|There's the coffee as I type this.|
Coffee. OK, I don't like coffee. That's irrelevant. This morning I awoke at the Pineola Inn in the only establishment of its kind in the continental U.S.--I'm certain--that does not have coffee on the premises. And that didn't make me happy. It made me ... well ... unsettled. I think its absence must be illegal on some level. It is certainly immoral.
So, I took a quick shower, grabbed the keys and shot out to a little gas station up the Newland Highway where I discovered plenty of coffee. But no decaf. I told the owner what I wanted, and he told his assistant to make some. She came to the coffee area, looked at the pot and announced, "I don't know how to make decaf." The owner rolled his eyes and jumped to the rescue.
The girl watched as he poured about three or four measures of Folgers into the paper filter. "Just eyeball it," he said to her, as if explaining a delicate surgical procedure. "Be a minute," he said to me. I paced, looking at the handmade wooden bird houses. One was a guitar. "Hmmm," I thought, "wonder how that would play on Edinburgh Drive?"
A man came in and stopped at the coffee machine. "That decaf?" he asked, pointing to the orange-trimmed pot. "Yes," I said. He curled his lip. As the owner had explained, "Not much call for decaf around here." I felt my manhood was being questioned. The man picked up the green-trimmed pot and poured. A large. Mine was still brewing.
As he left, I grabbed the green pot, pulled out the orange one from under the coffee drip, replaced it with the green and poured my cup almost full. I put three Half-and-Halfs, which aren't half and half, and was ready to go. $1.50 later, I was out the door. Smiling and thinking, "OK, I'm addicted. I've heard that somewhere before."