Gill and I have had our battles over coffee and have even written about our disagreements. She insists on a specific brand, so I rush to the store before she comes home for visits to make sure I have a supply. The wrath of ‘pre-coffee Gill’ is something nobody needs to experience…certainly not a poor, defenseless mother. She is very precise about her brew, using an Italian espresso maker, adding soy milk instead of cow’s milk, and not scrubbing the pot too thoroughly after use lest it lose its ‘patina’ of coffee sludge. I get that, since my favourite baking pans are the crusty old ones with years of accumulated grease. Everyone claims my granola is so tasty because of that crust. It just doesn’t taste the same when I use a different pan.
I have arguments with L’il Sis about her coffee habits as well. She takes the precision one step farther, preferring to buy special roasted coffee beans, grinding her own,and keeping several small jars on the counter, taking up valuable real estate, presumably with a different kind in each jar. When Crazy D was in his coffee drinking phase,which came after his Path to Enlightenment journey–short lived), he would deign to use nothing less than the beans from the extreme left corner of the most fertile side of the mountainous region of Costa Rica, the ones picked by three-fingered sloths and checked for quality control by Franciscan monks in good standing. For someone who rarely drinks coffee now, I personally find this all a bit precious.
But precious is a long way from inexcusable, thoughtless and harmful. I refer to the stampede towards Keurig machines and their annoying little coffee pods. Are they meant for people too lazy or too feeble to be able to measure out coffee, turn on a water tap, and press a button? Has it come to this? Pretty soon, the world will be filled with people lacking any social skills (too much interface with screens and none with people), no awareness of things around them (always texting), no hearing (always earbuds plugged in), and such atrophied hand muscles that they lack any ability to perform simple kitchen tasks in order to feed/hydrate themselves. I fear for us, the First World population. I fear even more the fact that the Third World is trying to emulate us.
Gill was distraught recently over the ‘plastic garbage islands’ floating in our major oceans. She is often brought to tears about these sad environmental stories. (This may go a long way to explain her desire to sequester a chicken coop, a pack of penguins, and a few hungry goats in our backyard.)
As someone accustomed to picking up other peoples’ garbage (and occasionally sabotaging makeshift bike runs and jumps constructed in such a way as to destroy a local woods) as I walk the trails of my neighbourhood, I too was appalled at this disregard for the environment. And now, because we’re too lazy to make our own coffee, those plastic islands will likely become bigger and bigger. Perhaps we could name the new islands ‘K Pod 1’, ‘K Pod 2’, etc. and the people who live on islands now sinking into the ocean (The Maldives for starters) as a result of global warming could move to the plastic isles. Lord knows they’ll never sink or disintegrate!
A glimmer of hope is that a $600 million lawsuit has been launched against Keurig by a Toronto-based coffee firm for unfair practices in trying to keep completely COMPOSTABLE pods out of stores. Every time I come upon one of the ubiquitous Keurig grocery store pod display towers, I have half a mind to take one pod from the bottom to collapse the whole thing. That would be my Jenga moment. I would, too, if I could be assured that my left side (the best one) was towards the security camera.
The only good thing to come out of this trend is that it will silence forever (well, at least until Christmas) my criticism of Gill and her coffee fanaticism. She now looks like a model for sane behaviour. And in this world where our local Botox clinic is doing a booming business, the dentist advertises (on a neon sign) yet another ‘miracle’ tooth whitening procedure, and sea lions are crowding each other out since they’re short of sea ice, I take anything I can get.