Most mornings, my newspaper comes neatly-folded and wrapped in a nice, pink, plastic bag. Sometimes, however, I get a treat for being a loyal subscriber, and my paper comes wrapped in a different plastic bag with anything from NyQuil to laundry detergent tucked inside a nifty little pouch.
We like when the paperboy brings us NyQuil. We like free drugs with our morning news. It's the precious!
The laundry detergent? Not so much.
Anyway, this morning, when I grabbed my paper from beneath its usual tomb of ice and snow, I noticed it wrapped in a special plastic bag proclaiming the myriad of wonders of Quaker Oats, "Eat oats like a horse! Run a marathon, and live longer like Barbaro (too soon?)."
Now, since this was the morning, and since, like most mornings, I am utter junk when I drag my corpse around the house while waiting for my coffee maker to do its thing, I just sort of shrugged and tore into the great gift of food I held before me.
Inside the plastic pouch was something called a Healthy Harvestâ¢ Dark Chocolate Chunk Chewy Granola Bar and a much smaller plastic pouch containing Healthy Harvestâ¢ oatmeal (I think it was maple and tuna fish flavored, but I wasn't really focused at the time, and I'm currently too damn lazy to check).
Anyway, like an idiot, I tore open my granola bar, took a bite, and damn near broke a molar since, this is Wisconsin, and only lost settlers and the Donner Party leave their food outside in winter.
Seriously. This thing was like eating an oatmeal popsicle. And, when I tried dunking it in my coffee to thaw it out (hey! It made sense at the time), the damn thing fractured like a glacier in the summer sun, and a hunk sank straight to the bottom of my mug with a disheartening flat thunk that mocked me for my ritualistic morning stupidity.
Throughout the next hour drinking my coffee, the dark, brackish depths of my favorite mug slowly released its charge as an occasional oat or piece of what I think was rice floated up to bob on the surface until I was drinking some sort of sick, twisted coffee-oat-mocha w/ cinnamon and brown sugar. It was a damn abomination of everything I hold dear.
When I go into a Starbuck's, I order black coffee. I'm a simple man with a simple mind and simple tastes. And, every time I order, some perky teenage barista inevitably looks at me as though I am sort sort of cave-dwelling, unwashed heathen who is far too barbaric to understand the myriad of refinements such as the delicacies of foam, caramel-drizzles and god knows what other cloyingly sweet chaos they infuse into a simple cup of coffee.
But, I digress... I'm also a bitter man who enjoys coffee for what it is --liquid freaking crack. Nonetheless, you don't need to hear my rage about a god damned six-dollar cup of coffee.
Now, I'll go out on a limb here and suggest that there's probably a great many of you who, when making oatmeal, use things like milk or water. In fact, I'm thinking that never in your wildest dreams did you ever once think to make oatmeal with crappy, too-damn-strong morning coffee. These things just don't seem to dance across the minds of most normal people. Hell! Even the craziest of fools would probably think it's a rock-stupid idea.
Not me. I figured the damn thing was breakfast in a mug --a new and exciting energy drink. Like coffee-flavored Red Bull with hints of oats and rice and, most importantly, chocolate. It should have been yummy.
Not... even... close...
Even NyQuil tastes better than the nonsense I was dumping into my head. It was like coffee with nature in it. I didn't want to hug any trees after eating this chaos. I wanted to stab a hippie with the jagged, frozen end of my remaining bar o' granola that now, though still a block of ice in the middle, was now starting to thaw on the outside covering the palm of my clenched and angry fist with a gooey sap of melted chocolate, maple syrup and god knows what other sugary madness they packed into that tiny little bar of breakfast magic.
The moral of the story?
Do not eat free food you find on your porch in the dead of winter. It will always only end in tears. Or, at least, wait for things to thaw.
Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 1/26/2008 10:41:00 AM