As we live through these strange days of crisis, it’s time to post up another piece of trivial absurdity. I can’t help it. I suppose it’s just my way of maintaining some kind of mental stability. So here goes.
The subject of today’s random blathering is caffeine – or more specifically its primary delivery mechanism – coffee.
Coffee is pretty unavoidable in our culture. Every day in the office (ah yes, I can still remember those days when I used to go to an office) my coworkers barely made it through the door before they were racing out to the nearest cafe for their morning fix. Apparently, it’s not possible to begin the workday without it.
If that’s not bad enough, I consider myself to be a writer. And we all know what writers do. They sit around in groovy cafes waiting for epiphany to strike, all the while nursing – you guessed it, a steaming cup of hot coffee.
And let me add one additional element to the mix. I live in Melbourne. It’s the groovy, bohemian capital of the southern hemisphere, a bit of an upside-down version of Portlandia. What better place to be a groovy bohemian writer, sitting in a groovy bohemian cafe down a funky little side lane, doing what all groovy, bohemian Melbournians do – drinking coffee.
Except that I don’t.
I’ve never gotten the coffee thing. I’ve never needed to get a hit of caffeine in order to start my day. Not that I’m saying I leap out of bed, bursting with energy. Far from it, I usually have to drag myself out from under my doona. But I still manage to do it without any artificial stimulus, then watch, somewhat bemusedly, at all the people sipping desperately from their coffee cups in order to get their engines started.
And if there’s a classic stereotype of a writer, and in particular a Melbourne writer, I don’t fit it at all. I’m not dressed all in black as I imbibe hot dark brew in some dark alley cafe. I’m totally non-caffeinated.
Not that I haven’t tried. In my younger years, fearing some kind of social isolation, I did have a go at being a coffee drinker. But I never got a taste for it. And besides, it was usually either too hot or too cold. I always found a very small window in which it was at the right heat to enjoy.
So there you go. It’s just one more thing about the world around me I’ll never understand. Maybe it makes me permanently uncool. Or maybe it makes me cooler than all the other cool kids. I guess I’ll never know. I guess I’ll never care.
And to finish on a sad note
I’ve just heard that Coronavirus has taken from us one of the great influences and inspirations from when I was a child – the wonderful Tim Brooke-Taylor.
That half hour before dinner was always a special time – it was Goodies time. The antics of Tim, Graeme and Bill were always a highlight of the day and played a big part in my developing sense of humour. So vale Timbo, and thanks for all the silliness. Just another way this horrible virus is making the world just that little bit smaller.
Posted by Jonathan Gould and tagged as