How to Drink Coffee.

Over the last couple of years, I wrote a big book about creating. About different aspects of how people come together to create things.  Some are light, like this first entry, and others are more dense.  Would love comments, as I learn how to make this a more streamlined book…..

Coffee Rules? Yes! Coffee Rules! No.
Coffee rules:
Look! Coffee is amazing, it really is. Every Smart Spark likes a good cup of coffee! It’s your best friend, for sure, that’s right, it is, coffee’s great, uh-huh fuck yeah good great! I couldn’t live without it, it’s a friend, It’s the only REAL addiction that is SO socially accepted, It’ Amazing!!
I can drink coffee anywhere, yes! I DO love coffee. Talk about getting the ideas flowing, hell yes!!
Now coffee can also be your WORST enemy. You have got to enjoy coffee (or tea? wrong! coffee!). You have got to enjoy coffee! but you have to learn how to drink coffee, for sure. Coffee can pep you up and really HELP your DAY!
OR
Coffee can fuck you so hard that you are fucked for the whole day. You have to drink coffee RIGHT! The RIGHT way. Ways. To drink the coffee!
If you spill your coffee, the only thing you will be creating is a way to find a napkin and the quickest route to the washroom.
Coffee rules:
If you spill coffee, it can become the worst thing in the world. This is about drinking coffee. SEE! Usually when you have an accident with coffee, you are in a state of continuum, you are moving, and quite possibly in a hurry or acting in a distracted manner, that does not allow you to reflect or debrief the coffee disaster moment. You write if off as “something that you’ve already learned all you can learn about in the midst of of such moments and that this was just this one time and there is nothing solid to learn from it and it was an anamoly”.
Yeah, quite often coffee and speed are walking hand in hand, reckless on the way in “continuum gotta get there coffee consumption”. Well, this is your step back and look at drinking coffee.
Coffee rules:

When you buy coffee, the second you have it in your hand, no matter what, take a second to acknowledge that you are drinking coffee. I don’t care if you are getting in a cab or if you are late for a flight or a meeting or if there is a line behind you at Starfucks, take ONE HALF SECOND to form the thought, “I am drinking coffee. I am holding a cup of coffee in my hands”. Most of the time we don’t do that. We think, “I got it…”. It is just automatically a part of the continuum of the thing that we are doing. I am actually asking you, for once, to go left critical brain and measure the concept of the fact that you have coffeee, for just a half-second. Really, even less; it takes that little time. It is the difference between coffee being a sloppy consequence and fatality, or a delicious tool that you are in control of. BECAUSE, if you are not in control of it, then you will be getting in the cab or going to the meeting or sitting in your airplane seat with a big fucking coffee stain on your shirt. You will be FUCKED. You will be the opposite of being in control of it. That one half second of ACKNOWLEDGEMENT that you are INDEED drinking coffee is half the battle to not FUCKING IT UP.
Now: Once you are aware of that, it will allow accessibility to the following: Did you know that……
Coffee Rules:

In a car or cab, ALWAYS lean forward to drink from the cup. Always. Hold cup over floor mat, do it! You may look like a lumbering goon for 2 seconds, but you will look like a loser ASSHOLE with coffee on your dick. So lean forward, because the cab or the car is DEFINITELY going to hit a bump. It is. It just is. Cars and cabs are constantly hitting holes and bumps and brakes, etc. You just don’t notice it as much unless you HAVE A FUCKING CUP OF COFFEE IN YOUR HANDS. So when it hits the bump, now your coffee is over the floor mat between your legs, not in your lap. And.. when the auto (could be a bus, too) hits the bump, go with it. Meaning, go with the direction of the bump, not against it. It’s the same principle as turning into a curve when your car is on ice. Don’t fight the momentum of the direction of the cup immediately after the bump. It’s a bit counter-intuitive.
And speaking of COUNTERS.. When you buy your coffee at the COUNTER, NEVER trust that the plastic (or sometime cardboard lid) is on tight. ASSUME that the lid is lOOSE and that you are FUCKED! Do not pick it up by the lid. Do not, ever. Even after you discover that it’s tight as can be, do not ever pick it up by the lid. Question: When should you pick up coffee by the lid? Answer: Never.
Remember, you can do all of this because you are AWARE. You took the 1/4 second to say, “o.k., I’ve got a cup of coffee. I am drinking coffee right now”.
In order to insure that you don’t pick it up by the lid, TEST the temperature of the coffee before you pick it up. If hot, get a sleeve immediately, and a napkin to boot. DO NOT touch side, notice its hot, and then pick it up by lid. You will possibly fuck yourself, especially with the panic-force of a hot-touch-finger-lid-grab. It might come off, and if it does while you are picking it up, you will spill it like a lame moron. Chill, and touch, and sleeve. and napkin. OR YOU will be wearing the Coffee Dunce Cap!
coffee rules!
Once in hand, hold cup over trash and pour a dollop out. Especially if you like it black, they will fill it to the VERY TOP and since it is black it will be hotter. So Hold the Lid and Pour a little out before you leave. (Remember, no matter what you’ve got going on, it really isn’t going to happen if you have fucking coffee all over you, is it?)

