What's One More Cup?
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When it comes to caffeine, I suppose I’m a bit of a light-weight. Actually, it seems as though I just can’t handle the variety of caffeine found in coffee. I can drink tea all day, and I’ll be fine. And soda, well, I drink it like water. The problems arise, however, when I start drinking coffee.

At my old job, it didn’t take long for my coworkers to realize that I shouldn’t be allowed within ten feet of the coffee maker. They took turns guarding it, making sure that I wouldn’t drink any coffee -- so I was forced to go to the coffee shop down the street and buy jumbo mochaccinos with an extra shot of espresso. Then I’d spend the rest of the day shouting out random statements and hopping from cubicle to cubicle, spreading my joy and giggles.

Now that I work from home, I don’t drink much coffee. After all, that would require getting out the coffee maker and figuring out how much coffee to mix with how much water. I’m much too lazy for that -- so I stick with my easily-accessible cans of soda. One day, however, I had a meeting with a client first thing in the morning. It was a pretty long meeting -- about two coffees’ worth. I came out with a stack of work to get done that day, so I rushed back to the office. Before I could settle in and get to work, though, I decided that I needed something to drink -- so I grabbed a Diet Pepsi from the fridge and took it back to my desk.

Maybe mixing my drinks wasn’t a good idea. Perhaps there’s some rhyme out there that says something about it -- like “Coffee before pop, the shaking won’t stop,” or “Coffee before Coke, your day’s up in smoke.” If there isn’t a rhyme like that, there should be -- because the rest of my day was shot.

I was already a bit excitable when I got home, but I didn’t have time to think about it -- I had work to do. So I sat down and scribbled out a couple of paragraphs of a brochure. By the time I got around to emailing the first draft to my client, I could barely type. My hands were shaking wildly, typing in some foreign language that only they knew.

Maybe, I thought, it would be best to take a break and make a couple of phone calls instead. As I spoke, I could picture the people on the other end holding the phone away from their ear. I tried to quiet myself a bit, but I could only switch from shouting to taking very, very loudly.

So I gave up on the phone and started replying to the stack of emails that I’d gotten -- but all of the sentences ended with exclamation points. I started apologizing and promising to check myself into caffeine rehab as soon as possible.

Though I really needed to get back to work, I couldn’t concentrate. So I got up to take a walk to the mailbox. I opened my mail and read it while pacing around the front yard.

When I got back into the house, I realized that it was getting later in the afternoon, and I’d completely forgotten about lunch.

“That’s it!” I told myself (shouted, most likely). “I need food, and I need it now.” I couldn’t spare the time to make something, so I grabbed the first thing available -- a chocolate chip cookie.

It wasn’t until mid-cookie that I realized what I was doing. I was trying to subdue my coffee buzz with a mouthful of sugar. A lot of good that was going to do…

After a second cookie (oh, what the heck…), I knew that I wouldn’t be getting any more work done that day. And that’s when my brother called.

“What’cha doing?” he asked.

“Just trying to work,” I screamed.

“Wanna go out for coffee?”


After all, what’s one more cup?

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