In which Jane Austen takes me to the corner store to buy coffee

June 13, 2006

(My gratitude and apologies to Jane Austen and to her estate, especially for the bits lifted directly from Pride and Prejudice and Emma and mutilated)

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usIt is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man not possession of a good cup of coffee in the morn's earliest hour must be in want of a steady nerve. However although he may be desirous of firm hand and full clarity of thought that the labours and burdens may put upon his back should ease, he may find that his thoughts shatter into a million shards of procrastination and indolence should the warm brew not grace his lips ere the first rush hour horseless omnibus rumble past his sitting room.

"My dear Mr Noudnic," Mr Surly GreyGuy exclaimed as he stood in the pantry, clutching an empty mason jar – that had just the previous morning contained a few small granules of coffee – to his bosom in dismay. "It would appear that we are no longer in possession of a single groundling of coffee!"

Noudnic, as he was a cat, remained silent. Indeed, the only acknowledgement he gave to his companion's dilemma was an enormous, languorous stretch, spreading his tiny claws for all the world to see before curling into a warm ball followed by an impertinent stillness, aside from small movements of his ears, twitching to the rhythmic clicks of the stiletto heels of the transsexual ladies of the evening on the pavement outside as they made their weary way home from a full night's employ.

Image Hosted by"I cannot say, sir, why it is that I bear to let you remain in my company! You bring neither labour nor indeed account to the household!" Surly spat at the fainéant feline as he stormed through his small lodgings in search or proper attire for the purchase of coffee. Once assembled, and looking as if he had simply plunged himself into a closet and hastily donned whatever stray item he may have grasped – as chance is the bearer of all felicity, this happened to be the style of the time – he departed for the apothecary, dishevelled and irritable.

As was his habitual preference, Surly had arisen with the days earliest chiming and, although befuddled the cause of which was his potent attachment to coffee and its sudden the lack, strode with alacrity towards the apothecary. Hastily braced by the slight morning breeze and the sun's fresh rays of the new day, this was indeed the most felicitous, the most perfect and profound instant in which to live one's life. No groaning horseless streetcar or shrieking madperson shambling across the street could mar the rapturous transport he felt as he made his way through the drowsy neighbourhood as it awoke into dawn's embrace.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usHe rounded a corner and spied in the distance the Don Valley – Toronto's beautiful gateway, a verdant valley parkway snaking through the centre of the giant city, lulling travellers to the presumption that their long voyage was far from its wearied completion when – all of a sudden – they emerged into the full riotous cacophony of the very heart of the grand metropolis! He had resided in other city's – in calm, stately Winnipeg, settling into its golden years, and in impish, irrepressible Montreal, a beautiful confidant – but of all the times to be alive and all of all the localities to while away one's time, how fortunate that it should come to pass here where his gratitude for the moment was an undeniable joy, he mused as he entered to apothecary to do his purchase.

Later he would remark that the coffee was very much like other cups of coffee, where the consumer has no taste for finery and aroma; and Mr Noudnic lolled in his corner chair and sighed at the inadequacies of the human spirit. But in spite of these deficiencies, the wishes, the hopes, the confidence, the predictions of a tall man in his small Toronto lodgings, were fully answered in the happiness of of the union of the brew and the pleasant morning.

posted by GreyGuy on 13.6.06 | Permalink |

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