|I don't have many vices, but I do drink coffee a lot (some would say to excess) because I feel it gives me that added boost in the morning and helps to complete my transformation from zombie to office drone. Judging by the boundless number of coffee establishments in this country, my guess is that I am not alone in this addiction. I thought about that fact this morning as I was just finishing my first pot.|
As for drinking coffee the rest of the day and into the evening, I don't really have an explanation for that one. Unless, of course, it is to stave off the excruciatingly painful pounding in my skull that causes my eyes to bleed, my body to convulse and an abnormal desire to shove an icepick into my nasal cavity to make the pain stop. Caffeine withdrawal can be a real bitch sometimes.
I know that caffeine is bad for you and that the health problems associated with it can be serious. But aside from trouble sleeping, frequent urination, headaches, dizziness, jitters, irritability, anxiety, seizures, confusion, dehydration, faster heartbeat, muscle tension, nausea, stuffy nose, tiredness, stomach pain, ringing in the ears, fast breathing, high cholesterol and occasional vomiting of blood, I just don't see the down side. Until now, anyway.
Recently a study conducted at Durham University suggested that people that consume high levels of caffeine (including tea and energy drinks) were three times more likely to have hallucinations, including hearing voices and seeing people and things that are not there. For people who are already prone to hallucinations (me), this can be quite troublesome. How long will it be before "Don't drink and drive" applies to coffee? I mean, who hasn't seen the occasional imaginary stampede of green and orange zebras merging onto the freeway from time to time? Show of hands?
I have a hard enough time dealing with my pseudo-reality and the chorus of voices in my head as it is, and now they are saying that caffeine may just make it worse? That would explain why I am always seeing a frog in my coffee cup. But if true, why haven't there been any warning signs posted at Starbucks? A simple "Our Starbucks barista's do only have the one head and are not snake people with tentacles, just in case you were wondering. And if you hear voices saying to try the Guatemala Antigua Medina, it's probably just God talking to you." Very strange indeed. Incidentally, I do like the sign there that says that "Children left unattended will be given a cup of espresso and a free puppy." That's taking kindness to another level.
Nonetheless, as a public service I have listed for you here some of the warning signs that may indicate that your coffee habit has put you into the elite class of coffeeholics that need to heed the health warnings:
Signs You've Had Too Much Coffee...
You've worn the finish off your coffee table.
All your kids are named Joe.
Chuck Yeager thinks you need to calm down.
Instant coffee takes too long.
Juan Valdez named his donkey after you.
People can test their batteries in your ears.
People get dizzy just watching you.
Starbucks owns the mortgage on your house.
The nurse needs a scientific calculator to take your pulse.
The only time you're standing still is during an earthquake.
The Taster's Choice couple wants to adopt you.
When someone asks 'how are you' you say, 'good to the last drop'.
You can jump-start your car without cables.
You can outlast the Energizer bunny.
You can take a picture of yourself from ten feet away without using the timer.
You can type sixty words per minute with your feet.
You can't even remember your second cup.
You channel surf faster without a remote.
You chew on other people's fingernails.
You don't even wait for the water to boil anymore.
You don't get mad, you get steamed.
You don't need a hammer to pound in nails.
You don't sweat, you percolate.
You don't tan, you roast.
You forget to unwrap candy bars before eating them.
You get a speeding ticket even when you're parked.
You go to AA meetings just for the free coffee.
You go to sleep just so you can wake up and smell the coffee.
You grind your coffee beans in your mouth.
You can thread a sewing machine while it's running.
You have a picture of your coffee mug on your coffee mug.
You have to watch videos in fast-forward.
You haven't blinked since the last lunar eclipse.
You help your dog chase its tail.
You introduce your spouse as your coffee mate.
You just completed another sweater and you don't know how to knit.
You lick your coffeepot clean.
You name your cats Cream and Sugar.
You short out motion detectors.
You ski uphill.
You sleep with your eyes open.
You soak your dentures in coffee overnight.
Your birthday is a national holiday in Brazil.
You speed-walk in your sleep.
You spend every vacation visiting Maxwell House.
You think being called a drip is a compliment.
You think CPR stands for Coffee Provides Resuscitation.
You'd be willing to spend time in a Turkish prison.
Your first-aid kit contains two pints of coffee with an I.V. hookup.
You answer the door before people knock.
Your eyes stay open when you sneeze.
Your life's goal is to amount to a hill of beans.
Your lips are permanently stuck in the sipping position.
Your nervous twitch registers on the Richter scale.
Your only source of nutrition comes from Sweet & Low.
Your taste buds are so numb; you could drink your lava lamp.
Your Thermos is on wheels.
You're so wired, you pick up AM radio.
If you can identify with any (or all) of the above warning signs, then you may want to consider limiting your consumption for awhile...maybe just until your blood pressure doesn't cause the inflatable cuff to explode anymore...and switch to a decaffeinated coffee. I know it will be a difficult period of transition, but just remember that it's not polite to kill people who bother you, that not everyone is out to get you nor are they shape-shifting evil aliens from another planet bent on liquefying your brain and drinking it through your ears with their giant sucker tubes.
And please, if you have to go to Starbucks, just tell the pink polka-dotted minotaur or the half-girl/half-giant moth behind the counter to make it a "Tall" rather than the usual "Venti" and leave out the extra espresso shots.
You'll thank me later.