December 20th, 2010

Ice King, Adventure Time

The Coffee Monster

For the most part, I am a recovering caffeine addict. I still enjoy the occasional canned coffee drink or espresso, but I've cut out most serious caffeine from my daily intake. This is partially due to me not being in college, but also for my personal health. I still get weak from time to time and have a can of Amp, but I'm mainly a good kid now. Coffee is something I have a love-hate relationship with. The past couple of days I've enjoyed the advantage of having an espresso maker, but other than that, I've stayed away from brewed coffee. This is due to in part to making the effort of cleaning the filter, pouring in the grounds, pouring the water, waiting an hour, and getting a cup of joe that tastes watery. The other part is that I don't digest brewed coffee well.

My fight began when I was in seventh grade. A friend of mine was coming over in the morning to play the newly released Nintendo 64 game Mario Party. It was odd for him to visit in the early morning, but he was going to stay pretty much the entire day, so I was psyched. He came to the door with a cardboard cup holder with some cappuccinos from McDonalds. He asked if I drank coffee stuff and I told him I didn't. He gave me a cup and I tasted it. It tasted worse than the play doh I tried eating years ago yet.....yet....I wanted more. I also became more alert and played the best I've every played a video game in my entire life. I double checked with him about what this magical elixir was called and he told me it was french vanilla cappuccino. I needed more.

After that I became hooked, drinking the stuff as often as I had money. I had more energy, was more alert at school, and ran the fastest mile ever in my life. I was on a high, and it felt good. Soon I decided to wonder outside the realm of the French and decided to try some mocha. It was like a sweet chocolate miracle worker. Soon I was trying others like strawberry, latte, and even drank the newly founded Frappuccinos by Star Butts. That was when the sodas decided they would revolt.

After losing my first soda friend Surge, I left the soda realm for bolder pastures. I had to be in extra early to high school and they had the audacity to not have Star Butts stocked in their machines! I saw this soda called Red Bull, so I tried it. I drank some, then immediately went to gagging and dumping the rest of the urine-colored drink down a drain. It was loathsome and had the flavor of what I would imagine that the collected sweat from a warthog tasted like. After that scare, it took me years to find a new drink. That is when Vault came on the scene, and you guys already know my relationship with Vault.


With that, I decided to try Amp, from the makers of Mountain Dew as the can advertised. I thought Mountain Dew was tasty, so maybe it wouldn't taste like warthog sweat. It ends up that indeed it tasted more like a highly concentrated Mountain Dew than anything, and I was in heaven. Several more flavors came out after that and the only other one I stuck with was the grape flavor. I also briefly tried NOS and enjoyed the grape and fruit punch flavors of that as well.

Then coffee got offended for the amount of time I was spending with soda again, so it became a canned beverage as well. Star Butts Doubleshots and Monster Java came onto the scene and made me feel like I needed caffeine more than ever. Special flavors like Russian blend and Robusto were my new friends. I consumed more of these than anything, mostly because they did not make me wish I could burp or gave me hiccups like soda did. It was a smooth transition from mouth to endorphins.

Then I began to brew my own coffee, using slightly less water and slightly more grounds for a more bolder and buzz-worthy flavor. I would add my own blend of flavors and syrups to these concoctions to the point I gave them names. Coffee with chocolate and peppermint? Call it a pepperming patty! A drink with butterscotch and a dash of coconut? It's clearly a monkey riding a unicorn! I experimented until one day I decided it was too much effort to do this for one cup of coffee, so I did something new, I stored coffee in the refrigerator. I would brew several ounces of black liquid into some containers and put them in the crisper drawer. I had concentrated coffee at my disposal. Just add some water and flavor and you have a drink better than what you can buy at the gas station across from the rock quarry.

When I went to my trip to Kansas City I bought me a six pack Mana Energy Potion. This stuff was slightly disgusting, but it got me focused and awake in a pinch. One major plus is that when I got it out of my bag, I did the Zelda found item sound. DUN DUN DUN DUUUUUUUUUN!

After I finished college, I didn't feel the need to worry about staying up all day, and I started to have some problems processing coffee, so I cut back, massively. The rehab was hard. I would wake up and mutter "NEED A PEPPERMINT PATTY BEFORE I CAN FEEL LIKE STRANGLING NO ONE". It was a massive crash, and I'm sure I was unbearable to live with.

Considering the low death toll, I think detox has gone well. I don't feel super compelled to buy new coffee flavors or energy sodas unless I feel I absolutely need them, like when I work at 5 AM or didn't sleep well the night before. The last coffee I got was when I was out after the sun was down and some ice was on the road, so I thought I needed something to make myself more alert. Not that it would help with the other drivers out there, but it was nice, warm insurance on a cold winter's day.

Oh, and the espressos mentioned at the beginning, just breaking in a new machine for my sister. She feels better when I show her to use it a few times. Other than that, I'm clean and ready to take on the new day without the need for a supplement. In other words, I do it in more moderation.

Of course this has not affected my friends or family at all. Sorry if you were looking for the "addict who lost it all and gets his life back on track" motivational story. I was at the peak of performance with the drinks. I was smarter, had more energy, and could concentrate like a Russian playing chess. Now I'm more like an adult with ADD. My mind wanders off, I feel like I'm becoming dumber by the week, and I feel like sleeping most of the time. But at least I'm not an addict anymore.

Coffee is nice for a pick me up or a warm beverage, but even then I prefer other warm drinks. The sodas were also taking a toll on my budget, so now I have more money for manga and anime! Well, not really because the number of titles I like hasn't increased much, but at least I almost have the option.

Now if I could just almost kick my car's habit of chugging down gasoline my life will have some fleeting sense of fulfillment.

The Allengator