Coffee: sewage sludge or septic run-off? You decide!

Walking into Starbucks, or really any coffee shop for that matter, my senses are assaulted on all fronts. I’m hit full in the nostrils with the harsh, stale stench of coffee, followed by the nauseatingly sweet odor of a thousand soy and non-fat additives. My eyes struggle in vain to adjust to the dim, cave-like amount of light. I’m roughly shoved aside by a middle-aged SUV driver, late for her morning caffeine-drip. Then, the deadly coup-de-grace is delivered to my already shattered psyche – I hear the faint sounds of Fiona Apple, limp-wristedly plucking away at a guitar and whining about the many, many, many men who have cheated on her.

I topple to the ground in a haze, knocking over a large display of Lenny Kravitz CDs on my way down. Lying there on the cold, trendily colored floor, whimpering softly, my huddled form being pelted with the sharp ends of cellophane-wrapped John Mayer albums, a cheery and green-aproned employee approaches and asks what drink she can “get started” for me today.

This is how trips to Starbucks always end for me; crumbled on the floor, my ears ringing as the cappuccino machine roars to life with the auditory force of an airliner turbine and the middle-aged SUV driver orders a non-fat caramel macchiato with extra whip and a seven dollar bran muffin.

I should clarify that I’m not the biggest fan of coffee. I find it to be an incredibly undrinkable mixture of muddy water and sewage drain-off, akin to the most potent of garden chemicals. Many of my friends and family members enjoy coffee – some very occasionally, others seventeen times a day. Because of this, I am forced to be around the vile liquid fairly often. It might be heating in a pot across the room, bubbling like a pool of hot oil.

Or, it might be as near as the passenger seat of my car as my girlfriend sips away at her extra-hot-non-fat-Grande-San Francisco-ultra-delicious-sponsored-by-T-Mobile-cappa-frappa-drappaccino-white-chocolate-chai-mocha-latte, oblivious to the fact that the fumes are filling my head with thoughts of swerving into the nearest telephone pole, ending it all in the sweet, warm embrace of death.

Whatever the situation might be, I find myself crossing paths with coffee quite often. Almost daily, in fact. With the frequency of our meetings, coffee and I have established a sort of cease-fire. I promise not to violently and randomly knock cups of coffee out of the hands of startled java-drinkers, as long as coffee vows never to touch my lips under any circumstances. This mutual agreement has grown into a grudging respect, and coffee and I exchange curt nods whenever we see each other, offering that ever-so-slight inclination of the head shared by reluctant allies.


  1. It's an extra-hot, extra-shot pumpkin-spice latte with an extra pump of pumpkin, by the way. : )

    Very funny. But I think this piece could benefit from you continuing on with an explaination of what it is you really - in a completely serious way, hate about coffee-serving establishments such as Starbucks, why the world would be a better place with less coffee behemoths or coffee-guzzlers. Because right now it's incredibly funny - just easily dismissed. Kind of like you just wrote it to be hilarious (which you succeeded admirably at). Does that make any sense?

    I'm not trying to be overly critical, because it's really great, I'm just saying how I think you could make it better. Other than that I really like it. Nice to see you writing again.

  2. I used to think the way you did. Then I needed hot caffeine, and it is IMPOSSIBLE to find someone who can make tea for me the way I like it. Literally, impossible. I keep it simple, though. I don't care about all the flavors or any of that.
    I just say "Here's some money, give me some coffee you rotten corporate whore."
    "Uh, what size?"
    "I need all the caffeine my system can handle. Therefore, I want it as large as it comes. No, I wll NOT use your crazy Italian naming system. Only two types of people should speak any Italian: Musicians and friggin' ITALIANS. Now give me my caffeine before I rip your trachea right out of you!"

    No, I'm not addicted to caffeine. Not at all.

  3. I feel I need to keep my name anonymous - please respect that and do not ask for my true identity. Thank you in advance.
    I am completely on your side of the fence on this one. I despise coffee - have since Barney brainwashed me to - and it has never entered my bodily system. I am not for the eradication of these establishments, however; quite the contrary. I believe the more coffee shops the merrier, because it's sociable, it's addicting, and it's the biggest slice of culture some people get all day.
    Do you hate the economy, Matt? Do you hate America? Because that's what you're saying if you endorse the elimination of all coffee-selling enterprises. Be careful what you search for on google, traitor, because one slip-up and your ass is federal prison grass.

  4. First off Matt let me just say: I want to party with you man! Whoa, talk about good times!

    On a more serious note, I know Thayer's true identity and am on a search and destroy mission. Watch your back pal!

    On a less serious note I don't believe coffee addiction should be stopped, quite the opposite. I believe that it should be force feed to newborns and make sure it's as strong as possible.

    The next step would be special courses in schools on how to order coffee, what muffin goes with which blend and most importantly which bland jazz cd do you want to play while you chug your piping hot drink. Then we would add coffee as a special category in food groups.

    Soon people will be naming their children after lattes and the Starbucks uniform will be the new fashion trend. Then and only then will we be rip for the harvesting from our alien overlords.

  5. You know what? You shouldn't be so funny. It pisses me off.

    Sounds to me like you're just not man enough to face this world that is quickly going into the hands of strong-willed women! If you can't deal with changes and reality, then you need to just stay in your room with your nose buried in your stupid science fiction novels while we win the day!!!

    Okay seriously though, you're hilarious and almost always right. Love ya, man. And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to be late to class. Thanks a lot, jerk.

  6. Ummm... apparently I have a blogger now. What's happening to the world?


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