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  • Writer's pictureAndy Ross

The Faulty Timepiece

The scariest things aren’t found in movies designed to make us jump and toss our popcorn all over a darkened theater. Oh, no, my friends, far from it. The scariest things are a wide and varied list of things that can transpire. People’s exhibit A is the morning that I woke to make myself a coffee only to find a coffee maker not willing to go along with the idea.

I am very much a “do not talk to me until I’ve had one cup” person in the mornings. I need that time alone to clear my head and come to terms with myself. So the idea of facing the day without my morning coffee was a horror I couldn’t fathom. Sure, I could have gotten in the car and driven down to the McDonald’s not far from my home and grabbed a cup. But this was the early morning confusion time. I was in no state to operate an automobile.

I drank a coke that was in the fridge and prayed. Prayed that my body would accept this caffeinated liquid as a substitute for my morning coffee. It took a while, but soon I found myself coming to terms with myself. This was a household emergency so I pushed all work I had for the day to the side till I could get a new coffee maker. That important Zoom call with the people at Jensens Foods would have to wait till my house was coffee capable once more.

It didn’t take long to find the right coffee maker for me. It was perfect. Programable, thermal carafe. I could enjoy fresh, hot coffee well into the afternoon. I was excited, the part of my brain that gives me anxiety was thrilled. For has a human truly lived till they’ve pushed themselves to the limits of the workday in a coffee-induced anxiety attack? I think not, where are my accolades for being an extreme sports athlete?

The coffee maker was bought, rinsed, and set up. The first week with it was a blissful experience. I programmed the machine to start brewing at 7:45 on the dot, the time I usually start to wake up. By 8:00, I could walk from my bedroom, down the hallway to the kitchen, bathed in the aroma of coffee much like velvet draped upon a royal. It was heavenly. I felt a new spring in my step. The flowers smelled sweeter, the birds sounded prettier, and the sun shone brighter.

This bliss, however, was doomed to only last for a few weeks. As I began my second month with the coffee maker I noticed something odd happened. I woke up at 7:45 and began the walk down the hallway to the kitchen at 8:00 as usual. There was no aroma though. No velveteen coffee scents to drape my body. Instead, it was the rough, woolen sweater of nothingness. The coffee was there, in the pot, but the scent of the brewing was long gone.

My coffee maker has a faulty clock inside that slowly gets faster the more it’s left on. Each week it will gain another seven minutes in time. How did I learn this? I was up early one morning with insomnia that plagues me a couple of times throughout the year. As I was wrestling with a way to knock myself back out, I soon detected it.

The aroma of hope, the smell of bliss, the velvet my worn and tattered soul had longed for in the mornings. It was the coffee brewing, at 5:45 in the morning. Since I was up I grabbed a pad, pencil, and protractor and began to do the math. The clock needed to be reset, and now it was up to me to do so every Sunday night. I can live with up to seven minutes off, but not two hours off.

I thought about returning the coffee maker, but it was already out of the return window and I had gone past the 100 pots brewed expiration mark on the warranty. Perfection is sometimes a foolish pursuit, for none of us are perfect, and none of our coffee makers are either. I now am glad to say I have a happy relationship with it currently. We do the weekly reset and my mornings are once again velvet and happy.

It seems to have made a noticeable difference in my demeanor. My friends all say I look happier and seem more confident. Imagine their surprise when I told them it was only coffee and not the hair club for men. Imagine my anger that they thought I had joined the hair club for men. All this time I thought I had a good haircut. Anyways, may your mornings be velvety and coffee laden. See you next week.


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