Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Coffee Non-Effect, in 3 Cups

It's 9:45AM on a Saturday. After a 1.75 hour trip out to LonGisland (yeah it's one word; ask Chuck), 24 Marathon XVIII is set to begin, and as is tradition, we have a Box O' Joe from Dunkin' Donuts waiting for our imbibe-itude. For normal humans, coffee usually provides a much-needed morning boost, and seeing as the typical 24 Marathon runs from 10AM one morning to 4:30AM the next, drinking the sacred bean excrement is an almost necessary ritual to keep one's energy levels up in order to survive the onslaught of awesome that only Jack Bauer and his cohorts can provide.

David, who is our host (as the Marathons take place in his father's awesomeness I mean house), and who also looks like the only 11-year-old on the planet who can grow a full beard, has in the past displayed the effect that coffee is supposed to have on the aforementioned "normal" human, even though--like me--he is as far from a normal human as you can possibly get. Once, when Alex--one of our staple attendees--was delayed by a burning house and his mandatory police duty to stop and help the would-be victims not be victims, the combination of caffeine and impatience within David conspired to create a beast the likes of which Earthlings have ever seen. It's impossible, with mere words, to describe Hyper David, who--despite his Napoleonic stature (barely 5'5", 125 pounds)--is already more boisterous than most; this is a task that requires some sort of alien holographic language. All I can hope to provide here are a select few bullet points from witnessing the Jewtalian hopped up on coffee:

* Power-walking in circles around the kitchen counter at quite possibly 4.5 miles per hour--literally...

* ...while rapidly tossing his cellphone from hand to hand as if speeding up his rate of tossing will somehow make Alex call him with an update sooner...

* ...while yelping, every 11 seconds, "Where the FUCK is Alex?"...

* ...while yelping, every 50 seconds, "Hey, hey! Does anyone want to play pool?" (There's a pool table in the basement of his father's house.)

* Every so often, the yelping and pacing are punctuated by an impromptu energetic, and almost balletic, leap over the couch...and then a speedy power-walk back to the kitchen counter. (Sidenote: Dave almost always has some sort of sports injury, and it's frequently of the leg-ankle-foot variety. Maybe some of them are coffee-related.)

This goes on for about 33 minutes until Alex finally arrives. That Marathon, as it turns out, ended up being one of the most disastrous in history.

Marathon XVIII went pretty well, despite a snag with the home theatre in the basement during an early episode, but we're here to talk about why coffee and I remain fiendish enemies. Now, every Marathon, I down a cup of coffee in hopes that I attain the lofty energy nirvana that Dave seems to reach. Every Marathon, here's what happens:

a) 80% Coffee, 13% milk, 7% sugar (yes, I measured it; no, not really) are mixed into a cup, which--as I'm told--is typically the vessel of choice for drinking beverages

2) The contents of said cup are consumed by my person

iii) I lie on the couch and within the first two episodes, feel my eyes drooping

What the fuck?

Now, mind you, I have never fallen asleep during a 24 Marathon. I suffer from prolonged blinking during the last four episodes, but I never miss a beat (as someone who's seen every season prior to actually seeing it at a Marathon, I'd have known if I missed something). This is not attributed to the coffee, or at least, I am not willing to attribute it to the coffee. If I can start fading within the first 84 minutes AFTER drinking coffee, which I otherwise NEVER drink, then there's something that the coffee is not doing that it's supposed to be doing but it's not doing to me because I'm not a normal human which I've determined due to the fact that, for some reason, what the coffee is supposed to be doing to me is not happening to me. (Actually, maybe it is. I did drink a cup of coffee before writing this to remember the awful feelings I'm about to describe, so perhaps that ill-conceived sentence was borne out of my ill-advised and unwarranted consumption of the beverage.)

During Marathon XVIII, I again went down the droopy path, though I didn't fully droop. But hours later, at around 9PM, I thought it prudent to brew more coffee in order to speed up my metabolism that my body would use to break down all the delicious and gorge-ful red meat that I had eaten throughout the day. (Fact of Earth: After reducing your red meat intake from about 30% of your diet to 5% over the course of five months and dropping 23 pounds within that span of time, going to a barbecue is nothing short of trauma. Delicious, juicy, tender trauma, but trauma nonetheless. Hence my desire to figure out a way to speed up my metabolism in any way I could. I also did Renegade Rows and bicycle crunches in the basement after a few beers. Not a good idea.) (By the way, I know I'm in trouble when the parenthetical statement in a paragraph is longer than the non-parenthetical statement.) (I know I'm in even more trouble when I make three consecutive parentheticals.) (Maybe I should just make all of them one parenthetical. Shut up.)

Coffee #2 sent my abdomen into spirals. Remember that time you woke up and two gremlins were having a prizefight in the nether regions of your large intestine? This kind of felt like that. Instead of energizing me or my soul, the coffee energized the food imprisoned within my gastric prison, brought it to life, and caused them to do battle. Braveheart comes to mind. And no, at that point, I would not have consumed the English with bolts of lightning from my arse. That's Robs' job. I have better control over my bowels, thank you. (Yes, "Robs"--Dave made the sage observation that he counts as two people. He is large.)

A smart man would have stopped then and there, maybe vomited out the coffee or just downed a reservoir's worth of water, and sworn off coffee for the rest of the weekend--staying awake for the whole Marathon be damned.

I am not a smart man.

Coffee #3 sent my head reeling. So now I was not only fatigued and in the throes of stomach pain, I was also battling a headache. Not a Scottie Pippen migraine, mind you, but enough of a headache to make me wonder why I drink not one, not two, but THREE cups of coffee. Remember that the one cup of coffee in the morning before the Marathon starts never, ever, ever works. And yet I still have it. (Remember also that I am not a smart man.) By midnight, I was alternating between leaning my head against the table in front of the couch and leaning back and exhaling violently. It was a contest to see which was more emo: my head or my gut, as they were both whining for attention and affection (and playing guitar without any semblance of talent or skill).

I once looked at my Blackberry and saw a Facebook status update from my friend Maurice stating that he was on coffee #9 for the day, at around 4PM. I then checked his status the next day and he claimed illness, saying that he was drinking gallons of water to counter the effects of the prior day's bean juice. That was nine--NINE--cups. I got sickly after THREE. And yet my lack of intellect will dictate that I will drink the traditional morning coffee at Marathon XIX, which will likely come in three months' time. It doesn't matter that whatever intellect I do have in my brain will remind me that the coffee will fail to have its desired effect--again.

Moral? When it comes to a fight between the lack of intellect and the presence of intellect, Lackey always wins.

I hate you, coffee, and I hope you rot in hell.

1 comment:

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