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The Day the Coffee Ran Out: A True Tale of Survival

I’m a creature of habit, and live for the small rituals of every day: Wake up, start the coffee, take Jasper for his first of many daily walks, drink the first cup of coffee, then get ready for work/the day or go back to bed, depending on what I have planned.

A few days ago, my morning routine was interrupted when I opened the coffee container to discover it was empty. I remembered the previous morning making a mental note to stop by the store, but sadly had forgotten to complete that errand.

Instead of immediately panicking, I made a signal fire using the pajamas I was wearing and the rest of the clothing in my apartment, and fashioned the mandatory survival situation loincloth mini-dress out of the empty coffee bag and a dish towel. Then, I started searching the cabinet, just in case I had another bag of beans hidden away that had been forgotten.

No such luck there. Just a few boxes of tea and some hot chocolate.

Those options weren’t going to work.

Maybe a few months ago, the substitution of another hot beverage would suffice, but my summer spent with my overly caffeinated coffee-aholic sister had ruined me. Only a cup of the good stuff would calm the morning craving.

Jasper wasn’t too happy about the setback either.

I knew what I had to do: make a frantic trip to the store or find a coffee shop open at this early hour (I think it was around 10 AM on my day off) and Jasper would just have to wait for his walk.

Before rushing out the door, I vaguely remembered seeing a coffee shop of some sort at the end of my street. A sigh of relief passed from my lips, and I knew all was not lost… yet.

I could just walk there, and let Jasper get his walk in at the same time. Two birds, one stone—a perfect plan.

This was not to be my day, however, because as I approached the business, I noticed all of the lights were out, and a small handwritten sign on the door announced the place was closed for the week.

“Nooooo,” I shrieked.

Despondently, I forced my weak and caffeine deprived body back to my apartment, knowing a trip to the store was going to be necessary.

For a brief moment, I considered knocking on the door of a neighbor and requesting to borrow a cup of coffee, but since I haven’t really met anyone in the building yet, I wouldn’t have known where to start… and I didn’t want to scare anyone while in my pre-coffee state and I was still wearing my loincloth creation.

Clearly my only course of action was going to be the trip to the grocery store. The only problem with this plan is that in order to feel alert and awake enough to drive my car, I needed some sweet caffeine coursing through my veins, and the only way to get that caffeine to my bloodstream fast enough was to drink a steaming cup of joe— stat. A terrible dilemma indeed.

I took my chances and traveled the great distance (about 3 miles) to the local supermarket, and luckily arrived unscathed

As I dragged myself through the aisles in search of coffee, I noticed some strange looks in my direction from the other shoppers, but I didn’t let those looks deter me from my quest. Not when I was so close to my lifeblood.

Being so early in the day, I didn’t expect the aisles to be crowded, but the store must have been having a huge sale or something, as it was a bit of an obstacle course navigating around all of the shopping carts and shoppers.

My progress was slowed drastically when an elderly lady stopped to ask for help with an item she couldn’t reach on an upper shelf. Not being especially tall myself, I wasn’t sure how much help I would be, but I stretched up on my tippy toes to reach it, and I was able to assist her.

That roadblock conquered, I was able to continue on with my search. I knew it couldn’t be far now.

Finally, I made it to the Promised Land. I was going to be all right.

Even better, my favorite blend of Starbucks French Roast was on sale!

AND it was a demonstration day, so samples of coffee were readily available in that part of the store.

Score and double score!!

I accepted their offering and grabbed a fresh bag of beans.

Ahh, sweet relief.

A squeal of glee may have eeked out as I performed an impromptu coffee dance while making my way to the checkout. I didn’t care— my sole focus was on getting back home to start my day over.

The sample cup was enough to sustain me for the lengthy return trip home, and I was grateful for it being my lucky day. Back home, I pulled out the coffee maker and waited patiently for the nectar to brew.

That first sip was heavenly, and my world was suddenly back in order. The only problem that remained was having nothing to wear now, as my earlier decision to use my clothing as kindling for the signal fire might not have been the smartest idea.

I knew I’d figure something out, especially now that I was fully caffeinated. And besides, how necessary are clothes when it’s between them and coffee?

Coffee wins hands down in my book any day.

Responses (3)

  1. This was amazing. I laughed out loud the most at this line: “Instead of immediately panicking, I made a signal fire using the pajamas I was wearing and the rest of the clothing in my apartment.” Perfect comedic timing. Awesome entry!

  2. […] had a lot of close calls over the years (the beaver dam, the flat tire, and the coffee incident to name a few), but today was truly […]

  3. […] My dependence on the liquid caffeine source has never been quite as strong, but I have been known to bring multiple travel mugs filled to the brim when I have to be at work earlier than normal or when I’ve had to drie long distances. I’d attempted to wean myself off slowly in the past, but never got to the point where I could make it more than a day or two without getting crazy headaches. I’ve also experienced heightened levels of anxiety when realizing my coffee supply had run out. […]

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