While walking, if you can stop and take sips, do. If not, (but you really should stop), but if not, hold it a bit in front of you as you walk (I think it’s a mistake) and sip.

Carrying. Picking Stuff Up. Opening Doors. Looking at the Time. Reaching for an Iphone. These are ALL things that can have you not only spill coffee, but literally have you sub-consiously pour it out like a real DUMB ASS! If you are carrying something, you could pour it on your pants or dress by just switching hands or getting a different or tighter grip. If you are using your hands, seriously become ULTRA-AWARE that you have coffee. Using your hands is a subtle distraction of the mind, subtle enough to have you be off guard for just a nano-second, long enough for a ruined day partying with a coffee stain on a yellow skirt. Best case, get rid of coffee when you are carrying stuff. Purse or brief case, yes (but still be VERY careful with these), shopping bags, groceries, other bags, books… trouble. Dump the coffee.
Personally, I think it’s cheap to go to a meeting with a coffee cup in your hands,anyway. I think it looks distracting and desecrates the value and focus. Let the host or assistant in the meeting offer you coffee, it will help break the ice, ease some social time, and start the meeting with a “Yes, thank you very much”, as opposed to “No, I’ve got my Starbucks.” Not having coffee upon entering a meeting also subtly states, “I am thinking about this meeting.” Not, “I am thinking about this delicious cup of coffee.” Just me, though.
Never. Never. Never. Set a cup of coffee down on the floor of a moving vehicle. Even with a good foot grab, you are asking for the troubles. The sloshing on the pant leg bad times. AND. with no support from feet on floor, even more brutal. A CATastrophe. “Hey, it will be o.k., it’s balancing,o.k., we’re moving, it’s cool, whoa, o.k., yep the floor, fuck! fuck! It Fell on the floor! Fuck! Is there a napkin, Fuck!” is the order of the day with that unruly behavior. And moving vehicles include airplanes. Do Not put a coffee on the floor of an airplane. Even if the cup is almost empty. Do not. It will spill. It will spill and you will not only fuck yourself but you will fuck another person. When the plane starts to take off or even taxi, the coffee will spill and it will run down-grade, down-hill, into the bag of the person sitting behind you. And then you will turn around awkwardly and you will offer to pay and they will say “No, it’s fine” and it isn’t and you will sit there the whole flight thinking about nothing else but the fact that you have ruined the stuff in the bag of the nice lady right behind you and there’s no escape and she will say it’s o.k. but her and her husband sigh like it’s not because it’s not and then after thinking about it for two or three hours, the whole flight, you awkwardly offer them your number or card or email and ask that they call or whatever and you will compensate whatever and you offer to get them into a show at a couple of places for free because you know people in these comedy theatres and they say No and it’s horrible.
This has never happened to me.
OR
This has happened to me twice.
I say, “happened to me” as if I were a victim with no control. I meant to say that this is the second time in my life where I: Failed to acknowledge that I was drinking coffee [I Am Drinking Coffee Now], and got caught up in the moment and sat my coffee down irresponsibly on the airplane floor, never realizing what I was fully doing, and ruined the stuff of the person sitting behind me after it OF COURSE spilled. The reason that I don’t advocate even setting even an empty coffee cup on the floor is that everyone around you is SUPER aware that it might spill and it makes them feel very ill-at-ease.

Dont “gulp” coffee for ALL of the reasons you can imagine.

Listen. You will never succeed at holding a cup of coffee in your hand and sneezing at the same time. You will always think that you have control and that the coffee will not spill and you will always be wrong. It is not possible to sneeze and not spill coffee. It is an impossibility, like exceeding the speed of light. You WON’T do it. So: When you have a cup of coffee in your hand and feel like you are going to sneeze, don’t first think, “I’m going to sneeze I have to hold on to my coffee!”. No. Think, “Must find surface now! Must find surface to set coffee down!” Because you won’t win holding it. You. will. not. win. You must train yourself to hold the sneeze, take a mini-breath, find a surface and put the coffee down and turn away and sneeze. Or you will spill the coffee. And you will be fucked.
If you absolutely cannot find a surface quickly, then you have two options. One, hold the cup far from your body so that when the coffee pops out of the cup or lid, which it will do with far greater force than if you just spilled it because of the momentum and power of the body in a sneeze, it will have less of a chance of shooting over on you. LESS of a chance. Or two, quell the sneeze. The old cartoon method of putting your index finger under your nose to stop a sneeze ACTUALLY WORKS! So with your other hand, do that, or any other breathing or otherwise stifling method you know, at least long enough to find a surface before you sneeze. A third option, I suppose, could be getting the coffee on the floor or handing it off to another person. These are less desirable, but certainly more desirable than spilling the coffee, which you WILL DO if you sneeze.
coffee rules:
Practice putting coffee an arm’s length AWAY from your computer or phone. You will not do this naturally, or probably forever, which is why I suggest the word, PRACTICE. PRACTICE doing this, and you won’t fuck up your 10,000 dollar computer or Not So Smart Now Phone. It sounds simple, “don’t put coffee near your expensive equipment”, but people rarely abide by it. And then when they spill coffee on their device it’s a HUGE SURPRISE, a once-in-a-lifetime event, and anomaly! It will never happen again so there’s nothing to learn here, move on!
Until it happens again.

