My name is Perry and I’m a coffee drinker.
I drink coffee every day, sometimes three or four times.
When I go for a day or two without it, I get wicked headaches.
I drink it black, mostly because I hate to put other people out.
Many years ago when I was a young copy editor (also called a desker) in Brandon, the coffee was brewed down in the lunch room.
Three or four deskers would be assembling the paper in the morning, with shifts started as early as 3 a.m. Coffee wasn’t just a habit, it was a necessity. One of the deskers would head down the hall with a serving tray and grab coffee in Styrofoam cups for everyone. (Those were less enlightened days. I now have three giant green reusable mugs that I call “The Triplets.”)
If you were the lead desker (called the slot), you never grabbed coffee because you were too busy to even look up.
As a result, I put in a standing order; if anyone went down the hall, they grabbed Perry a coffee.
Sometimes I would have eight or 10 of them sitting on my desk waiting for a spare moment. I would down one like a shooter and get back to work.
It was during that period that I switched to black coffee because it was easier for whoever was carrying it. And with me, old habits die hard.
Two decades later, I’m down to a big mug or two a day.
I quit drinking as much as I did in the early days in Brandon after the day I thought I was having a heart attack.
Apparently there can be too much of a good thing.
I tried to look up a word that would describe my coffee loyalties without offending anyone. The words tart, floozy, strumpet and tramp came up.
My favourite coffee is the one in my hand. In an hour, it will be the one I’m drinking then.
I have friends who are fanatically loyal to their favourite coffee places and I respect that. Given a choice, I have one I prefer but that doesn’t mean I won’t visit the others.
There are enough things to worry about in the world to worry about without dragging coffee into the equation.
One of my friends is a complete coffee snob. He’ll “suffer” through whatever is put in front of him if it doesn’t come from Hawaii.
I have neither the money nor the energy for that kind of snobbery.
I like to remind this guy that the most expensive coffee in the world comes from coffee cherries that have been partially digested by the Asian palm civit. When this small mammal is “done” with its meal, the coffee cherries are harvested from the civit’s dung.
Since only 1,000 pounds of the coffee are made each year, the coffee sells for a price of up to $600 a pound.
I’ll wait for a moment while you digest that fact.
I’m not sure what offends me the most. The Scottish bit of my ancestry hates the price; the sensible bit of my personality recoils at the rest.
I recently tossed out my old coffee maker because it was incapable of making coffee. That seemed like grounds for us to part ways.
My shiny new coffee maker is one of those machines that brews a single cup when you put in a tiny package of coffee. The packaging is wasteful but the coffee is excellent.
That’s a tradeoff I’m willing to accept.
It also means I don’t feel compelled to drink a whole pot.
On the weekend I grabbed an extra cup of coffee at a local retailer and left it on my desk at work as a gift for myself on Tuesday morning.
I had forgotten about it by the time I got in on Tuesday, but was quite delighted with Weekend Perry’s gift to Tuesday Perry.
I drank it cold in the afternoon and congratulated myself for my excellent planning on the weekend.
Right now, I’m sipping some work coffee, which will never be my favourite, but is far superior to no coffee at all.
• • •
It can be a challenge finding stories in Prince Albert in the summer. If you’ve lived here for a while, you won’t be surprised to hear the people we need to talk to are always up at the lake.
When the kids go back to school, the silly season ends for us and things get busy again.
I mention that for a couple of reasons.
The E.A. Rawlinson Centre’s fall schedule kicks off officially next Sunday with Elmer Lammedee’s tribute to Stompin’ Tom Connors. But the Centre presents Ian Tyson and Corb Lund on Thursday night in a show that’s been sold out for a while.
You can also see Bob Evans (Sept. 22) and Rose Cousins (Sept. 23) this month. I realize that not all of them are musicians that you’re familiar with but it’s worth taking a chance on some of these shows.
Things also get busy on the sports front.
• The AAA Midget Mintos open on Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. against the Moose Jaw Generals at the Art Hauser Centre.
• The A&W Bears open on Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. at Kinsmen Arena against Weyburn and then play them again at 1:30 p.m. at the Art Hauser Centre.
• The Raiders open their WHL season on Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. against the Saskatoon Blades. They will be officially unveiling their new uniforms that night.
• St. Mary Marauders opened their high school football season last Friday while the Carlton Crusaders open their home season on Thursday, Sept. 19.
Please support your local teams and concerts. It’s ultimately up to us to help make these events financially feasible.
• • •
We’ve been joined by a new intern today who will be spending the next four months with us. Eric Bell is University of Regina journalism student who came highly recommended by former Daily Herald reporter Braden Dupuis.
Please make him welcome if your paths cross.
Perry Bergson is the Daily Herald’s managing editor. You can reach him at 765-1302 or by email at email@example.com