Fade to Black

I’ve always admired those who drink black coffee. Besides being more manly in a hair-on-your-chest kind of way, it’s just much simpler. For years, after ordering my coffee I’d have to take that little detour to the ‘fixin’s bar’ to add cream and sugar. While secretly envying those bold and rugged types who just took their coffee and went on their way.

For some reason when I think about strong, black coffee I envision an old cowboy camp. The cook rings the breakfast bell, and the cowboys stand in line for their grits and black coffee brewed on an open fire. I have trouble picturing the Marlboro Man asking for sugar and half-and-half. 

Regardless of how you drink your coffee, I think nothing’s more unappetizing than non-dairy creamer. I associate it with styrofoam cups, bad coffee, and dingy church parish halls. And it’s hard for me not to think about my Aunt Wanda. A dear woman, my grandmother’s sister had a knack for malapropisms. She would get Coffee Mate and Cremora mixed up and refer to it as Cremate. Which is kind of funny except that the consistency is remarkably like the ashes of the deceased.

I recently became aware that my cholesterol is a bit high. It’s annoying since it’s a very tangible sign of aging. And it’s not like I eat Big Macs five days a week — I get plenty of exercise and eat pretty well. So besides eating a bit less cheese and red meat I’ve started eating more fish and oatmeal. But the most painful realization was that half-and-half and I had to part company. For a long time I’ve thought that without cream, coffee almost wasn’t worth it. Almost.

But since I got this news I started putting whole milk or 2% milk in my coffee and it just doesn’t do it for me. So I’ve decided to go whole hog and just drink it black, which I’ve been doing all week down here in Mississippi. I’ve started to actually enjoy tasting my coffee as opposed to drinking what Bryna snidely referred to once as my “warm coffee ice cream.”  And I’m starting to feel more manly already. Not manly enough to change the oil in my car (no clue how to do this) but manly enough to “just say no” to all the fixin’s. And it feels, and tastes, pretty good. Plus it’s a lot easier to project my rugged image without having to ask for my coffee to be made “light and sweet.”


4 Comments on “Fade to Black”

  1. Matt Schenck says:

    Welcome to the no fixins club. Now if you could just grow beyond 5’7″, 130 lbs, give up gardening, and win a dunking contest against your little brother, you might qualify for membership in the Manly Club.

  2. Father Tim says:

    This is wrong on all sorts of levels. First, that’s 5’8″, 135 thank you very much. Second, I’ve stopped gardening since the deer eat everything I plant — that was a short-lived fad anyway. Third, I assume you mean dunking in a swimming pool; I’d like to see you try to dunk over me on a basketball court. Fourth, this is why relatives are not encouraged to comment on my blog.

    So stop spreading your little lies and propaganda about me. And the next time I see you we can have a coffee drink-off or, if you’re man enough, a hot sauce challenge. Start training.

  3. The Senior Warden says:

    Welcome to the dark side! Now you can REALLY wake up and smell the coffee, without all of that distracting moo juice. And it does make life so much easier. Now that you’re weaning yourself off of half and half, the next thing to lose is caffeine. Grab for the pot with the orange top. Much healthier.

  4. Father Tim says:

    “Lose the caffeine?” Are you trying to kill me? What kind of Senior Wardenly advice is that? I think it’s David Letterman who refers to decaf coffee as nothing more than “brown water” — that says it all!


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