Vol. 2, Issue 6, February 10, 2004
A Peerless Liniment Experience
Perplexing Times

Good to the Last Drop

Ezekiel F. Watley, Esq.

As the presidential Primaries make their torturous Way across the Nation in fits and starts, I find myself often Asked for my Assessment of the field. A veritable Litany of facts and figures is presented at each Instance: good Gentlefolk are whipped to a Fury in comparing prospective Taxation Plans, Social policies, and the general moral Eptitude of the lot. But I cast aside the Papers at the club; quietly retire to a good game of Darts when the facts are bandied About. Why? There is a much Simpler way to gauge the Measure of a Politician: and it has to do with What He Drinks.

No, good readers, I speak not of the noble Single-Malt; I speak rather of the universal Fuel of the Campaign-Trail, Coffee. It must be Recalled that the rise of the Coffee-House coincides with the Age of Enlightenment in Western Europe: surely no Coincidence. I myself can never start my Day without the silver Coffee-Service laid upon my Desk by faithful Elisabeth; the noble rich Jamaican Blend of purest Arabica is a freshly-ground Key to unlocking the Morning, and paving the way for my pre-prandial Scotch.

In point of Fact, the humble Coffee-Cup is a veritable Mirror to a man's Character, the Ink with which the story of each man's Morning is writ. The gentleman who takes his coffee Black, myself Included, is often Decisive and Firm in his resolve. The gentle Elisabeth, of course, takes Cream and Sugar, in a manner most Proper and Fitting for a healthy young Lady. Emmett, our Sporting-Event Writer, adds a shot of Bourbon: a man who has Trouble with Boundaries. And Ephram? - A spoonful of Peanut-Butter is stirred faithfully into his Cup each morning, the spoon then Returned unwashed to the Jar - where it rests (unmolested, you may be Sure) until the next Morning. I shudder to Contemplate it.

It is thus that the Coffee-House visits perpetrated by the prospective Candidates are most Illuminating; for it is Thus that we find Mr. Kerry takes Five Spoons of Sugar in his coffee - alarming, to be sure! Such a sucrose-laden Tongue may yet mask Unpleasantries down the Road. The estimable Mr. Dean is accustomed to adding a Calorie-Free Sweetener, in addition to Drinking an entire Pot by himself before Lunch; whence we may deduce that loud Screaming is likely a Recurring thing rather than an Occasional burst of temper. Mr. Edwards, surprisingly, drinks it Black - unexpectedly Firm in his Resolve. And the good General Clark? This military Man emeritus adds a shot of Syrup of Amaretto, alas.

As for our President, I have heard it Bandied about that he eschews Coffee altogether in favor of Postum. Heaven preserve him if this is so.


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