I have one vice, coffee.
Coffee is God’s special gift! On the sixth day God made man, but decided he needed help, so God topped creation with an exclamation point, a woman!
But God leaned back tapping His chin thinking just one more something special was needed, so He made the coffee bean. He sat back and said, “It is good!” I’m pretty sure that’s how it reads in Genesis.
Anytime, anyplace, anywhere, anyway, coffee is good!
Granted, it’s probably not the best thing for lunch, but occasionally I drive through the local coffee shop window for a cup of life nectar as a lunch substitute.
The tall, skinny guy taking my order had dark hair curling from under his toboggan. He had a piercing through his eye brow and a tongue stud that clicked when he talked. He wore a “Save the Whales” t-shirt that was too tight and a big wide belt that had holes riveted all the way around it.
“Dude, what can I get cha?” he asked.
For a split second, I thought about answering in a wacked out California beach bum accent:
“Duuude! I’m like thinkin’, maybe a medium, aww noo waay man! Make it a LARGE mocha cup of Red Dirt Ethiopian coffee with a shot of cinnamon, but like, only if it’s organic bro! You know what I’m sayin?”
I was in a hurry, so I suppressed the urge. Besides, didn’t want to make him mad and take the chance he’d spit in my coffee.
I ordered a large frozen Milky Way with almond milk. He was writing the order on the cup and without looking up said, “Lactose intolerant, huh?”
I grimaced. “Something like that.”
He wandered out of sight to brew the magical caffeine concoction while I sat in my truck.
OK, maybe I’m a bit narrow minded, but I glanced at the dashboard temperature gauge. It’s only 91 degrees outside, but there’s almost 100% humidity. Wouldn’t he get hot with a toboggan on?
And then I wondered if his body piercing hurt.
I mean, I got shot with BB guns as a kid playing County Fair Ducks. We’d take turns waddling between two trash cans while everyone else shot at the “duck” with Red Ryder BB guns.
The BB didn’t break the skin, usually, but it left some mean whelps. That alone is aversion enough to keep me from voluntarily getting tiny metal shot through a body part with a nail gun, blow dart, or whatever they use.
It’s probably like County Fair Ducks, but more painful, and sharper, and with blood.
I’ll pass! Appreciate the offer.
Soon he handed me the beautiful brown styrofoam cup with fresh frozen java juice inside. I took a sip, smiled at God’s coffee bean extravaganza, then carefully placed the liquid treasure in my cup holder.
I was on my way back to work enjoying the frozen, savory drink when I stopped mid swallow. Stuck to the side of my cup near the bottom was a long metal body piercing piece! It was long, narrow and had four loops with a tiny pearl in the middle.
I pulled to the side of the road and stared at my cup with body art stuck to it. Worse still, there was no back on it.
What if I swallowed it?!
I dry swallowed several times. Nope. No pain. Nothing.
But what if the back fell in my drink and I’d already sucked it up the straw and swallowed it without knowing?
My blood pressure was going up! Did this “dude” have some rare, exotic or communicable disease? Yikes!
Did he even know something fell off him? Should I dig around with my hand to see what’s in the drink? Maybe the back was on the floor at the coffee shop?
I dropped the drink in my cup holder and turned back around toward the coffee shop.
Impending dread began gurgling from the java in my stomach.
At the first red light, I picked the cup up again and stared at the nasty body “art” still stuck in the styrofoam. I was even more repulsed.
That’s when I noticed a matching piece of body art on the bottom of my truck’s cup holder!
Then, aha!!! I remembered!
A relief wave as big as Niagara Falls fell on me.
It wasn’t the guy’s body art that fell off! It was a pair of earrings one of my daughters left in the cup holder!!!
Thank you, Lord! Can somebody raise a hand and give me a witness?! I’ll live another day, for another cup of coffee!!
Emotionally though, it took a long time to recover and actually want to finish the drink.
Yeah. It probably took five, maybe even ten seconds before slurping again.
Tomorrow, I’m going back for another magical cup of java juice…
But just in case, I’ll do pre and post piercing inspections of the barista!