Mardi Gras Mask

Mardi Gras Mask

We needed more coffee. We only had enough beans left to make one more pot of coffee. So as part of my preparatory grocery shop, in honor of winter storm Octavia’s then expected arrival, I turned into the coffee and tea aisle. My basket was already well lardered with the staples required to weather any snowstorm, milk, bread, eggs and beer, but the specter of snowbound starvation pales in comparison to the threat of having no coffee in the house.

We drink Kaldi’s coffee. Kaldi is a local roaster and coffee shop proprietor, who also happens to sponsor our charity MS-150 bicycling team, plus they make darn good coffee. Most of the varieties of Kaldi’s coffee were on special and the selection had already been pretty well picked over. There was a woman standing there, looking over the still available coffee bags. I stood near her, squinting over her shoulder, trying to see which varieties were already ground and which ones were still whole beans. I wanted a bag of whole beans.

At this point, the woman turns to me and asks, “Have you ever tried Kaldi’s coffee before?” I assented and then she asked, “Which one is your favorite then?” I tried saying that I didn’t really have a favorite one and that I liked several of their varieties. Then she asked, “Which one are those?” I was a little surprised by her third-degree, but mostly by her intensity with which she asked these questions. She sounded like she really wanted to hear my thoughts on Kaldi’s coffee. Taken aback, I couldn’t remember any of the cute-little names for the varieties that I drank. I was speechless. My silence occasioned her the opportunity for a little soliloquy, “My friend only likes Birds and Bees. I like it too, but sometimes I would like to try something different. That’s why I was asking what flavors you liked?” I blurted out French roast, but she dismissed the suggestion out of hand, “Too bold.” Then she said thank you and walked away without selecting any coffee, but she was back in a flash and informed me, “You are blessed.” I thanked her.

After she was finally gone, I studied the still available selection of coffee. As it turned out the only variety that was whole bean was Birds and Bees. With 20/20 hindsight I could now see that what she must have really wanted was a bag of ground Birds and Bees. There is a Kaldi’s kiosk on the other side of the store, she could have taken a bag over there and gotten it ground. If I had known, I could have been more helpful.

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