Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Boiled Soot and Puddle Water

Many a morning I've spent drinking coffee out of my favorite mug. I choose this mug for its weight and thickness, and the rim is curved to fit my bottom lip. Old-timey engravings wrap around it, alongside antiquated notions of coffee's heathenish qualities.  That drying, ENFEEBLING liquor! It has EUNUCHT our husbands! (ouch) But this sounds like the aspersions cast towards alcohol by teetotalers of the Temperance movement. Well, in fact, something quite similar happened with coffee in 17th century London, a whole hundred years before American women complained of wine and spirits' unwanted effects on their hubbies' tender loins.  But it's not all about sex. Coffee houses were a huge craze, and women were excluded. Men spent a lot of time and money there to the detriment of their families.  It was a women's rights issue, but men, the enlightened beings that they are, asserted the finer, Viagra-like qualities of coffee in retort.  I'll spare you the details, but I will say that if their assertions are true I would rather be excluded from the coffee house thank you very much.

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