Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A glass of Jack and a cup of Joe

I should take up drinking again, scientists say. Love those "scientists say" headlines. The latest is that scientists say coffee drinking counteracts liver damage caused by that other kind of drinking that's so popular in America. Man, I'm wasting all those cups of Joe using them only to wake up. I could be deducting $1.80 each morning, and sometimes $1.80 each afternoon, as a medical expense.
These scientists that newspapers love to quote are always saying something completely intuitive or completely counterintuitive, as in Woody Allen's famous future finding that deep-fried fatty foods are good for us. This coffee thing is completely intuitive.
In the movies, folks are always pouring coffee into drunks. At AA meetings, I'm told, reformed drunks never take a step, much less a twelfth step, without a Styrofoam cup of brew in their hands. Coffee and booze may be the same for Mormons, but in the rest of this culture they're matter and anti-matter.
We just never knew how much it mattered. It isn't a matter of sobering up anymore, which scientists told us coffee couldn't do anyway. It turns out it's a matter of life and death. Live it up on champagne at night, and in the morning liver it up at Starbucks.
Suddenly those ventes don't seem so expensive, do they?
The issue for corporate coffee chieftains isn't so clear, though. Right now in Seattle guys are wondering how to build a marketing plan around this latest scientific finding. If they sell coffee as a morning-after pill for binge drinking, will they be encouraging drunk driving, slurred pick up lines and the Duke lacrosse team? Can they sell coffee as pro-liver without seeming anti-life? No, and furthermore no one's going to order something called a Cirrhosiccino.
Meanwhile, here I sit drinking a cup of Earl Grey, and not just because Earl doesn't have to take on Jack, as in Daniels, anymore. Tea is good for you, too, in its precious way. The United Kingdom Tea Council, at the top of Google's "tea" listings, encourages people to have four cups of tea every day to fulfill their "daily fluid requirements" and provide certain unnamed benefits to heart and health. They're also encouraging English soccer fans to bring their own teabags to Germany for the World Cup because they claim the Germans only put half as much tea in their bags. Damn those Jerries.
Seems to me the average British soccer fan has other ways of fulfilling his daily fluid requirement, which is a lot more than other people's. His brain may be dead, mate, but his liver is crying out for coffee.
My liver's listening to Lightnin' Hopkins singing Coffee House Blues.


Blogger ilva said...

A toast to you over the oceans with my 1/2 liter morning coffe cup! Chin chin and skal!

10:00 PM  
Blogger Dagny said...

I just had to go check out the UK Tea Council site. I'll take tea any day over coffee. I usually have 2-4 cups a day. In fact I think I'm due for another cup about now.

12:37 PM  
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