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Randolph County Herald Tribune - Chester, IL
  • Lost in Suburbia: The best part of waking up is caffeine in your cup

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  • I think one of the greatest achievements of mankind is the invention of the one cup coffee maker. Some people may argue that home computers, ATM machines and smart phones are greater achievements. However, when you look at aspects such as sheer simplicity, everyday use, and the fact that a one cup coffee maker increases my ability to be a functioning member of the human race every day, 365 days of the year, except when I run out of coffee pods (shudder), I’d have to say the coffeemaker people win hands down.
    Yes, I know, too much caffeine isn’t good for me. Last time I checked, however, no one had died from being chronically over-caffeinated. Jittery, maybe. Dead? Well, not yet. And unlike Twinkies, no one has used “too much coffee” as a defense for murder. Personally, I’m much more likely to kill someone if I don’t have my morning coffee … but we won’t go there.
    The simple fact is; I need a cup of coffee in the morning to get going. Naturally, my kids know this.
    “Mom, can you make me some pancakes?” my son used to ask in the morning when he was little.
    “Sshh,” said my daughter. “She hasn’t had her coffee yet!”
    Even the dog knows it. When he sees me pull out the coffee pods, he stops doing his “Oh boy, I’m gonna get fed” dance and lays down with an audible sigh of resignation.
    Of course, when we travel and check into a hotel room, I couldn’t care less if we get a queen size bed or a king. I’m happy as long as there’s a coffee maker in the room.
    Obviously there are a lot worse vices I could have. But much like former smokers, many reformed caffeine drinkers feel it’s their patriotic duty to get me off the Joe.
    They take many tactics. There are the healthy approaches:
    “Oh, I used to drink a ton of coffee and I feel so much better since I stopped.”
    The cosmetic approaches:
    “You know, my skin actually looks better since I gave up caffeine.”
    The doomsday approaches:
    “I swear, that stuff will kill you.”
    And the flat out liars:
    “I heard caffeine has been shown to cause brain cancer in laboratory rats,” said one pseudo-concerned former coffee drinker.
    “Thank goodness I’m not a laboratory rat,” I replied.
    My husband has never been a coffee drinker. He’ll go for an extremely sweetened cappuccino every now and then that would induce diabetic shock in most people, but typically he’s more of a tea kind of guy. Still, he’s always respected our hot drink differences and although he’s suggested I decaf a bit, he’s never sunk to doomsday tactics to get me to give up caffeine. Then he started drinking this health food store green drink that smells like wet grass clippings and makes you want to moo when you drink it. He made numerous attempts to get me to convert from coffee to mowed lawn drink in the name of health.
    Page 2 of 2 - He offered it to me mixed with lemon juice. He gave it to me mixed with apple juice. He blended it with ice and made me a mowed-lawn smoothie. In an effort to be open-minded, I politely tried each one before making a face, gagging and pouring it down the sink. Finally I told him I’d have to have a tastebud-ectomy to drink it again.
    The next morning as I waited for my coffee to brew and he drank his glass of grass, he said to me, “You’re never going to drink this stuff, are you?”
    “No,” I replied. “Unless I come back in my next life as a cow.”
    — For more Lost in Suburbia, follow Tracy on Facebook at facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage or on Twitter at @TracyBeckerman.
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