LowComDom Performances Presents
Wake Up And Find The Coffee
Last week I went into a coffee house to get, you know, a cup of coffee, only to be told that actual coffee was unavailable. Would I like any tasty cappuccino, cafe au lait, or espresso? A double decaf latte with one of those little Italian biscuits that tastes like chalk? They had those, but a steaming java, a plain ordinary cup of joe? No way.
This mutant coffee thing is getting out of hand. It's even hard to get a cuppa mud at the local convenience store. It used to be simple: Get large paper container, put under urn tap, pour, attach appropriate lid, pay and go. Today, convenience stores all have an Isle Du Cawfay or some damn thing: It offers cinnamon coffee, vanilla coffee and decaf Viennese, from beans fresh-squeezed by formerly Soviet virgins. I'm not against this stuff, but it's not what I look for in liquefied caffeine: I want a blister on my lips and a knot in my stomach. I want my coffee black, bitter and scalding. Give me that little pleasure, America. I promise I won't sue you.
Alas, we're well on the road to tepid exoticism. Have your tried to find vanilla ice cream at the grocery store lately? You could get frostbite from rummaging. You have to claw you way past Wally Walnut Peanut Brittle Supreme, or Cherry Brownie Fudge Syrup Surprise, ice cream with so much extra junk crammed into its mass it looks like a tub of frozen glue with chunks of bark floating in it. If you find vanilla ice cream at all, its usually Milli Vanilla Whole Bean Rain Forest Saver, with vanilla beans suspended in its depths like boulders in a glacier.
While we're on the subject, isn't it time to declare a moratorium on microbreweries? Walk into an upscale tavern these days, and there's a 12-foot wall of bottles behind the bar, floor to ceiling. If you ask the bartender what kind of beers they serve, you'll die of thirst before he reaches the end of the list. And all the names have the same kind of annoying, vaguely macho ring to them: Ugly Alligator Ale, or One-Eyed Pete's Pale Porter. I'll go mad, I tell you! Mad!
We've got to nip this thing in the bud, my friends. We're on the road to a world where we'll be able to flavor our foods with cumin, curry, or cilantro, but not salt. We used to drink water from the tap, remember that? Then we switched to bubbly water from foreign lands; now it has to be cherry-flavored bubbly water, or we won't touch it.
We have special shampoos for our individual hair needs. We need special outfits to ride a damn bicycle. We have call waiting, call forwarding, caller i.d. -- but when's the last time you actually talked to a human being on the telephone?
Our new culture is all quarters, no pennies, prayer in school but no education, all croissants and no doughnuts. We're not smoking! Tomatoes will stay ripe for centuries.
We welcome space aliens, but not illegal ones. (As Martians carry work visas.) We used to shoot tin cans from stumps with .22s. Today we shoot each other with .357s. We used to drive gas-guzzlers, guilt-free; today we drive little tiny cars with strange names not found in nature. Do we really feel better about ourselves? Of course we don't.
We're just trying to prove that we can control our appetites. "I don't have a sugar jones," we say to the world, "I just have a sudden craving for Huggy-Bugy Sweet 'N' Sticky Health Bars. That's all."
I don't want to alarm you (well, OK, I do), but it seems like we're ripe for an invasion. Lean and hungry barbarians from the east, take note. You won't even need weapons. All you need are basic goods: sugar, coffee, tea, whole milk, alcohol, red meat, tobacco. I don't want to sound like a traitor, but we're a pushover.
>From the _Funny Times_, November 1995. Reprinted without permission.