B.C.and A.C.
Off the Wall, Dec
12, 2013

Anytime the Volkmann family heard our mother state, “Never talk to me B.C., only A.C., one thing entered our minds and one thing only, “Never talk to me “B.C.”(“Before Coffee”), only A.C. (“After Coffee”).

And when you think of it, these abbreviations really make sense to all who drink the brew. I’m sure many others will use these letters to fit their own use. Those in the profession of laying rugs, for example, will use those letters to refer to “before carpeting” and “after carpeting.” My friend and I often talk about the problem in our neighborhood concerning “before cats” and “after cats,” and a tidy person may talk about “before cleaning” and “after cleaning.” My sister, Betsy, and brother Bob will clutch on to those initials with a tad bit of smiling remembering her words every morning stating, “Don’t talk to me “before coffee,” only after coffee.”

Somehow, I can understand. That wonderful stimulator gives me the boost I also need to get my posterior off the chair and onto my merry way in the direction of who knows what. Of course, there is a fallacy in that statement because God already has something planned for me; I just don’t know what it is. And to make life a little more interesting, I am given an opportunity of free will - to do whatever it is - His way or mine.

“Before coffee,” my mind is in a lull when I think of it. I need something within me and this drink does it for me every time.

I remember sitting in different restaurants watching waitresses approach customers asking them if they want refills in their cups. The answers are always “yes.” On top of that, some associates have told me that they have consumed as many as 16 cups a day. Wow! And to think all I need is one-half cup of the black stuff. It pumps those brain cells into responding to the wishes of what I decide to do. That surely is comforting. I think if I drank any more than that my mind would be blown out of quilter.

I have heard that some people have sued a beverage company because their relatives have consumed certain beverages that had too much caffeine in them. It seems that there was too much for their bodies to handle. I don’t blame the companies for not budging, for consumers should know how much of the stimulant they can handle.

Because of health issues, I cannot drink alcoholic beverages. Maybe I shouldn’t be drinking the coffee as well, but since I am still semi-employed, I like to have that little bitsy boost in the morning. If I put in a bit of fat-free cream, that helps fill the cup and keeps the caffeine to a minimum.

But there is certainly something to be said for the “A.C.” theory of goodness as opposed to “B.C.” That feeling of being wide awake is reassuring. Recently, thanks to my daughter, Kelsey, she brought a bag of ground Chocolate Flavored Peanut Butter Cup flavored coffee. I gave it a try and fell in love with it. Those first few sips were heaven in a cup.

I’m reminded of a television commercial whereby a woman is seen applying for a job. While the woman in charge reviews the applicant’s resume, someone treats her to a cup of coffee. The boss comes back into the room and blurts out something to the effect, “Everything looks great what is written in your portfolio…” Meantime, the job-seeker is slurping coffee from a mug making a noted sound that isn’t very lady-like, to say the least. She gets a stare from the woman in charge. One gets the feeling right away, in my opinion, she won’t get the job.

But we definitely have a “B.C.” and an “A.C.” experience here. The coffee was irresistible. Whether the woman gets the job or not is definitely in question. It’s apparent to the viewers, I think the advertiser has gotten his point across as intended. The product, the coffee, is definitely worth buying. It seems its taste “is worth its weight in gold” as the saying goes – and that’s the important thing.

So when I see those four letters written on a document or even hear them stated, I can still hear our Mother stating, “Remember, don’t talk to me before B.C!”.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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