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Charlie Hatton
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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Chai Carumba!

So, I’ve been grousing and snarking about Christmas travel for a while now. But it wasn’t all bad, I have to admit. I even found a new way to annoy people while I was gone — and that’s worth the price of a plane ticket right there. Seriously.

Now, here’s the thing — for the past twenty or so years, I haven’t been a coffee drinker. It’s not that I don’t like coffee, per se. I do. As a matter of fact, back when I did drink coffee, back around my high school days, I always was a bit of a java purist. A good cup of coffee, to me, should be like a lot like a good pair of breasts: hot, black, and in your hands first thing in the morning.

(Okay, that one went a little far, there. Especially given that I can’t recall ever having a pair of breasts handy that met all three criteria above. Not at the same time, at least. But mostly not at all. Damn.

Hey, and by the way — when you saw ‘coffee’ and ‘breasts’, you thought it was gonna have something to do with ‘milk’, didn’t you? You don’t fool me. Pervert.)

Anyway. Moving on.

So, I always drank my coffee black and strong, and the bitterer the betterer. That shit’s supposed to keep you awake, right? So I made damned sure it did — if the caffeine didn’t get me, then the scalding heat would. If the heat didn’t, then the motor oil taste would. That’s how I wanted it, and I even grew to like the taste of coffee brewed that way.

That all changed in the tenth grade. I won’t go into the details here, because… well, honestly, because I’ve already gone into the details over there (a little more than halfway down, if you’re really interested).

Suffice it here to say that I don’t drink coffee any more, and stopped doing so even before coffee became the cool think for all the yuppies to sip on — not to mention the post-yuppies, and GenX-ers, and GenY-ers, and RetroBoomers, and NeoHippies, and whoever the hell else has come between then and now and gotten their own quirky, kitschy little name. Pompous bastards.

And so, I wasn’t able to properly annoy people — people like me, that is — by sipping lattes and perusing ‘da Journal’, or downing espresso in an amusing little corner cafe, with my Birkenstocks up and my pinky flared out. Not that I’ve really wanted to do these things, mind you — but it’s another way to annoy people, and you can never have too many of those. So I was intrigued. Piqued. And gaddamned annoyed at the assbags actually doing shit like that, so I’m pissed that I’ve been on the outside looking in all these years. The annoyee, rather than the annoyer.

Until now.

For you see, while on a layover in the Pittsburgh airport last week, I discovered chai tea. And now I’m in, mother fuckers. Oh, yeah.

Here’s how it went down: my wife wanted some caffeine, and we were near a little Seattle’s Best coffee stand in the terminal. She drinks coffee, but in a completely unpretentious way.

(Because, you know — she might read this, ever. So I didn’t mean her with all those mean things I said above. Really. I promise. Kisses, hon!)

I was thirsty, too, but don’t go for the coffee business, of course. Still, I glanced over the menu, and thought I’d roll the dice and give the ‘Iced Chai Tea’ a try. I like tea. I like ice. I don’t know what the hell a ‘chai’ is, but it’s a four-letter word, after all — how could I go wrong?

So I tried it. And damn, it was good! Not just ‘yeah, hon, you were right — coffee places can have something worth drinking’ good, either. This shit was ‘gimme another cup of that, and let me lick the thing you mixed it in’ good. It reminded me a lot of Thai iced tea, which I’ve had at restaurants a couple of times. Which makes sense, I guess, since ‘chai’ is a lot like ‘Thai’, what with the same ‘hai‘ and all. And, of course, words that sound similar always taste alike, too, right?

(Yeah, no. Don’t even bother to correct me on that one. If that were true, I would have had a much better story about the time I tasted putty. Yuck.)

Anyway, I was fricking elated. And only barely because I’d found a new tasty drink to order on road trips. That’s cool and all, but it’s peanuts, compared to the real win here. See, in that first sip from the cup, a whole new world of pretentious beverages was opened up to me. Now I can order something that looks like coffee — or iced coffee, if I find I prefer it cold — but that I actually enjoy drinking.

So now I can sit in those coffeehouses, where people discuss Kafka and listen to Schubert and pretend they know anything about the sociopolitical ramifications of deforestation, and annoy the living fuck out of people, just like they do. Or — better yet — annoy the fuck out of them, instead, by pointing out that there’s no such thing as ‘Kafkaesque Tevas’, none of them can fricking spell Schubert, and maybe the forests would be just a wee bit thicker if they’d stop buying books just because big Oprah told them to.

See, but to get there — to mingle in with these boobjobs, and put myself in a position to have that kind of fun — I had to look like one of them. Without a steaming cuppa joe-like substance in your hand, you can never get close enough to bring the hammer down. But thanks to my only-slightly-less-pretentious-dammit chai tea, now I’m all over that shit. Grab an extra napkin with that biscotti, Poindexter, ’cause you and I are gonna have a talk. Oh, mama. This is gonna be fun!

Permalink  |  4 Comments

4 Responses to “Chai Carumba!”

  1. SilverBubble says:

    You sure do enjoy the simple things in life, don’t you? Of course, you feel the need to expand a 2 paragraph story to a novelette, but that’s to be taken in stride. Besides, I like your ramblings.

  2. picklejuice says:

    I’ve never read anything out-loud to Andy before, but I did with this post. Pure poetry, motha fugga, even if I didn’t understand the bit about a “Kafkaesque Tevas”.

    I used to use the line, “I like my women like I like my coffee – in a plastic cup” but now I’m going to use your line. “I like my coffee like I like my breasts – hot, black and in my hands first thing in the morning”. Cuz that’s just awesome.

  3. #Debi says:

    Chai tea is so avant-garde (around here, anyway) that you will have the satisfaction of annoying even the coffee drinkers at Starbucks. And I hope the my use of the word Starbucks here, without the permission of the people at Starbucks, won’t bring down the wrath of Starbucks upon your head in the form of a Starbucks trademark infringement lawsuit. Bastards!

  4. Zette says:

    MMMM! I discovered chai tea about a year ago and LOVE IT! Quite a nice surprise and change from the norm. But then what is norm anymore?

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