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Coffee shop scene proves too hot to handle

With the sudden ubiquity of coffee, coffee shops, coffee houses and coffee ice cream in our society, we the consumers find ourselves asking one question, "How many times am I going to burn my tongue before I realize that coffee is as hot as %#$*?"

Coffee is the only food product I can think of that is extremely painful to consume until several minutes after it has been purchased. You don't see any cantaloupes that are fatally poisonous for the first five minutes after you buy them. I've also never been to the grocery store and heard the cashier say, "Remember, you might want to wait a couple of minutes before you eat that Twinkie or it will release a toxin that will cause you to lose your hair and melt your teeth and jaw into a puddle."

Because their coffee is so hot, most coffee shops now have protectors for the coffee cups - a circular piece of cardboard that you slide over the cup so you don't burn your hands. The idea behind these cardboard protectors is the coffee is so hot, it's even too hot to hold without something around the cup. If the coffee is that hot, why the hell are we pouring this scalding liquid down our throats? I want to see the answer to that question on "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?"

Regis: Oh, I'm sorry Sam, but the correct answer was, "Because we're incompetent coffee-craving morons who don't care if we burn holes through our tracheas." But thanks for playing, and good luck moving out of your mother's basement. That's all for tonight, folks. This is Regis Pilbin ... saying I like ... dramatic ... pauses ... and goodnight.

Why do we as a nation suddenly have this need for so much caffeine anyway? We must just be a tired nation, which is pretty disturbing since we're only 224 years old. If we're this tired already, I feel bad for Europe. England must be on crack by now. That's probably why Holland legalized drugs - they needed something to keep them going after all these years. That explains why drugs in Holland are sold in coffee shops - it's the natural progression of things.

I can't wait until Starbucks starts offering marijuana lattes or perhaps mocha crackuccinos.

I always feel a little awkward in coffee shops. I think it's because they've invented this whole separate language that you have to speak to order anything. I mean, you can't just order regular coffee anymore.

Regular coffee doesn't exist.

You have to pick between grandes, lattes, cappuccinos and frappuccinos. My problem is when I hear "Frappuccino," I don't think, "type of coffee drink." I hear "Frappuccino," I think, "professional killer." If I'm introduced to a Mr. Frappuccino, I keep my distance.

Then, for the sizes of the drinks, you have to choose between "short," "tall" or "grande." What is this? Are we ordering midgets? I usually just go for the coffee.

"I'd like the short grande with the gimpy leg. Yeah, that's him. Whoa ... he's a quick one."

So I went into Alderman Cafe, and I planned to sound like I had some idea of what I was talking about. So I ordered a regular coffee grande. That went fine. Then I actually caught myself saying, "And leave a little room at the top for cream and sugar." That's when I thought, "Leave a little room at the top?! What the hell does that mean? No, I'd like you to leave a little room at the bottom, please. Right there under the coffee. I want to inject my cream and sugar down there. Thanks." Moral of the story: I'm an idiot.

Coffee's gotten incredibly expensive, too. I paid $2.50 for coffee the other day. What about coffee could possibly cost that much? Do Juan Valdez and his donkey come with the coffee? Because if not, I want some money back.

Overall, I think coffee shops are just too cozy for me. You feel a need to sit and chat, and then if you stay there too long, you start writing weird-ass jazz poetry. It's dangerous. It should say on each cup, "Warning: Excessive time in coffee shop could cause extreme cases of weird-ass jazz poetry." If they had that warning, it would put a stop to tragic scenes like this one.

Rachel: How was your day?

Bill: Pretty good. I just hung out here in the coffee shop all day. But anyway, ... today was like butterflies that ... fly away.

Rachel: Was that weird-ass jazz poetry?

Bill: Oh God! It's happening!

Rachel: Where'd the bongo player come from?

Bill: He's been following me around. I think I accidentally paid for him with the coffee because it cost $2.50.'

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