Survival comes down to the darkness brewed from magic beans.

Ahh, coffee, my old friend.

If you don’t think its effects are magical, you obviously don’t live in this too-little sleep, too-much-to-do world. There are legends and myths of people who spend their day wondering if they should flop on the couch, peel grapes or never bother to get out of bed at all, however, and, perhaps, you are one of the lucky ones.

The rest of us simply try to survive. For some, that means a morning cup of coffee or soda. Others all but main lines energy drinks trying to pretend it doesn’t contain the same active ingredient.

Luckily, caffeine is a completely legal substance found in everything from chocolate to my personal favorite.

Imagine a world, however, where caffeine joins the illegal substances category.

Dude, what are you in for?” one con asks.

“They caught me, man, I was like totally awake at work,” the other answers. “I had two cubes of chocolate on me.”

“Dude, you were, like, productive and contributing? Don’t you know that’s a dead giveaway?” the first answers. “Don’t you know that without caffeine, you have to zone in the office? Next you’re going to tell me you went to a business meeting and actually paid attention.”

The second looks sideways and then down at his shoes. “They said I might make employee of the month.”

Cut to a second scene, this one in the household of a young family. Dad’s at work. Mom’s trying to get there while making sure their 2.5 children are ready for the day, operating on less than four hours of sleep herself.

Suddenly, child .5 (in this case a dog) lets out a howl, realizing its just been dressed in a lovely new pinafore and ballet shoes while child number one has been de-fleaed and brushed.

“I’d kill for a cup,” Mom says. “Literally kill.”

Child number two meanwhile is busy creating images of a magical kingdom on the walls, one squiggly line of permanent marker at a time while requesting therapy, emotionally scarred by the possibility of having an assassin for a mother, especially one who keeps falling asleep atop her Keto-approved breakfast.

Visions of a truly sad, sad world, I say, quaffing another cup of “Okay, I can do this.”

But in our world of people crazy enough to try the latest fad diet (even if it comes with “this could actually kill you” warnings), “Size Zero” clothing, and a booming international string of stores assuring young people that a cup three-quarters full of milk (even if it is almond or soy) is a grown up drink, anything is possible.

They want to legalize a product that makes you unproductive and unable to remember that your car keys are in your hand. What’s to say, outlawing productivity isn’t next? It would make all the sense of a court ruling banning red light as entrapment (which actually happened in Houston). “But, officer, you took a picture of me when I broke the law. That’s unfair!” was the argument that won.

Here’s to my magic beans, I say, they helped produce this column and virtually anything else that has poured forth from the brain of yours truly.

Who would want to ban that?




– Shannon Crabtree is editor & publisher of the El Campo Leader-News.

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