2006.01.11 #$%^ to the last drop

Written by David Green.

By JEFF PICKELL

There’s a lot of things to be said about coffee, but due to the Observer’s obscenity rules, most can’t be said in this column.

I used to be a fan of coffee. When I was in college, it gave me the drive to stay up until daylight playing video games and reading comic books and watching episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm on OnDemand, forms of entertainment adults call slacking off. It also helped keep my eyes open when I had to spend 34 straight hours in the library finishing up projects I should’ve been working on when I was slacking off.

And then I graduated from college and realized that there’s no shame in going to sleep at night. That’s the problem with college kids—somewhere along the line it becomes uncool to do things during the daytime, like study, or exercise, or sit on the porch drinking beer. In college, if the sun’s out and you’re doing any one of these things, your peers will invariably label you a bookworm, or a health nut, or a stinking drunkard.

So what do college students do during the day? Sleep, mostly. I heard tell of these things called “classes” students sometimes attend, but those are for people who study majors that require knowledge, like chemistry, science, engineering. I majored in English; all an English major requires is the ability to read English. I’d had that down since the first grade.

The only major I can think of that requires less knowledge than English is political science. But political science majors have it made—they take their know-nothing degrees and get elected president. We English majors take our know-nothing degrees and starve to death, thinking in our dying moments, “At least I can read, which is more than I can say for some presidents and vice-presidents.”

But I was talking about coffee. There’s a certain faction of students in all campus communities who like nothing more than to drink coffee and talk all night, and I was with a certain faction of those students last Saturday.

I’d gone to Kalamazoo to visit my buddy Dolley who’s a fancy dancy hipster English major type, and we began the night meeting some similarly-disposed friends at a cafe.

Now, I’ve never been much of a social coffee drinker; I drink it only when I want to stay up late, usually when I’m by myself. So, mistake number one Saturday night was drinking at the pace usually reserved for the only other social beverage I know—beer. After about two hours and five coffees, I turned to Dolley and whispered, “Is it me, or is my brain trying to tear itself out the back of my skull?”

He whispered something back, to which I replied “I can’t hear you, my heart is beating too loudly.”

I switched over to water at that point, but the other artsy-fartsy types kept right on drinking and talking, the conversation shifting from one absurd topic of world politics to the next. When the coffee joint closed down at about 2 a.m. we decided to retreat to another friend’s house to continue the festivities. They walked, but I just stood still and let my heartbeat bounce me forward. I kept pace remarkably well.

Now, I had fallen behind in one course of study in college and it was about to come back and bite me.

Most English majors also engage in a rigorous, independent Bong Studies program, which, as Bill Clinton can attest, is the reason most of them never get elected president. I’d be a liar to say I’ve never tried pot before, but, truthfully, I found it too hard to read, play video games, and watch TV when stoned, so I  gave up on the drug before I even made it to college.

But these folks I was with had no trouble splitting what I would surmise to be a cubic jungle of pot among themselves, which, I guess, is how they all managed to pass out at around 4 a.m.

By then, my heart had settled enough that I could hear Dolley, who also has no love for the pot. He said to me, “Pickell, there is no way you’re getting to sleep tonight.”

And I said, “I concur. But neither are you.”

“No, I’ll be fine,” he said.

“Huh?” I said.

“I’m Irish. I’m immune.”

“You’re full of it.”

“Come on. I’ll prove it to you.”

And within five minutes of stepping through his front door, he was sawing logs on the couch.

Which was bad for me, because the only other place to sleep, aside from the floor, was Dolley’s bed, and I just don’t hate myself that much.

So I was forced to drive back, at 5 a.m. and wide awake, to Morenci, the sleepy little city I call my home, hoping that maybe a little bit of the somnolence would rub off.

I was mistaken. If I don’t get to sleep soon, I may be accused of being a college student. Or worse yet, a political science major.

– Jan. 11, 2006
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
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    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
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  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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