrections always began that way: “I’ve been meaning to say this all week…”

“What is it this time?” asked Craig.

“I’ve told you time and time again not to use the same spoon in the sugar as you use in the instant coffee. There are granules of instant coffee in the sugar bowl. It’s disgusting. Before long everything that has sugar in it will start tasting of coffee. Use a separate spoon.”

“I’ll do my best in the future,” said Craig.

Some lines of conversation are best not pursued – especially if down the line one is hoping to spend a little of the housekeeping money each week on a new fishing rod.

1623. The grocery list

When Theta got up that morning she discovered she was out of coffee. Not to worry! She would have a cup of tea and once daylight broke she would walk to the corner shop and buy some coffee. In the meantime she made a list of other things she would get.

The list grew longer; in fact, too long for the corner shop. She would have to get in the car and go to the supermarket. It didn’t open until seven each morning, but she might as well wait and it would save a trip in the next day or two to the supermarket.

Of course, once she started looking there was more and more to get. Butter would run out, as would cheese. And milk. And cream. In fact, the dairy compartment in her fridge needed an overhaul! Then there was flour and yeast. Both were getting low and Theta liked to bake her own bread. In a bread-maker mind you, but it was still nicer than most sliced loaves available. In fact, over the years, Theta had so refined the bread recipes for the machine, that there was rarely a failure. Now and again she might buy a baguette or bagels for a change.

Fresh fruit! It was always nice – and healthy – to have fresh fruit. Bananas were great because they were so convenient. But apples and oranges were always a must. Occasionally Theta would “break out” and buy a couple of pears, or even a bag of kiwifruit. Once she went way over the top and purchased a pomegranate!

There were general household items too that were getting low; cleaners and so on. In fact, the kitchen detergent had run out and that was a priority – although it was a very handy excuse “not to do the dishes”! But “not doing the dishes” couldn’t last forever!

The supermarket was about ten minutes away by car, so Theta left home about ten minutes before the shop would open. She loaded the trolley with groceries from the list, passed through the checkout, and headed home.

Unloading the car and putting things away was always a hassle and it was best to get it over with immediately upon arrival back home. Theta unpacked quickly. She put the kettle on for her morning coffee. When all was done, she…

…she…

…she had forgotten to buy coffee. It was not on the list.

1593. A bit of a romp

Jock was all of nineteen and more than halfway through his apprenticeship with a building firm. He loved to party on the weekends, and if he didn’t have to work he would have loved to party every night of the week.

One Saturday night he was invited by this guy and his girlfriend to go back to their house for “a bit of a romp”. Jock thought it a good idea, and followed the couple’s old van to their house in his car.

Would he like a beer? A coffee? Anything? Jock thought he’d like a coffee. Why not? He had a night of “romping” ahead of him and plenty of time later for a beer or two.

Twenty minutes after finishing his coffee he knew it had been laced with something. One of his hands started to shake, and he felt scared. There was no reason to feel scared but he did. He was terrified, in fact, of something unseen. He stumbled outside and got in his car. He drove off.

He didn’t have a clue where he was going. He just drove, quite slowly because things were a bit fuzzy, but he had to get away. There was someone standing under a street light. It was a hitchhiker. Jock stopped.

“Can you drive?” asked Jock. The hitchhiker could. “Can you drive me home? Someone laced my coffee and I’m not thinking straight.”

The hitchhiker drove. When he got safely home Jock gave the hitchhiker money to get a taxi to where he was going. All night Jock sat up in his bed staring at the door. He was scared stupid. He thought someone would come through the door to get him.

This was a turning point for Jock. He settled down (ever so slightly), met someone, fell in love, and they now have five kids. Most weekends Jock takes the kids camping or fishing. Or they just mess about. A good story, eh?

1340. Such is the expanse

It’s fascinating to think, said Theodore to his theologically-minded friend, Nelson, that when I’m grinding these coffee beans for breakfast there’s probably twenty million other intelligent beings on other inhabited planets doing the identical thing. Such is the expanse of the universe! Such is its enormity!

Don’t be silly, said Nelson. You’re so closed-minded. Why do you always limit the infinite? In all the trillions of inhabited planets in this universe alone, there’s not a single planet that’s the same. And there’s not a single intelligent being doing the same thing as you. God is not that boring.

1188. In hot water

Imelda was adamant. She reckoned that instant coffee tasted ten times better if the kettle was switched off just before boiling. “One degree under boiling, and the coffee tastes best,” she said.

Bradford, the husband of Imelda, disagreed. “Water that’s had the living daylights boiled out of it tastes best,” he said.

Anyway, they got a divorce over irreconcilable differences. The three kids – Guava, Banana, and Ugli Fruit – were farmed out, and Imelda and Bradford got on with their movie careers.

1165. Grinding

Each evening Nerissa would grind the coffee beans and tip them into the coffee machine in preparation for early morning. Nerissa rose at six and the first thing she did was to turn on the coffee machine. Her husband, Charlie, didn’t rise until seven and usually had to reheat his coffee in the microwave.

Charlie had an annoying practice. If he had an important meeting that demanded an earlier rising, he would not set an alarm clock. Instead, before he went to bed, he would tip out all of Nerissa’s ground coffee beans into the trash so that the noise of Nerissa grinding a fresh batch of coffee in the early morning would wake him up.

“What’s wrong with just asking me to wake you?” said Nerissa.

“This way is just as efficient,” said Charlie.

Nerissa had had enough. The next time it happened, she got in the car and drove to the Early Bird Café. The coffee wasn’t as nice, but it was a lot more satisfying.

1128. Morning rumination

Andy didn’t feel the day had started until he’d had his first cup of coffee. He always rose at roughly the same time, even on the weekends. Sometimes he’d rise just a teeny-weeny bit later because he’d lie in his warm bed for those extra few minutes after the alarm had gone off.

His coffee machine would automatically start brewing just a few minutes before the alarm went off, so by the time Andy had dressed the coffee was ready. All he need do was add a spoon of sugar to the mug, pour the coffee (he had it black), then sit at his computer and ruminate in the early hours of the morning. He would still be half asleep, but this half hour of sitting each morning without a thought, and only coffee for company, was a daily necessity. If he didn’t have that half hour, then for rest of the day he’d be moody and miserable.

Andy poured a second cup, and then a third. He usually did that. He was ready to start his day! A quick rinse of the coffee jug and into the shower!

But on this particular day, when he rinsed the coffee jug, a dead mouse fell out.