In what has become a peculiar twist on the normal, the past few weeks have provided no news worthy to print. There have not been any funny or interesting adventures in recent memory despite the fact that we have been really, really busy. And who wants to hear anybody talk about how busy they are? The alternative of strategically placing a fork in one's eye is generally a more appealing prospect than listening to someone going on about how they "had to get up at such and such an hour and do whatever and call some other person only to turn around and pay the gas bill..."
Dear God, it hurts.
So rather than boring you, the reading public, about how I did in fact pay my gas bill and call such and such a person, I shall attempt to take a very mundane experience and turn it into a breathtaking adventure full of thrills and chills and goose bumps aplenty. Ladies and Gentlemen behold:
The Worst Cup of Coffee in the Universe
This was not the familiar. The airliner cramped, claustrophobic with the shrill cries of children and smells of budget flying. The cards were dealt, and left with no other choice than to cope, Hogan sat in his window seat in a stare down with a pudgy three year old for whom English was at least a second language, but more likely a distant third.
Though his headphones blocked most of the noise, he could do little to interpret the rhythmic mutterings and taps on the arm the little girl was directing at him. Having tried turning a blind eye to her earlier only seemed to frustrate her and, therefore, make her more persistent. Her mumbles and grunts took on a more mysterious tone, eventually leading to the staring contest now taking place.
With each look becoming more intense and scrutinizing Hogan was beginning to lose hope, despair creeping up his bones like poison ivy. Just as it began to seem hopeless, salvation arrived in the form of a flight attendant pushing her cart of goodies.
"Would you like anything to drink, sir?"
"Coffee, please." (And so the mistake was made…)
"Cream and sugar?"
"No, thanks. I'll take it black." (This will only make it stronger…)
With the little monster appeased for the moment, fascinated with peanuts and ginger ale, Hogan could concentrate on his beverage and rest for a bit. It seemed well and good until the inky brown liquid touched his tongue. Bitterness and spite welled up from the Styrofoam cup like a cloud, angry with foul brew.
Taken aback by the sudden aggressiveness of the coffee, Hogan was temporarily stunned, but bounced back into his right mind quickly. It didn't take long to assess the enemy. This was quite possibly the worst cup of coffee ever birthed from a pot; mean in spirit, pungent in odor, and with the temperament of pit bull drinking vinegar. It nearly growled at him from the cup as he peered into its murky depths.
To leave it alone would be to admit certain defeat, to drink could mean certain death. It was at this moment that the creature in the next seat grew bored of the edibles in front of her and decided to resume poking Hogan in the arm in an attempt to draw his attention to the overhead light.
Drink up, he thought, for death may be a welcome change.
With the deciding factors in place and a bruised arm he grabbed the coffee and eyed it with suspicion. Closer and closer he brought it to his mouth, the sludge resisting more and more, slamming and sloshing itself against the Styrofoam. One sip, two sips. Holy cow this is bad, he thought.
As the cup neared its end, it made a last valiant strike at its opponent by jumping from the cup into his lap, searing heat and rotten smell at their utmost capacity! The pain! The Smell! It only served to anger Hogan that much more. Gripping the cup firmly, painful tears in his eyes, he tossed back the last drops of the wretched brew. A sudden shudder came over him, and the world went dark…
…Later, in the car, he was thankful for the blackout. It was finally a time of peace. Upon awakening he had gathered his things and strutted off the plane confidently, pleased with his victory. It wasn’t long after getting in the car that they got stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic in the middle of the freeway. All of a sudden an unmistakable feeling overcame him, and it was all made clear. He may have won the battle, but the war was far from over.