Jack Dolan of Morrisville was determined this past Monday morning to finally reach is unattained goal of perfecting his morning coffee. With the same determination he has carried every working day for the past 23 years Jack headed to the local convenient store to begin his morning ritual.
The parking lot was full of onlookers, fans of Jack, and the press. Word had spread throughout the county that there was some spectacle going on every morning at this deli. The crowd inside parted as Jack made his way through the path of back slappers and well wishes. He proceeded.
Taking a 16 oz. paper cup he poured roughly 8 oz. of Cuban blend, 2 oz. of regular, 1 oz. each of Peruvian mystic and Kenyan morning. He then added 3 packets of sugar, and a splash of Light cream followed by a dollop of milk. After stirring clockwise with 3 straws 7 rotations he blew gently over the surface of his potential masterpiece and slurped. The crowd hushed as Jack smacked his lips together and judged. He grimaced, then dumped about a quarter cup of his concoction down the sink, added a teensy bit of Cuban and a splash of milk, stirred clockwise 3 times, counter clockwise twice, blew and slurped. Smacking lips. Then a teensy more sugar a half dollop of regular, a drop of Irish cream, blew and slurped. Smacking lips. An ounce and a half down the drain, an ounce and a half of Hawaiian blend, a drizzle of French cream.
The crowd urged Jack on, all gathered around with their own mundane regular coffee hoping to be part of something great.
"Jack has been coming here for over 2 decades" said store owner Gus Philbin "I used to think he was nuts"
"And now your opinion has changed?" I asked.
"Oh no, he is still nuts but look at all the revenue he brings in. All these people buy their breakfast here. Just from my coffee sales alone I am way in the black"
Adding, dumping, a bit of that and this, grimacing, tasting, lip smacking. At one point Jack dumped a packet of Splenda in which produced oohs and aahs but led to only a grimace and an entire dump and reload.
Jack noticed it was 8:50 and he had been at it for over an hour. "Dammit" he said as he slammed down the cup and headed for the front door "I'm going to be late again and I didn't have any coffee!" He stopped at the opening, turned and said "If my boss finds me sleeping at my desk it will be your fault, Philbin" he said pointing to the proprietor. "You can't make a decent cup of coffee?!" he hollered. The crowd, including Mr. Philbin cheered as Jack drove off in a rage.
"Well, Mr. Philbin" I asked "are you afraid of the bad publicity Jack may spread if he is caught napping"
"Napping?" he replied "Hah! He just drank a whole pot of coffee"
"I see" I said "but he didn't pay for it?"
"Nope" said Mr. Philbin, smiling at the throng lining up at the registers. "hasn't paid in twenty years, in fact he yells the same thing to me every morning for twenty years I don't mind. It's good for business."
Indeed, Jack did return the next day and the next after that. I hope someday he finds his cup of perfection but wonder what then becomes of Gus Philbin and the throng of jack Dolan followers. I suspect they will turn on him like an angry mob. I hope so, it will make a good story.