The Idiosyncrasies of Summer

In Opinion/Editorial // on September 1st, 2010 // by // No comment

As the late August sun performs a few last finishing moves on the tired trees, it is important to take a look back at the dying season and the peculiarities that I exhibit during summer.

First, apparently people like iced coffee.

I always take my coffee hot. Iced coffee sounds to me like a logical fallacy, equivalent to a large man nicknamed ‘Tiny’ or ‘friendly’ fire.  I want no involvement with friendly fire, just the same, I want no involvement with iced coffee.

Now: to be honest, it’s not you, it’s me.

I have admittedly quirky/imbecilic sensibilities to many things. I think cucumbers should be banned by the FDA, I feel like it is cheating if someone helps me with a crossword puzzle, and I don’t believe in iced coffee.

This is not a slight to those who enjoy the drink. I wish I could enjoy cucumbers, people seem to relish (pun intended) the freshness of taste and the cool relief it brings to their palate. I wish I could share a crossword, it seems like a sweet bonding thing to do. And I can see the sense and benefit in enjoying a delicious iced coffee on a hot summer day. When I think about it, however, the stubbornness of a 1950’s dad grows in my soul, and I blindly rage, “ICED coffee? But, it’s coffee! Icing should never enter the equation! Might as well have a boy wear a pink shirt! Might as well buy a car NOT made in America!”

Oh 50’s dad. How did you find a home in my heart?

Fortunately, I have allies. I name them Equatorial Culture and Science.  Big hitters.

Throughout most of the world that lives under the oppressive heat of the equator, hot drinks rather than cold ones are customary. From the yerba in northern South America, the coffee ceremonies in Ethiopia, the hot mint tea in Algeria/Morocco, The green tea of southern China, and what ever they drink in Asia Minor the people of the hottest part of the world prefer hot beverages. I learned why this was earlier in the year.

Enter Science.

Apparently, drinking hot liquids in a warmer climate raises your internal body temperature. Having a body temperature closer to the outside environment means being more comfortable and making everything better for everyone. Ever.

Peter: 2   Iced Coffee: 0

My distrust of iced coffee is not the only quirk highlighted by the spotlight of the summer sun. Namely, I refuse to wear shorts.  I mention this because with my position in the company as your friendly neighborhood maintenance man/Action hero, I’ve had to do a great amount of work outside this year. Pants have done little to garner respect.

On one of the hottest days of the summer, I remember the heat index climbing to 111, we were setting up the Heine Bros booth for the Forecastle festival in the shadeless great lawn of Waterfront Park. The main topic of conversation between our Director of Operations and the others present revolved around what kind of moron wears pants in a season like this. I can’t say that my reliance on denim is furthering my career.

I have been described as a masochist. But I prefer to think of it as charitable. I look weird in shorts. I’m doing everyone else a favor. You are welcome, everyone.

Peter: -1  Shorts: 0

Along those same lines, this summer seemed to mark a number of awkward choices I made for myself:

  1. This summer brought back the belief that my disastrous hair could have some character if I grew it out.
  2. 50’s dad brought down the landmark decision to always tuck in button down shirts. This was shortly after his decree that I should wear more button down shirts.
  3. I allowed myself to believe that my apartment still felt “fine” without A/C for WAY too long.

Apart from looking better with a tucked in shirt, these decisions and my silly habits seem to speak of a designed plan for me to have the most uncomfortable summer on record. And in this, I believed I succeeded.

Peter’s Dignity: N/A   Summer: 1

I can’t wait until autumn.

P.S. Please still drink our iced coffee. I like my job, and we like your business.

Peter Clark has been with Heine Brothers’ Coffee for 4 years, first as a barista, and now as our Equipment and Facilities Manager. With 7 shops open 363+ days a year, our equipment needs a lot of love to keep the coffee brewing and frozen capp, well, frozen.

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