Tuesday, July 21, 2015

L is for Loser

One definition of “loser” at www.dictionary.com is “a person who has failed at a particular activity.” I am forced to embrace this title because of my epic failure in the kitchen this morning.

Me sharing coffee truth
If you know me even a little bit, you know I have a special relationship with coffee. Maybe it’s a passive aggressive relationship. I aggressively pursue coffee which just sits there passively. I honor coffee with my Pinterest board entitled “the Coffee Driven Life,” which is a collection of funny and witty sayings about coffee dependence, and unfortunately these sayings are more true than funny. 

If you, too, are caffeine-addicted, then you may also realize that the person least able to make coffee first thing in the morning is the person who needs it most. Without my favorite drug, I am not smart enough to make coffee that will make me smart enough to make coffee.

The Keurig is a as close to being a no-brainer as any coffee maker I’ve encountered, although I sometimes have difficulty with the fill-with-water part and the press-the-button part. But occasionally I bring out my little 4 cup Mr. Coffee for a special occasion, and this month’s special occasion is that my former student Caleb brought me Hungarian coffee. From Hungary. That may seem an obvious point, but I’m sure a person could get Hungarian coffee without traveling to Hungary. After all, one can buy Jamaican coffee at TJ Maxx. But Caleb did not buy the Hungarian coffee at TJ Maxx. Or in Jamaica. He bought it in Hungary and brought it home on a plane and delivered it to my house.

So I’ve been enjoying a little carafe of Hungarian coffee each morning, even though several thoughtful steps are required of my non-caffeinated brain. 1) Position the paper filter. 2) Peel the top off the container. 3) Measure the coffee and place it in the filter. 4) Pour the water into the water area. 5) Press the on button.

Most mornings I stand and watch the machine’s magic, or make toast, or pour cereal, but this morning I foolishly decided to do something useful. I’ve been working on getting rid of excess plastic containers and having a neatly organized container storage area. Part of this process includes leaving lids and containers on the counter by the toaster for several days while I invent reasons to deal with it later. But this morning I put some of them away, with my back to Mr. Coffee’s wonderful aroma and sizzling music.

Not my kitchen, but you get the idea.
When I concluded enough time had passed, I prepared to reward myself with my first cup. Where was the carafe? Not on the hot surface collecting the freshly brewed coffee. I neglected one thing: step 6) Place carafe under filter. While the gleaming, empty carafe sat off to the side, coffee flooded the counter top. 

The water is supposed to run
THROUGH the filter.
This coffee maker has a feature which prevents liquid from flowing through the filter if the carafe is not in place, but even Mr. Coffee has his limits. The water had heated and been pumped into the filter where it was trapped, mixed with the grounds, and overflowed. I grabbed a few kitchen towels, unplugged Mr. Coffee, and dragged the whole mess into the sink. 

No colorful language spewed from my mouth in the early morning solitude of my kitchen, because I am a writer. Instead I exclaimed, “I can write about this!” Then I made a cup of Gloria Jean’s Hazlenut coffee with a K cup, which came from Grove City, Pennsylvania, not Hungary.

Cindy's Keurig disaster looked
something like this.
A few hours later at the Well Coffee House, I told my story to Cindy, my friend and fellow writer, who is also a loser, it turns out. She had a similar experience when she lived in Maine, only she used a full size, 12 cup Mr. Coffee. All of the floors sloped in her old house, so when she entered the kitchen, a brown river ran through it. She also managed more recently to make a Keurig overflow coffee and grounds. Cindy, I salute you. 

 After Mr. Coffee cooled down, I rinsed him off, so he’ll probably electrocute me the next time I plug him in. If so, I’ll write about it.

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