Thursday, December 04, 2003

Do you have a TV? In case you don't, you should have invested in one like the rest of the sane population, because then you would have been able to see the coffee commericals on the box that talk about how everyone is closing major business deals and meeting up with intelligent people and writing that Booker winning novel. All this over white mugs that supposedly contain only coffee. Of course they never actually show what everyone in the ad is drinking, since many of these cafes need to have spotlessly clean reputations to go with the table linen, but I can tell you that it takes way more than coffee to be able to do all of that over one cup.

In this wonderful book called the Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway tells his Readers (for no self-respecting Hemingway afficionado is a mere 'reader', they are all 'Readers') about how he wasted his time in Paris and hung around at the cafes, and ate and drank like a pig, and name droped like crazy. You cannot get past a sentence without bumping into Gerturde Stein or TS Eliot or Picasso. While he was moving around, feasting, he also wrote his novels through all that hardship in little ill-lit cafes with buxom French waitresses. Fortunately for us, Hemingway is an honest man and admits that there was more than just coffee served at those cafes.

Anyways, because I do not personally own a TV, but have grown to manhood thriving on such imagery, I decided I too would write that novel in the coffee shop around the corner. Ernest might have settled for a small pad and a pen but I had a Toshiba Satellite complete with a DVD Player and Infra-Red communication, from work and was convinced of its pheromonal properties. I sat on the couch, next to the faux-fireplace right below the Airconditioning, and debated over the relative sexiness of macchiato over cappuccino, or espresso over macchiato. Certainly not cold stuff. Can you see the Marlboro man nursing a green granita? Or for that matter anyone who is not Britney Spears? Once you rule out the flippant frappes and technicolour granitas the rest was a lot easier. Every wannabe asks for cappuccino, little realising that it was popularised by Italian Capuchin monks who went about with white cowls on their heads sipping creamy coffee. That is certainly not an association I am looking for here. As opposed to the undiluted chemical rush of a double espresso.
... (to be continued, later made into a sitcom, eventually to be sold for movie rights, corvettes and vodka martinis)