Posted by: Jeremiah Graves | February 27, 2010

The Great Coffee Dilemma

I hate coffee.

Like seriously, I really hate it.

It tastes awful. It almost always burns my mouth. It smells like it’s going to be awesome, just to lure you in, and then it tastes like baby souls and shame.

That having been said, I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to the hot, black devil.

You see, my Faithful Readers—despite my disdain for coffee—I’ve still got this itch that I’ve gotta scratch known as caffeine addiction.

As has been well-documented here at “Blank Stares and Blank Pages,” I’ve got some sleeping issues. As such, I’m often in dire need of caffeine to—well—function during the day.

Obviously this leads to a vicious cycle. A cycle which has been pointed out to me many-a-time.

The conversation typically goes like this:

Your Hero: “Man…I’m so freakin’ tired today.”
Random Passerby: “How come, my exquisitely-dressed friend?”
Your Hero: “Well, Random Passerby, I didn’t sleep at all last night.”
Random Passerby: “You didn’t sleep at all last night, yet your still so vibrant, friendly, and you smell like a rugged woodsman—in a good way of course.”
Your Hero: “…but of course.”
Random Passerby: “Do you suppose it’s because you had eleven Red Bulls, six Mountain Dews and a hand-full of No Doze yesterday?”
Your Hero: “That’s poppycock!!”
Random Passerby: “Have you tried going without caffeine?!”
Your Hero: “Yes…yes I have.”
Random Passerby: “I like your beard.”
Your Hero: “I know, everyone does.”
Random Passerby: “Anyway…you were saying.”
Your Hero: “Yes, I’ve tried to go caffeine free before and I still can’t sleep, but then I can’t function during the day either. So I’m pretty much worthless all-around the clock.”
Random Passerby: “Well, gee…that sucks. At least you’re awesome…”
Your Hero: “True ‘dat…”

That right there is pretty much how my conversations always go when people inquire about my caffeine consumption.

Lately, however, I’ve been rollin’ without energy drinks and soda as part of MIT’s annual (and super bad-ass) GetFit challenge. Essentially the getfit@MIT challenge is a three-month fitness challenge.

Peeps split up into groups and are expected to meet weekly fitness goals. It’s an awesome program that is designed to help people shed some of the winter weight they’ve packed on and most likely to keep a large chunk of the workforce from keeling over at any given time.

The MIT Libraries enter a team (or two) every year because, well, we’re freakin’ awesome and that’s just how we roll.

One of my goals for this year’s GetFit was to try and cut down on energy drinks and sodas. Granted, this was more for the fiscal gains rather than the health gains, but whatevs…it still plays well in the spirit of the challenge.

I figure that in an average week, I spend upwards of $40 on energy drinks and sodas. On a big week (read: when I don’t really sleep at all) it can be closer to $65 or worse.

Most energy drinks run a dude somewhere between $3 and $5 a piece anymore and it’s not entirely out of line for me to swing into 7-11 before work and snag $15-$20 worth of beverages, often times I’ll be lucky to stretch that supply out over more than two days.

As such, I’ve given myself a serious limit during GetFit.

I’m allowed a grand total of ten sodas and five energy drinks.

That’s it.

I’ve already used up three of the sodas.

I wasted one on accident without even thinking. I was at Sbarro’s getting a slice of the “za” (as the kids call it) and I’d ordered some sort of combo. The dude slid me a fountain soda of Mt. Dew and without even thinking, I had half of it gone before I realized what I’d done.

The second came from the magical Coke machine at MIT. Obviously a dude can’t turn down a magic Coke, so I guzzled that one down.

The third came the other day when I just absolutely was craving a Coke with my hot dogs and made it happen.

I had my first energy drink today; which is why I’m typing about a million miles a minute and why I’m assuming this entire post doesn’t really flow well.

After nearly a month without energy drinks—and trying to supplement my caffeine necessities with the black death—this energy drink pretty much feels like the greatest thing in the world.

I feel both energetic and powerful.

In fact, here’s my status update from Facebook (where you can become a fan of BSBP) that came roughly 17 seconds after my first sip:

“First energy drink in nearly a month. So. F-ing. Awesome. I feel like Zeus must have felt after a line of blow and a Pulp Fiction-esque dance marathon with Uma Thurman. Now how to use this feeling of euphoria and power?! Ah yes, sitting at the circulation desk…perfect!!”

Yeah, ‘twas exactly that awesome.

On the bright side I’ve been incredibly productive, so that’s something.

Anywhere, where the hell was I going with this?!?!?!

Ah yes, coffee.

I’m addicted to the stuff. I had my first taste of it about three weeks ago. It was awful, but it was also caffeinated.

Since then I’ve been chugging the stuff, essentially by the pot. On any given day I’m drinking anywhere from one to three pots of coffee. Not cups, but pots.

Sure, sure most of my cups of coffee at a solid 50/50 mix of coffee and creamer, but I’m still chugging that crap like nobody’s business.

Given the drastically more euphoric feeling of energy I get from energy drinks, I’ve got assume that I’ll probably switch back when GetFit is all said and done, but financially I’ve spent—at most—a whopping total of $20 on coffee stuff in three weeks. That’s like one bad day of energy drink and soda consumption.

It’s hard to argue with that kind of math.

Kimbo Slice > Me on Coffee” src=”″ alt=”” width=”148″ height=”210″ />Granted it’s also hard to argue with the fact that I need two pots of coffee to simply function and just one energy drink to feel like I could run through a brick wall and shoot lightning bolts from my eyeballs.

Honestly, if Kimbo Slice were to walk in here and challenge me to a fight right now I’d go all jungle cat on his ass and beat him to a bloody pulp!!

…or at least go down swinging.

If I were simply drinking coffee today and Kimbo Slice walked in here, I’d still be so out of it that I probably wouldn’t even recognize him and he’d totally get the drop on me.

You see, my Faithful Readers, it’s going to be a tough choice when all of this ends.

Do I go the fiscal route and stick with the disgusting mess that is coffee or do I go the tasty, drastically more expensive route of energy drinks.

Feel free to weigh in with comments; Jebus knows that I can’t make an important decision of this magnitude by my lonesome.

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  1. XS bulk orders 😉


    • touche…


  2. reading this post forced me to drink a mountain dew. thanks.


    • you’re welcome!!



  3. […] much like the internet, I’ve attempted to quit and done so successfully, but it only leads to other, equally-wasteful habits to serve as a […]


  4. […] Donuts in the middle of the summer. And all of My Faithful Readers undoubtedly remember my past adventures with coffee, but for the most part it’s really the PSL and nothing else for this […]


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