You are not responsible for your own stupidity
by Ken Carpenter
Every morning as I enjoy my first cup of coffee, I take a few seconds to bless the goats. Well, I did it once anyway.
Around 800-850 A.D. an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi noticed that his goats were getting frantically frisky. “By the flea-infested beard of my sainted grandmother,” he grumbled, “Those goats are wired to the gills!”
Upon investigation, he discovered that the goats were dining on berries from the supposedly useless coffee shrubs dotting the landscape. Figuring that a little extra energy can come in handy for chasing hasty goats, it was not long before the world’s first pot of coffee was simmering over a dried camel dung fire. The rest is history.
Americans now consume 300 million cups of coffee every day. That pace is still behind Finland, the world coffee-guzzling champs, for they average 15 cups per day for the average family of four. My two cups a day seems paltry by comparison.
When I was a kid I was flabbergasted at the amount of coffee my older relatives would put away at family gatherings. They drank it all day, every day, and were still swilling it when the youngsters were sent off to bed. For all I know, they never slept, for it seemed like they were still in the same positions the next morning, steaming cups by their side.
If I drank that much in a day I wouldn’t sleep either. In fact, I could become the next superhero, The Stupendous Vibrating Man. Problem is, I wouldn’t be super or a hero, I’d just vibrate until the villains went nuts and shot themselves. Or me, more like it.
Coffee is funny. In the past when I needed a caffeine buzz, I would search out a cup of dark roast. I like the taste too, but it turns out that mild or regular roast has more caffeine in it than dark. The extra roasting cooks out some of the caffeine.
The term “Cup of Joe” came about when Admiral Josephus Daniels outlawed alcohol on U.S. Navy ships. The disappointed rum drinkers had to change their drink of choice, and I guess a “Cup of Josephus” just didn’t have a ring to it.
Personal research has convinced me that some folks could lose a battle of wits with a bowling ball if the ball challenged them before they have their morning coffee.
I got up the other day, threw on my robe and stumbled out to the living room.
“Good morning babe,” my wife Joy said, “The coffee is ready and I already brought the paper in.”
“Murnin,” I mumbled, “Thash good.”
I then shuffled over to the door and opened it.
“I have the paper here,” Joy said in a slightly startled voice.
“OK,” I answered as I went out. I staggered my way to the street and reached into the paper box.
“Hmmm, no paper yet,” I said in a robotic voice.
When I got back inside Joy was giving me a dumfounded look, mouth gaping with disbelief like a fish in a pitcher of beer. She then managed to smile sweetly and tell me for the third time where the paper was, relishing every word, I’m sure. I answered with a husbandly grunt.
The next morning she beat me out of bed again, not a good sign.
“Good morning,” she greeted me, ”Your coffee is on the coffee table but I didn’t get the paper.”
“Mmmmmmm,” I replied as I headed into the kitchen. I poured a cup of coffee and took it to the couch, where I plopped down. I was then faced with the prospect of dealing with two cups of coffee, no paper and a surly wife. I snuck a look over at Joy, who was beagle-eying me with great pleasure over her coffee cup.
“Oh,” I said intelligently as I stood up and headed out the door.
So I think in some cases coffee can make you smarter. It is also reputed to lower the risk of colon cancer, gallstones, cirrhosis of the liver, Parkinson’s disease, and drop the suicide rate of female nurses (I did not make that up!).
It also works well to wash down a serving of crow, for those of us who dine on it occasionally.