October 6, 2022

That Really Bunches My Panties . . . by Brendon Marks


Have you ever noticed there are certain types of people you just naturally don’t trust? Very near the top of my list is the group who doesn’t drink coffee.

To begin with, what do you call these people? You can’t call them “non-coffee drinkers,” because that only suggests that they drink something that’s not coffee, not that they don’t drink coffee. You can’t call them “coffee non-drinkers,” because that implies that they are non-drinkers, and they are coffees, like “teen-age non-drinkers,” which only exist in your imagination, or if you have grandchildren. This is typical of the English language. We have many words and labels for what people do, but few for what they don’t do. Even the word “teetotaler” does not mean a person who doesn’t drink alcohol; it means “a person who practices teetotalism.”

To simplify, I have created a name for these people. From this day forward a person who abstains from drinking coffee will be known as a “nocof”. This is pronounced “no koff”, not “nok off”, as in “cheap imitation”, and should not be confused with “nocough” that means non-smoker. In order for a word to be added to the English language it is only necessary that someone create the word, and a large enough group of people uses it. I expect all of you to support me on this.

Nocofs are easy to recognize they have one hand that they don’t know what to do with, because it doesn’t have a coffee cup in it. Some try to compensate by drinking tea and/or hot chocolate, but this is a flimsy attempt to satisfy that which is obviously a coffee fixation. Denial is rampant within this group. Nocofs use valuable counter space to display exotic teas, as well as regular and sugar-free hot chocolate. They clutter our coffee area with used tea bags, and half-empty packages of instant hot chocolate.

There’ the “transient nocof”. The person who switches to tea when there is only one cup of coffee left in the pot, and they don’t want to make the next pot. These people have been known to drink decaffeinated coffee as well, unless that pot is nearly empty as well.

There are, of course, some people who claim to be coffee drinkers, when in fact they are not. This group takes a perfectly good blend of your finest coffees and dumps such flavorings as hazelnut, French vanilla, or chocolate-raspberry into it. This practice has been encouraged by so-called coffee suppliers with their “flavored coffees”, where something that could possibly be described as ground coffee (who can be sure?) is mixed with some chemicals, producing a concoction that bears little, if any, resemblance to coffee aside from the fact that it’s hot, liquid, and brown. Why don’t they just put their Girl Scout cookies in a blender, and be done with it? If you think coffee ice cream tastes like real coffee; then you are a nocof.

I have one of those single cup coffee makers that I consider a true miracle of science. It allows me to cater to the whim of my taste buds from cup to cup, selecting from a vast array of the finest blends available from around the world. I can choose from 169 different labels including some simple ones as “100% Colombian Dark” to more exotic names that inspire visions, such as “Kenyan AA Extra Bold”, “Jamaica Me Crazy”, “Mudslide”, or “Jet Fuel Extra Bold”, but rest assured that even though I enjoy one with my coffee, I will not drink “Cinnamon Roll” coffee.
Imagine that you are in a foxhole somewhere defending Mom, apple pie, and the American way, the last line of defense against some foreign aggression, a place where milk remains lump-free for only a day. You have just boiled some coffee in your helmet and carefully filtered out the grounds using your last clean sock. You turn to your buddy and ask, “Coffee?”

He replies, “Man, that stuff keeps me awake. Got any decaf?” It’s really important to know whom you can trust.

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