The Role Of Caffeine In Civilization

Caffeine role…? How about the Caffeine Roll – now that would sell! I know people who would queue up for them…shaking hard.

I take coffee. I take tea. I avoid caffeinated soft drinks – but that to keep away from the taste, not the effect. I can stand caffeine in measured doses, and the standard measure seems to be the railway tank car.

The morning will see two cups of Nescafé. Another mid-afternoon, and a strng espresso after dinner. Then another Nescafé at 10:00. It is a wonder I get to sleep before midnight.

We have often been cautioned against this. Just as we have been warned off eggs, meat, sugar, potatoes, and every other foodstuff that has ever been grown, baked, or boiled. And then we have been told that the demon food or devil drink is quite all right…and the attention of the scolding press turns to another thing. I have adopted the sensible attitude that it is all a load of twaddle designed to gain money and power…and ignore the dire warnings. Unless a sandwich is filled with equal parts of dried smallpox scabs and liquid Lewisite, I am prepared to take a bite.

The Wiki entries on coffee and tea show that they come from foreign climes. This would make them suspect for those of the population that subscribe to xenophobia, but it doesn’t answer the question of whether they are healthful and nourishing in the places where they originated. Seeing as the people there are just about as long-lived as the locals here – bar the occasional revolution or tsunami – the health fears would seem to be exaggerated. And seeing as the places where they are used are generally full of citizens who are up and active – for good or ill – it would appear that the caffeine is doing a reasonable job.

Can you have too much coffee? Of course you can, and there are medical records – written in jittery longhand and covered in brown rings – that document the self sacrifices of pioneer doctors who experimented on themselves.

Can you have too little? Go a fortnight without any and then tell me, but don’t weep or scream as you do so. You will disturb my cappuccino.

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Coffee Machine’s Busted

And I am not all that unhappy.

Not that the loss of a domestic appliance is a good thing – particularly as I am a  person who likes the coffee that came out of it, and have several boxes of pods orphaned by the loss. ( Note I recycle the pods in accordance with the latest virtue-signalling on Facebook and produce pure oxygen and small kittens…)

The repairman charged for his time and diagnosis – which I understand completely. The prognosis was poor – the entire brewing unit would need replacing at $ 249. This is more expensive than many of the new coffee makers available in electrical stores – and they come with the correct warranties and even some cash-backs.

So it looks as though my Christmas is sorted. I should have liked liquor or model airplanes, but I realise that some things – like coffee – are essentials in modern life. I can Nescafé it the rest of the day, but after dinner is more serious.

This Site Uses Cookies

They are used to keep the inner weblog columnist quiet long enough to get a post out. Otherwise it is whinge, moan, and whine all morning long.

Cups of coffee are also used as are cartoons and shots of liquor. Anything to make the news feed from Facebook or the quasi – left press on public radio acceptable. It has gotten a little easier in the last few years as retirement kicked in – no morning or afternoon commutes to inflame the soul – but there are still days that practically beg for a rifle and a water tower.

The preferred cookie is the Arnotts Venetian Biscuit or the Triple Choc Overload. Once the commercial bakers perfect the Quadruple Choc Overload the Triple will be relegated to history. There are technical difficulties – once you get past a certain percentage of chocolate in a biscuit you can’t get it out of the packet in cold weather. Not that it stops the dedicated – we’ve all eaten packaging in our time.

Tim Tams are the belly dancer biscuit. They can be induced to do nearly anything except quieten down with a pack of Tim Tams. Mind you, it’s considered bad sportsmanship to bait a three-gang hook with chocolate biscuits and then go trolling on stage at the dance shows. It looks bad when you are gaffing tribal dancers into the wings…

Home-made cookies, slices, and biscuits are, of course, generally preferred to the commercial offerings. But in the last decade it has become somewhat of a lottery – you never can tell when you’ll encounter the gluten-free, lactose-free, politically correct biscuit. And unless you are prepared for them with a hammer or a crucifix, they can be a frightening sight. It is generally best to approach a plate of new-age biscuits wearing a rubber lab apron and welding mask.

A final note for the people who wish to be superior. I read recently a sneering comment made by someone about commercial cheesecake and how horrible it was meant to be. Having eaten my share of cakes from the very shop that was being disparaged, I can say that the Facebook detractor is being precious. Cake is cake, and if you take it in small doses, frequently, and with adequate coffee, it is a wonderful thing. Commerce is not crime and neither is mudcake.

Up. On. Off. Coffee.

Did a talk yesterday to an audience in the old folk’s home. It was easier than I thought it was going to be because I’m also one of the old folks – and my audience was prepared to listen to me.

Public speaking is a lot of fun:

a. If you have something to say.

b. Someone will listen.

c. They serve coffee and cake afterwards.

You can make it work if you take the advice of the title. Get up, get on, then get off. If you are lucky you can also get away, though for some audiences I would advise a smoke screen and plenty of jinking.

I had a good introduction from someone who was a former patient and who still had enough teeth to talk with. I gave a 20-minute show covering two main ideas, and this was enough time to engage them with a question, satisfy them with an answer, and then shut up before they became restless. There were enough visual aids to engage their eyesight – without having to look at a charts or words on a screen. There were familiar things as well as new items.

And there was coffee and cake afterwards. You can dissolve a lot of impatience with morning coffee.