From: James Davis 
Subject: Coffee and the Ugly American
Date: Mon, 15 Oct 2001 09:55:01 -0400 (EDT)

So it's coffee time.  Go get some now . . .

or pause a moment and consider this strange global tidbit:

So what's the one thing that really distinguishes european culture from ours
here in the states?

1) "They talk english funny, especially the british."  Oops.  yeah that's
right.  That's not what I was after though.  That's alright:  What's the 
second main thing that seperates them from us.

2) "Bizzarro monopoly money."  Ah yeah, I forgot about that one.  Alright
then, what's the third.

3) "Good infrastructure (besides just roads)."  Yes of course, but that's not
what I'm thinking of either.  Go for number 4.

. . . 

 . . . . . 

43) "Better educated."  Good point, forgot that one as well.  Ummm, still 
that's not what I'm looking for.  

44) "Less water wasted on things like showers and less in the beer."  ummm,
correct.  Less water in general, unless you include fountains.  I'm thinking
of something else though.

45) . . . 

 . . . . . 

103) "Everyone lives in a nice house and has a good car."  Yeah, damn 
commies.  But they don't have people with 10 nice houses and 20 nice cars 
(plus of course a team of lobbyists and a congressman or 7) like we do.  
Preachy, but not what I'm after here. 

104) "Better dressed."  true, but not it.  

105) "Value added tax."  yes, but still not it.

106) "Bicycles ridden functionally."  Of course, still not what I'm looking

. . . 

234) "castles."  hey, we have those too!
235) "besides the castles at disneyland."  OK, you win.  Guess again.

236) "Football"  Now *that* we do have.
237) "No, I mean *foot*ball."  Oh yeah.

 . . . . . .

788) "Bubbles in the water (or coke with no flavor)."  Not it, but you're 
getting really close!

789) "Thimbles full of hi-octane coffee"

********     THAT'S IT!!!!  *********

Ok, so the 789th main thing that distinguishes us from our European friends.  A
decent (sized) cup of coffee.  If you want to get more that a capful of coffee
south of the Alps (and most places elsewhere), you've got to hunt down 
"Le/El/Il/Der Starbucks" or ask for a Cafe/Caffe/Kaffe/Kafe Ameri(c|k)a(i)n
(Just so you know, these are randomly selected permutations of the word and 
in no way reflect any words for coffee in any known language).  Cafe 
American, just so you know, means a thimble full of strong coffee supplemented
by a full-sized cup of the waiter's spit (if you're lucky).  
So order it with care.  You can also wave your hands and gesture and fill up 
a notepad with sketches requesting that the waiter continue to pour the 
thimbles full off super-coffee into 
a regular sized coffee cup until it's full (if the waiter doesn't understand,
talk really slow and loud.  It sometimes helps).  Best have a buddy ready, 
though, cause it's potent stuff (the allies used captured Italian coffee to 
fuel the armored columns that eventually crossed the Rhein).  From time to 
time, they pluck an unlucky american off the peak of matterhorn who's lost his 
clothes and has no idea how he got there.  Last thing he remembered: he
ordered the waiter to get them a "full sized" cup of coffee in Barcelona.

Of course, in the Good Ol' (tm) USA, home of Monday Morning Coffee, we have
no such problems.  Here, a full cup of coffee isn't an honorable way to die, 
it's just a nice drink to give you a start to your day.  So come
down where it's safe, and enjoy an american cup of joe without the risk of
spit or dirty looks (well, no dirty looks based on coffee preference, anyway).
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