Wanderings – Simon, Garfunkel & coffee beans

I’ll admit this right from the beginning – I am not a patient person. At one point in life, pre-pandemic, I believe I was somewhat patient. But now, nope. Any filter I had has disappeared.

I am not saying I am an angry person, just impatient. Like waiting in line. Waiting to get into a store is OK if there are three-to-four people waiting to get in.

Shopping at the grocery store is an exercise in patience. People not following arrows; people not wearing masks properly; people lingering in the middle of the aisle to select which box of pasta will save them 20 cents, and parking their cart so you can’t get by them. I just want to yell at them saying “here’s a quarter, put the box in the cart!”

I think my lack of patience lately comes from my lack of coffee. As I have mentioned in previous columns, I am limited in my daily intake of coffee. Coffee is a vice for me. I’m not an addict, but over the years it became, and is still, my crutch to get through the day and be somewhat alert and/or coherent.

After some consultation with the doctor and the in-house medical team at Villa del Blancher, my coffee intake has been limited to just one cup a day. I repeat: one cup per day(!).

My coffee crutch has been with me since my late teens. When the first Tim Hortons opened down the road from my high school, I became hooked. As I matured, my taste in coffee went with it. Moving to Toronto was an eye-opener. There’s coffee from Ethiopia and Yemen? Who knew? Not this kid from Gananoque, that’s who.

Working in the journalism field, coffee is a necessary evil. Long days (or nights) seem less long when coffee helps you through. A cup of coffee works great to get through a council meeting; two for county council; start the IV of coffee for school board meetings please!

Trying different coffee when travelling is part of my routine, back when more than one cup per day, or travel outside of your bubble, was allowed. In the United States (and in Montréal) I like drinking Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. In the Seaway and Ottawa Valleys, Country Style coffee please. McDonalds coffee is a good substitute, Tim Hortons will do in a pinch. Coffee from Hess gas stations along the interstate is pretty good. Coffee from Burger King, not so much.

I am a blue collar coffee drinker though. I’ll take a cup of Maxwell House with cream and sugar any day over a double vente mocha whatever at that star gazing coffee place. Those places do have good WiFi and scones though.

I have tried to kick the coffee habit, but the alternatives pale in comparison.

Green Tea – no thanks. Tea, Earl Grey, Hot – is that from a replicator or fresh brewed? Peppermint Tisane (Tea is only really tea if brewed with tea leaves, otherwise it is a tisane.) works when I have a cold, but otherwise no. Even drinking cola doesn’t work well – too much sugar, not enough caffeine. I’ve never tried “energy drinks” and probably won’t ever either.

Remember Jolt Cola from high school in the early 1990s? I do, but I can’t find it. That might work.

Limited to one cup per day, I have opted to use it as my go-to morning pick me up – or wake me up – whatever works on a particular day. I tried using an oversized coffee cup, but that doesn’t fool anyone.

As I gaze into that cup of coffee each morning, I am reminded of the lyrics of that famous Simon and Garfunkel song (and an oft used internet meme): Hello darkness my old friend…