Mr. Coffee struck this morning. It’s official now; I will never be hired by Starbucks. I just thank god that my wife was still sleeping because my colossal blunder would have added to the ever lengthening list she keeps of the stupid, undisciplined, unfocused actions I perform on a daily bases.
There is no doubt that any married man knows of what I’m speaking here is true. It does not matter how much you have done or how smart you are, when you make a stupid mistake, you are called on it and it is etched in stone for all eternity by the official keeper of these deeds, your wife.
I’m sure even people like Bill Gates, Barack Obama, and even the most feared man to cross in the world, Vladimir Putin, is subject to this list. Donate millions to charity one day, and get called on the carpet for picking out the wrong tie the next. Authorize the killing of Osama Ben Laden one day, fell the wrath because you forgot to turn off the light the next. Orchestrate the complete and utter dominance of Russia and all its subjects one day, get dressed down for forgetting to add sugar to morning tea the next.
I have digressed from the issue at hand somewhat. There is no doubt that my misstep deserves to be added to any list being kept by god, satin, or my wife that may be tallied up at the end of my life. But, to my defense on this I’m not really used to all the high tech coffee equipment now used to brew several cups at the same time.
In Cameroon, and the rest of West Africa where I have mostly lived for the past six years, my preferred procedure for making coffee in the morning is to boil water, pour it into a cup, drop in two teaspoons of Nescafe instant coffee, and powdered milk, and stir. This will change on Saturdays and Sundays when I substitute Irish Cream for powdered milk. There is no space aged machine with multiple moving parts or 3D displays that are programed from your computer of via the internet as what seems to be needed here in the US.
This is why I usually try to hold out until I can stop at the nearest coffee shop, usually Starbucks because there is one squeezed in between each and every house or office, or drive through McDonalds to have my morning drip. It’s a lot easier to say Grande and leave some room, or medium with two creams, then to put on my lab jacket layer with my tech coat and slide on the latex gloves and goggles needed to engineer a few cups of coffee.
This morning though, I decided I didn’t need to go anywhere early so I was forced to confront the mechanical marvel that is Mr. Coffee. Although this model is not the most complex, it still has a water tank, requires ingredients that need to be measured and added, and buttons that need to be pushed at just the right time. Put the wrong amount of any of these two main ingredients, or forget to push the on and off button, and you are screwed out of your morning infusion of life.
I have successfully navigated this complicated sequence of precise movements a few times but this morning I inevitably, and probably somewhat predictably, got overwhelmed. My brain could not keep up with the advanced metrics of the Mr. Coffee brewing process.
I managed to measure water to the 8th level on the coffee pot scale, slide the spout mechanism to the side and pour the liquid into the brewing container. Somehow I got the level in the brewing container to match the same 8th level on the coffee pot scale. I inserted the prefabricated filtering paper into the filtering container and slid the water spout back to its designated position.
It was now time to add the all-important amount of pre-ground coffee to the mix. This is the most nerve racking step in the process. The correct sized measuring device must be used to add the correct amount of ground coffee to the premeasured water already in the brewing container. If not precise, the coffee will be either to weak or to strong, thus creating an almost toxic mix of undrinkable swill.
Unfortunately, this morning my head was not in tune with the process. I guess it’s a good thing I wasn’t performing an operation on someone. I selected the correct measuring device, scoped up the first portion of coffee and dropped it into the container. The next of my planned for four scoops was added. The process was in full swing. I confidently scooped up the third portion and began dropping in the coffee when I suddenly realized I was in the middle of a huge catastrophe.
I was cloddishly adding the ground coffee into the water filled brewing container instead of the designated coffee filter lined coffee containment basket that the water spout dispensed the water through to brew the coffee. I had two and one half scoops of ground coffee floating and slowly dissolving in the unheated water resting in the container. Lord almighty, this woke me up.
My first reaction was to look over my shoulder to make sure I was alone and no one was either taking notes or god forbid filming this devastation of the Mr. Coffee, coffee brewing process. I was alone so took immediate action. I unplugged the machine, took out the filter, and dumped the water and coffee ground mixture into the sink. Coffee grounds were everywhere in sink and still clinging to the sides of the brewing container, as well as some on the counter.
I acted fast to wipe the coffee container with a paper towel then pour in more water to wash out the left over grounds. I had to do this three times before it was completely clean. Coffee grounds like to stick to things. This means I had to wash the sink forcing grounds down the garbage disposal and then wiping everything clean. Next, wipe the grounds off the counter into my hand to throw in the waste can and clean up the counter with a wet sponge and paper towel.
Everything was okay. I started the process again. This time is was check, check, and triple check as I slowly moved from step to step before pushing the on button and unleashing a point of no return decision. Luckily I’m a highly intelligent person that is well adept at not compounding mistakes by making them twice, most of the time. I just hope that I don’t have an problems when doing the laundry later today.
Way too complicated.
Author: Mr. Jim Weller