Saturday, January 08, 2005
Cup 20: Coffee of the Darned
When: 12:30 pm, January 7th, 2005
Who: various and sundry schoolkids and teachers
This is the coffee they serve in the Meadow of the Darned. It is punishment for all of us sinners who weren't quite bad enough to deserve geniune torture. It is horrible, but not quite horrible enough to be undrinkable. Start with one of those giant tubs of Folgers my mom buys at Sam's Club, only don't freeze it after it is opened, so the coffee is free to get just as old and oxidized as it possibly can. Then, the custodian makes the coffee. Not that is is a bad thing in and of itself, but I've never seen him actually drinking the stuff. You should never allow anyone who doesn't drink coffee to make coffee. It's like having someone who wants you dead pack your parachute. Also, the custodian gets to the school hours before anyone else does, and makes the coffee when he gets there, so the coffee has had a good hour or two to age before anyone starts drinking it. The coffee is made in a giant vat that holds, what, 40 cups? 60? Enough for the WHOLE DAY in one giant pot that sits and bakes all day long. It is made with Pembroke tap water. It is the worst water I've ever tasted. I shudder every time I drink it. It is suprising. Usually city water is really bad and country water makes you feel sorry for all those poor saps who have to buy drinking water. But Pembroke, well, there's something wrong here. If you let the water run long enough so it gets really cold, then drink it really fast, you can endure it, but it should never find its way into a cup of coffee.
At best, Pembroke Elementary coffee ranks among the worst I've ever tasted. By mid day it has baked into a substance that tastes something like what a cardboard box might taste like if someone chewed on it for an hour, then drooled it into your mouth.
At 12:30 I was desparate. At 1:15 I had to start teaching the 5th and 6th graders, the most hyper and unruly students of the entire school, and I was crashing. The late night I'd put in the previous evening, the early morning the day before, the lack of decent food, it all caught up to me. I was stuck in that horrible combination of wanting to kill absolutely everybody and having no energy to do it with. I needed my caffiene. I had no choice. I had to drink the school's coffee. God help me.