I could kill for a cup of coffee.

I’ve always properly despised those selfish fools who fail to understand my medicinal need for coffee grants me non negotiable rights over their wishy wash request for a frothy beverage.

Out of my way, caffeine addict coming through¦..” I am want to shout on straightlining the sea of bodies between me and my morning fix. On difficult days, I desperately request an instant infusion directly from the Barista, so ignoring the more traditional cup and saucer convention.

It hasn’t always been this way; growing up in Yorkshire, coffee was the much maligned tipple of those reaching above themselves embodied by hostess trolley and inside toilets. But having migrated south for what feels like the remainder of my life, tea is served pointlessly weak with the bag having been merely wafted over the cup in some kind of bizarre London ritual. Is the spoon sanding up in the cup yet? No? Then put the sodding bag back in then you bloody metrosexual” was a fairly representative dialogue for the first couple of years.

They never did though, and after one exchange in which I was offered nine types of tea but not one of them being Tetley”, I gave up. And just as a rantable aside, what the fuck is breakfast tea? 240 bags in a big box covers all the major tea drinking events for about a month, surely? I’ll tell you what it is, it’s bloody niche marketing and global stupidity for which scorpion pits await.

So coffee it is then. On the plus side, the firm offers up two variants; the first costs a couple of quid but served frothy and hot from a proper machine. The second is a freebie concoction of hot water rafishly mixed with rat poison. The reason it is served up as a no cost option is not due to the magnanimousness of the firm, rather that you’d have to be a screaming mentalist to pay for it.

Therefore, a frisson of excitement shimmied through the entire floor when four straining blokes, in matching shirts and sweat, heaved a freezer sized replacement into place. It was delivered with a small boy whose sole responsibility was to explain the complex operation of the machine to a hundred IT veterans, most with decent degrees. Which of course would not include anything with studies in the title; media, modern, frog-baiting whatever. These are barely night school courses and I’ll be coming back to this very subject at some point.

He lacked the traditional tribal piercings and surly countenance of his generation, instead springing up like an acne’d jack-in-the-corridor as potential victims entered his personal orbit. Morning Sir, as you can see a new beverage dispenser is on trial�” opens arms as if proudly personally birthing the shiny oblong We’ve got coffee, hot chocolate, tea, water, soup with bits in and, this weeks special, volcanic lava flow”. Somewhat perturbed by his clearly drug induced enthusiasm, I was tricked into selecting the Tea icon Very good sir, you can now select sub options including strength, size and choice of cow, goat or llama milk, And the vegetable infusion is very popular at this time of year

For all his showmanship, this still translated into punching a mathematically unchallenging ˜37′ into the unsullied keypad. Unsullied for a reason as I was about to tragically discover.

I waited expectantly as this hi-tech self service instant melange appliance (his words not mine) whirled and grunted in a floor shaking seismic event. ˜That’ll be the 3/8th gripley energising the flange rebate so engaging the reciprocating cam widget” he couldn’t help himself explaining, his enthusiasm undiminished by my blank expression.

What finally emerged fully leveraged the power of anticlimax. It was essentially tar flavoured with a hint of linoleum. I couldn’t decide whether to drink it or rush outside for a spot of corporate road maintenance.

His little face collapsed as my internal organs began to do the same. Barely retaining the power of speech as my osophegus withered under this toxic onslaught, I still managed a Jilly-Cooper-Esqe Fucking hell, are you trying to kill me?“. Valiantly he tried to make amends by offering a replacement hand blended, freshly ground coffee from the Appalachian slopes” but my digestive tract bypassed the hindbrain and ordered my legs to run away while I still could.

That stuff doesn’t have a shelf life, it has a half life.

A week later, the same set of heavies mercifully unplumbed this toxic monster and took it away to be disposed of with other nuclear waste. The original machine smugly returned with its’ obligatory ˜out of order’ sign. It’s been that way since. I can only assume the lad committed suicide or something as he was nowhere to be seen. Maybe he tried the tea, you need a strong constitution to get goal side of that.

I’m not sure what worries me most; the fact that a small boy has personally repealed the factory act and, if still with us, will suffer intense therapy for many years or that the firm doesn’t believe that I’m technically qualified to operate a coffee machine without help.

Pass the Pro-Plus. I am wandering alone, the only sane man in the land of the lunatics.

5 thoughts on “I could kill for a cup of coffee.

  1. Stu ate all the pies

    We have a free coffee machine at work as well. We call them Arthur Dent, after his encounter on a spaceship with a machine that produced a drink that was “almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea”.

    Tea is the drink of gods and real men.

  2. Alex

    For Breakfast? That’s properly hardcore. Be a great line in Pret tho “double skinny vodka, easy on the ice, hold the fruit”

  3. Pingback: I want my life back » Blog Archive » I really don’t need a lift

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