Monday, March 2, 2009

Cream and Sugar? Or black?

"What would you like to drink?" The coffee barista asked, and all I could do was think of a story from the past. A story I think of each time I order or prepare myself a cup of coffee:

The sound of the disapproving sigh was like two iron files attempting to slide across one another. I was poring over the selection of flavored creamers trying to decide whether I wanted my acrid, stale, burnt, over brewed cup of military issued coffee to taste like acrid, stale, burnt, over brewed coffee flavored with Irish Cream, Hazel Nut or French Vanilla. The rasping sigh of was being issued by a U.S. Air Force Chief Master Sergeant and it was obvious I was about to commit a grievous crusty old guy sin.

The "Chief" looked like well worn saddle leather straight from the pages of a Louis L'Amour novel. "Sarge..." Said the Chief, sizing me up. "...if YOU ever want to make Chief, you'll learn how to drink your coffee black." I smiled a reply and in my best tough guy, testosterone laden voice said, "Thanks Chief." His silver butch haircut bristled menacingly. He just stood there looking at me. Mean mugging me. Mad dogging me. I let my eyes glance toward the bin of flavored creamers. I looked up hoping he'd moved on. Nope still there. I met the Chief's stare. I was thinking now would be a good time for a mortar or rocket attack. He cocked an eyebrow, took a swig of coffee and marched away. I just stood there staring at where the Chief had been until I heard his boot steps fall away. I looked around to see if anyone else had witnessed my public shaming, nervously palmed three Irish Cream..and promptly schlepped off to quietly commit java sacrilege.

"Sir? Something to drink?" Asked the Barista. I looked around nervously and said, "How about a cappuccino with one of those cool swirly designs."

Maybe tomorrow I'll start drinking my coffee black.

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