“He observed that the people drinking alcohol would just get drunk and sing and be jolly, whereas the people drinking coffee remained sober and plotted against the government…” ~Stewart Allen
It’s true and I can speak from personal experience. Whenever I drink coffee I always get the overwhelming urge to plot against the government. It’s not something I’m proud of, but I do not hide my troubled past. Chile 1973, Salvador Allende is in power, I get a little carried away playing backgammon at an espresso bar in downtown Santiago. After ousting the bar owner, I make a move on the presidential palace, one thing leads to another, by nightfall the palace is in ruins and Allende has flown the coop. In Argentina, three years later, I am out late one night doing shots of double espresso with a couple of ne’er-do-wells. The espresso must’ve been from another planet because next thing I know it’s morning, my head is pounding, I’ve forgotten my name, and president Isabel Peron has been formally deposed and arrested. Now, my exploits were not limited to the real world. In 1971, the Woody Allen film Bananas prominently featured the military coup of the fictitious state of San Marcos. I can’t take full credit for this but let’s just say the caffeine flowed like wine.
A recent post on NPR’s Salt Blog tells the fascinating history of coffee use and its role in dissent beginning in 17th century Turkey up until the present day. Matter of fact, coffee drinking became a patriotic duty and fueled the American Revolution after the dramatic reduction in tea imports post-Tea Party. Let’s not underestimate the power of this beverage. Next time you drink a cup remember you are drinking freedom.