When my doctor turned to me with a serious-you're-not-going-to-like-what-I'm-about-to say expression on his face I could feel my heart race. The blood test. Did they find some rogue white cells? A deadly virus? A mutant gene that would turn me into a wart hog?
"Michael," he starts.
Uh-oh, definitely not good. When my mother called me that it would be time to duck and cover. I felt myself shudder.
"It would be best for your health if you gave up caffeine."
This is not bad news in the same league with "I think you should get your affairs in order," but still...
"Hello, my name is Mike and I'm a coffee-holic." What started as a way to stay awake all night cramming for finals in classes I barely knew the location of, had accelerated into a two pot a day habit. I blame my 40-plus year radio career, mostly as a morning man. After all, it wouldn't do to have your wake-up guy go face down on the control board halfway through a sentence, right?
Quitting a life-long habit cold turkey could present a major challenge. But, I was game to try. After all, I'd left all my other vices behind. I gave up smoking, both tobacco and pot. I've cured myself of habitual overeating. (Although I still go into occasional anaconda mode.) Irresponsible sex with supermodels? A thing of the past. Driving my Ferrari 150mph with the top down? I'm a Prius guy now. (Note: One habit I haven't kicked is a hyperactive fantasy life.)
The Pacific Northwest has to be one of the hardest places in the world to quit caffeine. After all, the running joke is, that the only place left to build a Starbucks is inside another Starbucks. You can buy a 5$ skinny white chocolate mocha, extra foam without getting out of your car at any one of the hundreds of they-multiply-like-rabbits drive up jitter-juice stands.
They all have cute/catchy names like Brewed Awakenings, Espresso What or Bean There, Done That.
Recently a new concept coffee stand has opened called Bikini Baristas. Here, an attractive (and buxom) young woman in a swimsuit that would make a cartoon character's eyes boing out of his head on springs will deliver your steaming hot caffeine fix. She almost always has to bend from the waist to hand it over.
I don't know this first-hand of course, only from a report filed by our team of correspondent. He apparently stopped in when he felt the need for a little pick-me-up on the way across the river for some family entertainment at Hooters.
This information stimulated an idea for a sure-fire can't-fail business. Imagine a roadside drive-up coffee vendor called Booty Brew. We may have a city code issue with the visuals on the signage, but we'll worry about that later.
The baristas would deliver your double shot, half-soy caramel cappuccino to pounding electro-funk, sliding and twirling suggestively down a gleaming metal pole to deliver the fragrant 20 ounce ambrosia to your window.
Or, for the ladies, Chippen-ccino. A hunky guy with major 6-pack abs would dance your drink to the window to the tune of "It's Raining Men." Instead of putting your money in the till, he'd let you stuff it down... Well you get the idea.
"If it's any consolation," my doctor brings me out of my reverie/pity fest. You can drink a daily cup of de-caf.
De-caf? De-caf? One cup? That's like handing an 8 ounce near-beer to an alcoholic. Why, if I pull up to the window and order a de-caf skinny white hazelnut mocha, hold the whip, my barista might laugh so hard she'd fall off her pole.