I wonder as a I wander

I had a raging caffeine headache yesterday — rather, a lack-of-caffeine headache — and it made me wonder: What would happen if everyone in the world gave up caffeine for a week?

No coffee. No tea. No cola. No energy drinks. (OK you can still have chocolate — it has very little caffeine and I’m not a sadist.)

Would snappiness, even violence, rise as the world endured a massive headache? Or would it get slower and sleepier as everyone lost the will to keep moving? Or maybe we’d all draw closer, kinder, gentler in a massive wave of commiseration.

Would office napping become accepted — even encouraged — when no one, not even the boss, could stay awake by 2:00 p.m.?

What would people do with their time without waiting in the the line at BigBucks or McD’s drive-through or the corner coffee shop or hanging out at the communal pot at work?

Would everyone gain weight by substituting sugar for caffeine?

It would be interesting to find out — but only for a week, as the loss to the economy could be devastating.

I’m contemplating doing one of those “cleanse” diets after New Year’s — you know the kind, no caffeine, no sugar, no animal products, maybe even no gluten. I’m curious how it would make me feel, and if I could really do it. I’ve done my Lenten stints of no coffee, or no chocolate, or no sweets over the years, but there was always some other vice to sustain me. This cold-turkey purge would be a first. I understand you feel pretty lousy the first 2 or 3 days, then suddenly you’re sleeping better, you feel lighter, you have more energy.

Just thinking about it makes me woozy.

But no matter, that’s 3+ weeks and 50,000 calories away. Today… today it’s 16 days until Christmas and I have dozens of cookies to bake and decorating to finish and gifts to wrap and a few things to buy and caffeine and sugar are the friends I’m not supposed to hang out with but are too cool to resist.

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.
~ T.S. Eliot


  1. RL said,

    Tuesday, December 8, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    We’d all go back to single-tasking–it’s all we could do to get one thing done without staring into space!

    Don’t stop those Mc-trips just yet, some of us would be more directly impacted by that decision!

  2. chappy said,

    Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 10:58 am

    i found out long ago i was a zombie with out my morning coffee! i sip coffee throughout the day, stopping by 4pm in winter and 3pm in warmer weather. it is gevalia all the way in our house…..royal vinter and royal vinter spice make the holidays a bit more festive. magazine time at b&n, it is starbucks or borders, it is seattle coffee….as for the diet, lets drink eggnog, eat holiday cookies and cakes until our buttons burst…the new year will be here way too soon!

  3. WritingbyEar said,

    Wednesday, December 9, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Mmmmm. The vinter spice sounds guten, yah. Especially mit der Strudel! Mein buttons are on their way…

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