how hot is hot?
My father has a rarely acknowledged gift of the Spirit, a gift handed down from his forefathers that allows him to create a magical barrier blocking all caffeinated beverages from entering the house. As a child I was instructed as to the evils of coffee addiction, the addicts losing their jobs and families, the kids failing at school, so overcome with the caffeine jitters they were unable to color inside the lines. The broken lives, the poor health, the husbands and fathers enslaved by Starbucks; grandfathers dying young, coffee pouring out of their ears; mothers unable to function without diet coke, all very sad.
A few years ago my parents drove out to visit us, arriving late at night. My dad said, “I had to stop and buy a Dr. Pepper to help me stay awake.” He didn’t drink it, he just sort of held onto it while driving. Okay, I’m kidding, being totally ridiculous. But my dad did drink a Dr. Pepper to stay awake, once, about six years ago, so it must be okay.
That’s the kind of house I grew up in. I had a short stint in my wayward years where I drank a few cups of coffee, just started to like it, and then I stopped the practice. I’ve been not drinking [black] tea and coffee for so long that it’s not really an issue. It’s just become a part of me, I guess.
And that means I end up giving an awkward introduction to Mormonism whenever someone asks me about coffee:
“I’m going for coffee. You want one?"
“Uh, no, that’s okay.”
“Come on, I’m buying.”
“Uuuh, I’ll have a hot chocolate. With whipped cream.”
“A hot chocolate with whipped cream? What are we in the first grade here? This place makes the best coffee.”
“I don’t drink coffee.”
“What, this late in the afternoon? It’s only two?”
“I don’t drink it ever.”
“Uhhh, it’s a religious thing.”
“Get out. What religion says ‘no’ to coffee?”
“The Mormons? You’re serious? You’re a Mormon?”
“Yes—it’s part of this health code thing, no tea, no coffee, well, herbal tea is okay.”
“That doesn’t make any sense.”
“I know. It’s a religious thing. If it made sense, everybody would be doing it.”
1) Coffee ice-cream, is it against the Word of Wisdom? Any general authority anywhere backing that one? One doesn’t drink ice-cream so I wouldn’t be drinking coffee unless I had a shake and I promise not to have any coffee shakes.
2) Fresh coffee grounds, is it okay to love the smell of freshly ground coffee beans and to indulge in the scent whenever possible?
Advice, please! My life is in your hands.