Lucky 13 Especial

Hey, gang.

Well, we’re inside two weeks now, looking at lucky 13.

Yeah, that’s right, today is lucky 13. (Even though some researches estimate that as many as 10 percent of the U.S. population has a fear of the number 13, let’s try to make a pact that that’s just not ‘gonna be us!)

After all, I’ve got your back. (Yes, that means every one of you.) The way I see it, any number that gets us closer to our celebration has some sort of redeeming quality.

And there aren’t any rules that indicate that we can’t celebrate the mundane, too. I mean why not, right?

Case in point…

When I was 13 years old, I decided to start drinking coffee.

I remember going to some back-to-school thing once, and a guy from my English class was drinking coffee with his mother. It seemed odd to me, as I guess I never recall seeing anyone my age drinking it before.

So I figured I should give it a try.

Keep in mind that we’re talking the 1970s here, so as you can imagine, the coffee types available were pretty limited then. (And even though Starbucks dates all the way back to 1971 in Seattle Washington, it was a good ten years until the brand began its eventual rise to international prominence.)

As for yours truly, being a New York-area kid, I opted for the Chock Full o’ Nuts brand. Even though it was far from modern and cool in any way, shape or form, their commercial jingle was memorable:

“…Chock Full o’ Nuts is that heavenly coffee, heavenly coffee, heavenly coffee,
Chock Full o’ Nuts is that heavenly coffee, better coffee a millionaire’s money can’t buy…”

Strange, but true story, I guess.

So anyway, I started the experiment, trying to see if drinking coffee was for me.

As above, it’s not like I had a lot of places where I could go to get my java/Joe/rot gut (write-in equivalent names go here). And coupled with the fact that I didn’t have a driver’s license yet, that basically left me to my own devices. And let’s just say that those “devices” didn’t include brand names like Keurig (invented in 1998), Breville and Krups. (Interestingly, both Breville and Krups had already been around forever; Breville, 1932 and Krups, 1846, respectively, but it’s not like I could have gone online to start shopping!)

That’s when the teenage me got an idea (re: the Grinch, an awful, awful idea) to go in a different direction. (Yes, you can start cringing now if you like.) Yep, instant coffee.

Even though I’ve heard that it’s still out there, Sanka (loosely translated from French as “without caffeine”) is far from readily available. (Trust me, I checked!)

Back in the day, though, it was my go-to. It’s not like I was a jittery kid or anything like that. I think I liked its bright orange packaging. (That and the fact that somehow I used to be able to sneak it into the grocery cart without my mom or dad noticing.)

Anyway, the Sanka phase ran for a good long while, until one morning I decided that I just couldn’t drink it anymore. (Sorry, Sanka. Nothing personal.)

A few years later, when I finally got my driver’s license, I gave the coffee experiment another shot, often stopping at McDonald’s and maybe a local deli here and there.

And the following year, I joined the U.S. Army, which gave me access to more coffee (both leaded and unleaded) than I could ever want.

The postscript on the above is that I eventually switched back to decaf as an act of solidarity. When my wife/then girlfriend tried to give up regular coffee, let’s just say that it didn’t go so well.  In fact, shortly after abruptly quitting on her favorite beverage, she developed what she thought were migraine headaches.

It seems that the body wasn’t meant to go “cold turkey” on coffee (yeah, suddenly stopping caffeine, not the ticket!), and she needed to wean herself off.

The answer?…

One 1/2 cup regular + 1/2 cup Sanka until the headaches went away. I joined her in that regard, and I have been a decaf guy ever since.

(I never asked her, but I’m wondering if that’s why she married me?)

See you again tomorrow when we continue the countdown. Closing in on ten days left, gang.









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