An Amusement & Diversion for The Genteel Cyclist. Daily.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Pinch Hit: The Coffee (Dis) Connection


So, in case you didn't notice, Masi Guy has written to respond to some questions we had about the new line of bikes, though we notice he has not yet granted our request for a test ride on the new SoulVille. He did, however, translate "Caffe" (thanks Tim!), and that got us thinking once again about a widespread and troubling social crisis that touches the life of every cyclist.

How many times have you shown up five minutes early at the coffee shop to meet for your Saturday-morning group ride, the gang is cooling its heels but raring to go, but that's cool because there is only one person in the coffee line, and your mandatory double-shot of espresso is just twenty seconds away, only to have this person in line -- you see now a sort of lantern-jawed woman with salt-and-pepper hair, a Maui tee-shirt, and a leather fannypack -- order a triple latte with an extra shot of espresso, skim milk, no whipped cream?

Now to be fair, this is not, in itself, the problem. People ought to be able to order whatever is on the menu, and maybe a few things that aren't on the menu. That's what menus are for. It's why we go to restaurants and cafes: for special meals and beverages we are not equipped or skilled or ambitious enough to prepare for ourselves. (Though I will hasten to add that this sort of drink IS, in itself, repellent. If you're drinking that much caffeine that fast, you probably ought to consider getting it in pill form, or maybe mainlining it. The least of your worries should be milk-fat, frankly... if the diuretic effects of a quadruple latte don't cause you to spontaneously eliminate the entire contents of your bladder and/or colon, the jitters certainly burn off any lingering calories or cholesterol. Also, it feels like God is playing a bad joke on you, because he always puts this woman in front of you at the coffee shop, just to see what happens.)

No, the problem is the persons behind the bar. You would think that working in this sort of environment would be, uh, stimulating. You would think that it would be OK -- in fact prudent, in fact maybe even a job requirement -- that your average barrista would drink a strong cup of coffee at some point toward the beginning of their morning shift, and that this would have an efficacious effect on their job performance.

You would be wrong. And you would still be standing at the counter hoping your bike has not yet been stolen or parted out, or that your group ride has not left without you.

You begin to take a sadistic pleasure in standing there in your plum-smugglers, surprised at how tightly you are now clenching your little zip-lock bag with its cell-phone, patch kit, and Visa. You look up at the ceiling, down at the floor, wondering if this is the way heroin addicts look and feel at the Methodone clinic, you take your helmet off and begin to bang your head on the plexiglass donut-and-scone display.

It's not exactly the Trials of Hercules, or the Sufferings of Job. But it sure feels like it, as you feel the life force trickling out your cleats onto the white tile floor.

3 comments:

jimmyD said...

That IS f---ing annoying. I usually tell the baristas to put the press pots out and just sell me a cup while they're busy making the pushy woman's drink.

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