I really like coffee. It’s one of my staples. I probably drink five or six cups a day. It’s one of the perks for writing for the paper – all the coffee I can drink. And, like most journalists I take mine black with none of the fancy sweeteners or euro-creams that turn coffee into some snooty, high-brow beverage you’d order at Starbucks. There’s a point when coffee ceases to be coffee and becomes whatever you’re pouring into it.
Anyway, given my propensity for sucking down java all day, I had to make an adjustment when it came to all those cups of Joe. Anyone who knows me can tell you I’m an extremely hyperactive person. So, you can imagine what it’s like when you add a bit of caffeine. I’m wide-eyed crazy and a threat to myself and others. Therefore, I maintain a separate coffee pot in the break room (which was formerly the darkroom at the paper back before digital cameras) since my co-workers are addicted to caffeine and cannot cope without its smack to their backsides every morning. In addition to coffee, I pretty well avoid most types of caffeine since I rarely drink a soft drink and have very little tea.
While I maintain the separate pot here, there’s no such luxury at home where the coffee all has the go-go juice still in it. If I want decaf at home, I’d have to buy it separate from the high-octane stuff the wife brings home. Frankly, I’m too cheap so, if I want coffee at home, I suck it up and imbibe the caffeine.
This was fine until my 10-year-old son Henry decided he likes coffee. I walked in one day and he was drinking a cup while reading the paper (the Mini Standard).
“Is that coffee?” I asked, seeing him turning up the coffee cup.
“Yes,” he looked up from the paper and replied. “Gentlemen drink coffee.”
“And I take it that you’re a gentleman?” I replied.
“Yes, I am,” he confidently shot back.
While the exchange was cute, there was need for some concern since Henry inherited my hyperactivity and then some. A couple of months back I let him wear my fitness watch for a day. It tracks how many steps you take. I tend to take about 10,000 per day. He took nearly 24,000. Now that’s hyper.
“Henry. Daddy is going to buy decaffeinated coffee,” I told him as I made his favorite brew last week.
“What’s decaffeinated?” he asked as he dumped the coffee creamer into his cup, adding to the boost of the caffeine with a good dose of sugar.
“It’s hyperactive juice,” I replied. “Gentlemen like us shouldn’t be hyper all the time. Plus, if it’s decaffeinated you can drink more of it.”
The revelation was met with quick approval by the young coffee drinker who now expects a hot cup of Joe waiting for him when I pick him up from school in the afternoon. It’s what gentlemen do.
Standard reporter Duane Sherrill can be reached at 473-2191.