3.18.2009

Dialing for coffee

The scene: Early summer morning. One spouse is at home, surrounded by all the modern communications gear a man could want. The other spouse is out running errands, and she has a cell phone in her purse.

The husband, sweaty in his workout duds, comes in from the three-car oven where the family keeps its fancy treadmill/torture machine.

The coffee pot is nearly empty, and he goes to make another pot and, oh my Lord, there’s no coffee. How did this happen? There’s always extra coffee stashed around the house. But a quick search turns up nothing. Out of coffee. That’s all there is to it.

No problem. He’ll simply use his modern communications equipment to contact his wife, who can make a quick stop by the market on her way home. He can exist without coffee until she gets here, and he won’t have to actually get dressed.

He dials, but gets voicemail. He leaves a message: “Hi, hon. It’s me. We’re out of coffee. Can you pick some up while you’re out? Thanks.”

OK, he thinks, she left the phone in the car. No big deal. She’ll get the message. He’ll get coffee. Eventually.

But what if she doesn’t get the message? Maybe she’ll forget to check. She’ll come all the way home, and have to go right back out again. Or, worse, he’ll have to go.

Through the miracle of redial, he calls every few minutes, hoping to catch her at that magic moment when she’s actually in the supermarket. He leaves a message each time so she won’t think all the hang-ups are some sort of emergency signal that means he’s fallen off a ladder.

“Hi, hon. Hope you got my message. About the coffee. Call and let me know.”

“Me again. Just trying to catch you near the phone. About the coffee.”

“Houston, we’ve got a problem. We’re outta coffee up here. Not enough for even one pot. Please acknowledge.”

“Breaker, breaker, good buddy. We’ve got an emergency situation here. Come back. With coffee.”

“Stardate 070822. The Enterprise has … been … stricken. No … coffee. Gasp.”

“Hey, hon? This isn’t funny anymore. About the coffee? Call and let me know you got these messages. I’m down to the dregs here. I’ll put on shoes and go to the store if I have to, but since you’re already out and about and (beep)--”

“Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale. A tale of a fateful trip. They started out without coffee, and they never got a sip. They never got a sip.”

“Mayday, mayday. We’re going down. No coffee. Emergency measures taken. Drinking old decaf from last Christmas that I found in the back of the cabinet. Wish me luck. Over.”

“Houston, do you copy? It’s not working. I repeat, it’s not working. Decaf not enough to combat effects of hangover. Slipping out of consciousness. Must … lie … down.”

“Ground Control to Major Tom.”

Finally, she answers, of course, and she’s in the checkout line, coffee in hand. The miracle of modern telecommunications saves the day.

But you should see our phone bill.

1 comment:

poodleland said...

Starbucks needs to have a delivery service. You never know when there's going to be a coffee emergency!