I Choose You, Coffee!

A Portland Brunch Adventure

You wake up. It's Saturday morning. It was a long night last night, you probably shouldn't have stayed until close, but you were having a good time talking with friends about books and this weird 5K they were going to do near the coast, something involving gnomes.

You look at the clock. It's 9 am and you're ravenous. You should eat!

You go back to sleep. You have an amazing dream about the deer statue on the Portland Oregon sign coming to life and looking for the red nose that only shows up during the holiday season. Then the two of you meet with the ghost of Bunco Kelly. As you're about to start drinking formaldehyde with the ghost of a dozen shanghai victims, you wake up again.

It's 9:45 and your stomach is rumbling.

Crawling out of bed, you stumble to the kitchen and open the cupboards. There is a can of cat food and a package of bendy plastic straws.

Whee! Bubbles! Hydration is important, but this isn't helping your growling stomach.

You're almost to the door when your cat barrels out from under the couch and tackles you to the ground. You forgot to feed him! Thankfully, your marinated flesh will do in place of kibble.


The greasy spoon diner is somewhat crowded, but the wait is short. The waitress takes your pancake and brings you the first of several cups of diner-class coffee. The whipped butter is particularly whippy today.


Congratulations! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Now you can write the great American novel!

You manage to open the cat food and place it on the dish without major injury! Well done! However, you still need food.

Before you can escape, the mob rushes past you and sets fire to the place. Artisanal, locally-sourced fire, of course!

You crawl away from the blaze and stand close as the mob leaves to deal Rose City justice to other almond milk slackers.

By the time the police finish taking your statement, you collapse, going into shock from caffeine withdrawl.


The cat is only interested in cat food.

There's a bright, shiny thing in the sky. It's the sun!

You hit up a couple of friends via text and Slack. Nobody is available to do anything as they're all getting ready to unleash some sort of tifo at a Timbers Army game. By the time they finish and could meet you, it will be too late!

The coffee shop line is incredibly long, but the staff takes orders at a steady pace. You wait your turn and end up at the front of the line. "Bad news," sighs the barista. "We are out of organic almond milk!" An angry mob forms behind you.

You watch as the skateboarder grinds along the mysteriously-empty bike rack, rockets off of an awning, and into a giant truck full of mattresses. As he rides it down the street, you notice the Unipiper, wielding a flame-spitting bagpipe and playing Junkie XL.

He attempts to olly up onto a planter and his skateboard shoots out into traffic.

You add your name to the bottom of the signup sheet. However, the normally-full coffee urn that lurks near the line is out of coffee! You'll have to wait a little longer!

A kid on a skateboard zooms down the sidewalk.

"I'll have the Eggs Benedict and a side of fruit," you say. You read the paper while your brunch is prepared.

In no time at all, your food arrives and smells delicious.


Congratulations! You are now ready to begin the rest of your day! A winner is you!

Somehow you find a parking spot. The line at the incredibly trendy place stretches out the door, even at this hour. As the door opens and closes, you catch a glimpse of a packed house, accompanied by the smells of brewing coffee and frying potatoes.

Do you chance waiting in line, knowing there might be coffee served, or do you go to the greasy spoon?

The line to the trendy place grows smaller as customers devour the contents of their plates, pay their checks, and leave.

One table has paid, but everyone at the table is too preoccupied with looking at their smartphones to move. They ignore the pointed stares of the staff.

You spring into action and tackle the leader of the angry mob, who really just wanted some almond milk for her coffee. "Think of what the almonds are doing to California's water table!" you cry.
"I hadn't thought of it that way," she replies. "No more almond milk for me, organic or no. Let's go drink whiskey instead." She and the rest of the mob leave.

A thankful coffee shop owner pours a cup of coffee and warms up a pastry for you. He also hands you a stack of 20 or 30 fully-filled punchcards and you'll never have to ask for an extra shot again.


Congratulations on procuring the most tasty of beverages!

The table of phone addicts refuses to move. Their inertia is contagious, and soon all other tables refuse to move. The staff glower, the manager comes out, brooms are waved.

You approach the table to say something, and you are cut off. "But have you seen THIS VIDEO?!?" cries a patron. She shows you a .gif of goats bouncing on a large metal plate, springing in every direction.


And you were so close!

You go back to sleep. The lack of caffeine puts your body into shock. Paramdedics are called.

A crack team of paramedics and baristas work around the clock to save you, but by the time they work out the precise mix of Ringer's solution and cold-brew coffee that will revive you, it is too late.


Reaching into your computer bag (You're carrying a computer bag, did we forget to mention that?), you pull out a pair of screwdrivers. "Excuse me," you say to the host. "Can I borrow your microwave for a minute?"

Several adjustments and the application of a custom-made Raspberry Pi board later, you punch in "000 Destruct 0" on the microwave keyboard. There is a large *POP* and all of the electrical devices in the restaurant stop working.

The tables clear out quickly, and you are able to sit down.

You join the mob and rush towards the counter of the coffee shop. The staff arm themselves with bagels and repel the first wave of the attack, but are eventually overrun. Soon the police arrive and cart everyone away.


Congratulations on your crime spree! With luck, a jury of your peers will realize the importance of organic almond milk and acquit you. Your brunch adventure for today has ended.

Copyright 2015. Understanding is a three-edged sword.