While deep-diving amidst the annals of Twitter, which some might consider akin to modern anthropology, and is maybe as close as you can or would want to get to discovering the origin of contemporary verbiage in society, I found this:
Although it lacks the bare-teeth bite of today’s formulation — I need caffeine to function — the general idea is undeniably familiar.
Lest you think I was uncommitted, further Twitter rabbit holing revealed that our proverb-quoting avatar is still active to this day. As of this writing, she most recently retweeted a Chelsea Clinton post and plugged a renewal (???) of professional certifications somehow, and for some reason. Our hero was a Twitter early adopter — on November 26, 2006, just a few short months after the service was made public, she fired up the internet to share that she was screening an eminently forgettable Tobey Maguire dramedy, Pleasantville. According to reports, the location was a couch of some sort. There was no indication as to potential snacks.
I bring this up not because I’m just over here conjuring up virtual images of Tobey Maguire in my mind over and over again, although that’s a fine thing to do, and I can easily do so without much effort at all.
Rather, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the relationships we all have with our mood-altering beverages of choice: the morning iced coffee, the comically large afternoon white wine, the lawn-mowing beer. There is a zeitgeisty element to how we talk about fixing ourselves up with liquid substances. “Don’t talk to me until …” is a distillation of this cultural phenomenon, and it’s relatable as hell!
Consider this relic from the halcyon days of 2010:
Granted, by the time a multinational conglomerate gets its hands on an idea or expression, it is for all (non-commercial) intents and purposes dead as a doornail. When a song shows up in an Apple ad, it’s hovering over the dustbin of history. If Denny’s has a strategy meeting about using some slang in a hash brown-hawking Twitter post, all the high school kids with good parking spots are already three memes down the road. The lifespan of cultural touchstones is shorter than ever before.
That McDonald’s ad felt different, though. Maybe I’m just nostalgic for a simpler digital era, when we all seemed to understand each other’s cultural signposts; or maybe I’m just biased by how much I personally enjoy inhaling Big Macs. But I saw something more than just a corny, repetitive punchline.
It actually does kind of suck to deal with life before we’ve had our coffee. That McDonalds guy was a dick about it, but come on. Who isn’t in the morning? God knows I am. And my dog knows, too.
Now, with almost a decade of Pumpkin Spice gags in the rearview mirror, the obsevational coffee-humor bit seems as depleted as a Starbucks K-Cup. It’s been dissected and reanimated ad nauseam, then covered up with dirt, and also we crapped on the dirt and threw some other people’s crap on top of our crap on the dirt as well. Morning grumpy times are dead. And yet …
Tomorrow morning I’m going to wake up and be mad that I’m awake, and spend a few hellish minutes trying to figure out which highest-priority chore will be the thing that snakes its tendrils up into my nose and yanks me out of my little cotton incubator.
The instant I’m done with whatever that garbage is, I will attempt to locate and ingest some caffeine to ease my transition into the waking world. Coffee is pretty far from a foolproof balm, but it’s the only one I have — although I do hear ephedrine is pretty good.
And even if you’re jumping out of bed at 5 a.m. to go hit some balls off the tee or wait at the front door for whatever they deliver now instead of newspapers, it’s at least conceivable to you that people aren’t quite as enthusiastic as you are about waking up.
There’s a certain point in the day, though — and maybe you hit it as regularly as I do or maybe you don’t — where you recapture that morning feeling. You just don’t feel like being talked to once again.
The solution here is less clear. The clock suggests that you’re past the point of no return, stimulant-wise, and anyway another mug of coffee in the middle of yet another budget meeting would be like dumping gasoline on a trash fire. You need a liquid equivalent of that reflective blanket firefighters put on people after they get pulled out of a storm drain.
You need a damn beer, and make it a double. (A, uh … double beer.)
Heaven forbid you say that out loud, though. “I need a beer” and “Hey, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere!” might as well come with 0-Day Chip for all the confidence they inspire in your mostly adult friends. Why it’s different to start thinking about a dinnertime brewdog during lunch than stumble blindly to the Mr. Coffee every morning is anyone’s guess. As a beer enthusiast, you have to be aware of these things. In polite society, you’re supposed to approach every beer as if it’s a charming potluck dish you just can’t seem to stop sampling.
“Oh, my! Have you had this?! Says it’s bottled in California … I love it! I’m going to have another one! HA! Right to my waistline! I’ll be paying for THIS tomorrow! Wow!”
I reject and condemn this fiction. And I encourage all my fellow enthusiasts to be true to ourselves.
Crack the beer at the office lunch, and don’t apologize. Have the robot maid bring you one when you park your flying car outside your floating house (and don’t forget to turn off that crazy thing). Do the Hemingway thing if you want, or the Sandra Lee bit if you’re more of a TV person.
Just own it, man. Do what you gotta do to cope with the crushing insanity of our current Earth — within reason, of course — and just straight up own it.
Hello, yes, I had a nice day at work. It was fine. Look, don’t take this the wrong way, but … just … don’t talk to me until I’ve had my beer, O.K.?