Quiet Desperation

If coffee didn’t exist, it would be hard to swallow


"Coffee drinkers live longer.”

Thank you, Joe DiMaggio.

“People who drink two to three cups of coffee a day live longer than people who don’t” (U.S. News, July 3).

A study shows that I will live 12 percent longer than someone who doesn’t drink coffee at all.

OK. If two to three cups gets you 12 percent, would four to six get you 24 percent? If that’s true, I am going to live forever, and your grandchildren will be reading my columns.

“Researchers believe the coffee bean, not the caffeine, has the longevity effect.” Mrs. Olson, where have you bean all my life?

Headlines like this come and go. Eggs are bad for you; eggs are good for you. Red meat is bad for you; red meat is very bad for you.

“Coffee beans contain minerals and vitamins, such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.”

Of course, they do.

“They also contain antioxidants, including chlorogenic acid, which helps lower high blood pressure and aids weight loss.”

Now you’re talking.

And: “A daily cup of coffee can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.”

I couldn’t write without coffee. I tried once, and mostly what came out was middle of the road and humorless thought, failed insights and grievous typos.

The waiter asked how I take my coffee. I said, “Seriously, very seriously.”

The study also showed that if it takes more than three words (for example: “cream and sugar”) to order coffee, your pretension increases by 12 percent.

A friend of mine puts butter in his coffee. I put coffee in my coffee.

I have very particular coffee mugs, and I imagine you do too.

They are black, ceramic, with big handles. Nothing is written on them, like “World’s Greatest Dad,” or “I’m sorry for what I said before I had my coffee.”

They hold 8 ounces. I know there are larger mugs, but I never want the drink to cool off, and that’s what happens if I increase to 12 or 16.

I have a confession: There’s a microwave here in my office, just in case my coffee does cool off. I can’t have that.

If someone serves me a cool cup of coffee, it makes me boiling mad. Forget about breakfast: Coffee is the most important meal of the day.

If you don’t like coffee or you can’t drink coffee, I understand. But if I found out that my wife didn’t drink coffee, it would be grounds for a divorce.

Remember “Percolator Twist,” a one-hit wonder by Billy Joe and the Checkmates in 1962? It was a spin-off of a Maxwell House television commercial jingle.

My coffee maker is top of the line. It has a lot of perks.

After a couple cups of coffee, I hop.

Next year, someone will say the opposite: “Drinking two to three cups of coffee shortens your life by 12 percent.”

My longevity will be right back where it started from.

But for now, I feel good about my favorite beverage.

“Coffee drinking can be part of a healthy diet,” the report says.

Around here, it’s the Soup of the Day.

Remember that other old song?

“So let’s have another cup of coffee, and let’s have another cup of coffee.”

I guess you could say I’m well grounded.

Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at craigmarshallsmith@comcast.net.


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