where’s john nance garner when you need him?

“Knowing something is a bad idea
does not always decrease the odds that you will do it.”
— hank green, “an absolutely remarkable thing”

There’s an old saying about how you should never make your morning coffee until you have had your morning coffee. Our life is a melodrama, except for maybe the mellow and the drama.


I wake up. It’s early. I start scooping coffee, counting the spoons until I lose interest and just dump enough in to last through two Sunday papers. The fallacy in this, of course, being that the entire pot always seems to disappear shortly after Mo wakes up.

I pour the water in the coffee maker, turn it on, and go about my life, which consists of watching funny cat videos in the next room. What did people do before cat videos? Actually look at their own cats? Ours is glad to avoid that pressure.

A few minutes later, Mo walks into the kitchen, gasps, and queries, “Um, what did you do?” I have learned over the years that this gasp and question combo rarely turns out well. But my car keys are in the kitchen, so I can’t make a run for it without confronting whatever has happened there.

Which is coffee, all over the place.

Apparently, it’s supposed to go into the coffee pot. But today it has taken a more creative route, exploring the cabinet and floor and silverware drawer and possibly a few spots on the ceiling, as well as possibly a corner in Winslow, Arizona, or possibly Tucson. We’re still sorting that one out.

As it turns out, I had executed things perfectly, except for one tiny detail. I hadn’t put the top on the carafe.

In my defense, NOWHERE in the instructions do I recall seeing the words, “Don’t forget to put the lid on the carafe.” And, as it turns out, if you don’t put the lid on the carafe, all hell breaks loose. “All hell breaks loose” is not a phrase you want associated with morning coffee.

We eventually get the coffee grounds and the water and the battered filter out wipe up the puddle in Winslow and start over with an elaborate checklist in place.

Coffee is made. Caffeine is ingested. The cat cares not. Life goes on.


I wake up. It’s early. I mention to Mo that maybe SHE should make the coffee today. She agrees.

A few minutes later, as I read a delightful story about Russia and Belarus and their continuing hijinks (what scamps!), making me remember why I mostly watch cat videos, Mo comes in with an ominous look. “The coffee maker isn’t working,” she says.

Clearly, I must have killed it yesterday. She says she hit the start button, but the lights are blinking off and on, like when you drive the “wrong” way on a “one-way” road and everyone gets all out of sorts. What happened to creativity?

Being a manly male, I go in to investigate what the problem might be.

She has turned it on.

She has the coffee in the little basket, with the lid closed.

The pot is in place, WITH the lid on.

She has pushed the start light.

And she’s right. It’s just blinking off and on, refusing to start.

As it turns out, she forgot one tiny thing.


The tank in the back is empty. Apparently you need water to make coffee, unless you just eat it straight out of the bag. Who knew? Upside: Her way of making it is a lot less messy.


Actually, it’s pretty good straight out of the bag. Xeriscape coffee just might catch on in the desert. I eat enough Seattle’s Best Post Alley to make it through two Monday papers. Caffeine is ingested. The cat cares not.

Maybe that’s the key to a happy marriage. Being human, and laughing together when things go wrong. Making coffee before you’ve had your morning coffee. Knowing something is a bad idea does not always decrease the odds that you will do it. Do it anyhow.

But maybe not until after you’ve had your morning coffee.

The end.


Bow, curtsy, accept bouquets.

House lights.

Go out for coffee.

About gary

no sock monkeys were harmed in the making of this blog.
This entry was posted in margarine. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to where’s john nance garner when you need him?

  1. Lol! (And I’m inspired to create a playlist, now.)

  2. Kieran says:

    Had a similar situation a few years ago. But it may have ended in death threats. https://kieranbullshit.com/2019/01/27/killing-me-with-coffee/

  3. Jen Knapp says:

    Laughing together when things go wrong? Definitely the key to a happy marriage. Loved reading the coffee drama. 😁 My husband doesn’t drink coffee at all (gasp! shudder!), so I make individual servings in my French press. Not very dramatic I’m afraid.

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