Rover on Mars, Supersonic jets, smart phones, medical cures, the pyramids, alternative energy sources, quantum computers, but not a coffee pot that doesn’t drip when you pour from it. Never has been. Never will be. So, Hold the fucking coffee pot AWAY from you when you pour. Pour it over a sink, because it will drip. Unless you are the coolest server in the coolest diner in the Midwest, the pot will spill when you pour, so if you can’t hold it over a sink, put a napkin under it. You might have a fleeting chance if you pour SLOW enough, but I doubt it. You will probably fuck it up, so hold it away from you and pour over a napkin or a sink.
While other people are enjoying life coffee-stain free because they first Thought About Their Coffee, and then followed these simple tips, others, like YOU, are spending the first part of an important meeting or the crucial first impression of a first date in an embarrassing state of anger and confusion and flailing around in a bathroom stall dipping toilet paper in a toilet and standing in a way to suggest to anyone in the bathroom that you are doing something normal in the stall, all the while desperately and futilely wiping a brown spot off your crotch and leg and shirt or skirt with the feeling of loserness and lateness and out of control-ness and stupid-ness, all because you didn’t Stop. Acknowlegde. Do.
The old S.A.D.
coffee rules:

How much is a new shirt? 50 Dollars.
How much is this book? 20 Dollars.

You win.

12 thoughts on “How to Drink Coffee.”

  1. Ya know what I have learned in my twilight, golden years? That if I slow down and make sure the pot is properly balanced and pour slowly, I can successfully pour a cup of coffee without dribbling any of it. In the past, I always believed every coffeemaker was somehow poorly made — from the professional Bunn to the pricey Keurig to the cheap Hamilton Beach. I referred to all of them over the years as “dribble carafes”, as if they were all manufactured by Spencer Gifts and sold alongside fake poo. It turns out I was always in just a big hurry and rarely if ever experienced actual mindfulness as I poured the coffee. I owe a huge apology to not only myself for all the opportunities wasted, but to nearly everyone I ever served at TGI Fridays.

    I love you. Keep writing this. Xoxo

  2. But what does this have to do with developing imagination: how to come up with more comic ideas than you can use? How to develop the material to flesh them out? How to structure the material? How to perform the bit to maximize the funny?

  3. I really do appreciate the advice and the Coffee Rules. I see that very often I don’t acknowledge I have a cup of coffee and am in fact drinking it. I would like to be more aware, and the Rules help with this. I have a feeling the Rules could apply to other things too, and that makes me want to read more of this book. I also laughed out loud several times during this chapter, especially at: “Hey, it will be o.k., it’s balancing,o.k., we’re moving, it’s cool, whoa, o.k., yep the floor, fuck! fuck!” Thank you.

  4. You are so damned funny. This made me laugh out loud a lot. I think you are amazing. Please always keep writing forever.

  5. Ah the things we learn as we grow up. This is beautiful. Especially the part about the airplane. Pay attention. Applicable in so many parts of our lives. The coffee yogi.

  6. Damn clever stuff. Wonder if you might have any tips at a later point about rationing coffee intake so you don’t have a heart attack or begin to look and act like someone who’s worse at doing coke than Jimmy Durante.

  7. This hilariously captured the frenzied energy ball of heat that is coffee. Did anyone else imagine this being narrated at 1.5x speed? Just me? Keep the chapters coming! Thanks!

  8. I suspect you copied some of your own brilliantness from Improvise.Scene from the inside out, especially the Acknowledge step. This is partly what had me laughing out loud in the burger place where I am reading this. Carefully not-drinking-coffee (you should also advise against drinking coffee while reading Mick Napier).
    Loved the bits of factual info, like the panic-force of touching the hot coffee, or the power of a sneeze, or the Not so Smart Now Phone :))

    While it’s likely nobody will admit to being ocassionally enough of a Dumbass with coffee to have to buy a 50 usd shirt, I’d buy your 20 usd book for the wit and keen observation.

  9. I like this.
    And it’s not just you when it comes to (not) entering a meeting with coffee. I agree with that rule, too. I like your explanation that it’s so nice to say, “Yes, I would love coffee” when offered. “Yes, I’ll take you up your coffee offer” sounds like a better entryway to connecting than “No, I have mine.”

    Thank you for writing.

  10. Stop. Acknowlegde. Do.

    I think this will help me be more productive rather than “What was I supposed to be doing? What’s on Netflix?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *