The Caff-Fiends

slave to Starbucks / disciple of Dunkin

My wife and I are problem drinkers.

We can’t maintain a healthy relationship with coffee.

To start, we’re too lazy to operate our authentic Braun Dribblemaster with all its required scooping and measuring and pouring and waiting and pouring and rinsing and washing and *thbbt* spitting unfiltered grounds.

Mr. Braun could save us money but screw that.

Sure, we’d love one of those perc-o-pod doodads that let you pop in a little coffee egg so you can hatch yourself a little Colombian.

But I checked our budget and the only way we could make that work is if I checked someone else’s budget.

So I buy the little Starbucks micro-grind packets for myself.

Dude, those run about a buck a packet!

I know, dooooDUH.

But I only drink on an as-needed basis. (“As-needed” defined as any morning when the soul-extinguishing thought of entombing myself for 8 hours inside my sarcophacubicle makes me want to bathe with electricity. It’s remarkable how often “as-needed” occurs actually.)

So you’ve probably guessed my bigger more personal problem is reliance on the black juice for mood enhancement.

If it wasn’t for courage in a cup, I’d lose my mind after 30 minutes of internally probing dozens of spread(wide-open)sheets with a digital rubber glove.

(Chained to a desk all day? Tell me you don’t get through without a serious pair of arabica beans.)

But it has to be Starbucks. They ruined me to all other coffee. I’m not even sure Starbucks is coffee. I think they ferment and brew soil excavated from a farm in Woodstock.

My wife hates Starbucks.

She’s a Dunkin devotee.

But it has to be the Dunkin on Wilson Street.

And it has to be the iced coffee.

Medium size.

With toasted almond syrup.

And sugar.

And cream.

And sugar.

This is by no means a daily thing with her. She usually reserves her DD drive-thru hit for Saturdays right before the big grocery run.

So what’s her problem?

That’s best explained with sample dialogue.

Here’s a transcript from a conversation we shared yesterday:

ME: H-

SHE: Hi honey WOW Costco was wicked busy but I still managed to get everything on the list except your decongestant but HEY I have to tell you who I saw in the produce section because you’ll never guess since it’s been so long but it was Val and WOW does she look great ever since she started that diet where you only eat protein but I don’t think I could ever stick to that diet because there’re so many things you can’t eat that I just love like bread HELLO and pasta YAS but I suppose if I could add the right amount of flavor to a dish I could probably make any diet work which reminds me I was pickled *giggle snort* TICKLED I mean tickled to find Saigon cinnamon back on the shelf at the store and HEY that’s a hard thing to say three times fast isn’t it so let me try SaigoncinnamonSaigoncinnamonSaigoncinnamon and HEY I nailed it even though it made me drool a little but BOOYAH and in your face Mr. Didn’t-Believe-I-Could-Do-It but now I’m off to Target to pick up a birthday gift for the Gustafson’s boy Josh or Jonah or John-John or whatever his name is and HEY while I’m there I can pick up your decongestant because Lord knows I can’t have you snoring tonight and I’ll see you soon love ya!

And that’s when she turned on the ignition to a running minivan and backed out of the driveway at 46 miles per hour.

When she’s on a caffeine high, my wife is an audible Twitter feed.

She also transforms into a kinetic phenomenon with the power to crunch a week’s worth of activities into a short-lived, frenetic microburst of domestic production.

Up until the crash.

I expect there’ll come a day when I’m called by the sheriff of a remote county seeking the husband of a heroic spunky Jane Doe who in the span of 4 hours -

  • saved 42 kittens from a burning animal shelter
  • coordinated a hugely successful tri-county bake sale to raise funds for a new shelter
  • won second prize in the cupcake category
  • drew up blueprints for the new shelter
  • laid some of the shelter’s foundation; installed some plumbing
  • marshaled the First Annual Adopt-a-Kitty parade
  • crumbled into a 3-day catatonia.

When that day arrives, I’ll know Dunkin ran a 2-for-1.

"Hi. My name is Roy." - Now that just sounds stupid. (

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