Monday, March 9, 2009

A Cough-Free Man of Tea

Ned here. I've been trying to hold off on this debate until someone else posted something - so I don't come across as an overzealous Neddy - but, seeing how it took me two months to blow my first log, maybe things are kind of balancing out.

Something that makes me blow logs of a different metaphorical nature: coffee.

Coffee: smells great, less filling. That's because it induces vomitting. One time in college, while in the desperate throes of a panicky all-nighter, I'm not proud to say I turned to coffee. I'd heard a lot of buzz around town about the brown bean. I figured now more than ever I needed that buzzing in my brain to carry me through. It was about 4:19 in the morning. I was slogging into one of the hardest hours, typing about one word every ten minutes trying to get a ten page paper off the ground. I felt like the Wright Brothers must have felt for years as Momma Wright cursed their sorry asses up and down the dinner table. "Failure," my Mom's voice rang clear as the swiftly approaching day, while I sheepishly fiddled with the font size and scanned the thesaurus looking for phrases to replace my one syllable words. "Here goes nothing," I said to my sleeping roommate, a false bravado, as I spooned a pot's worth of freeze-dried instant orange-flavored coffee into my mouth. I swallowed. I swallowed for my Mom. I swallowed for all my Luddite ancestors who paved over the Bering Straight with their frozen and dried coagulated blood just to get me to this free world. I swallowed with tears in my eyes.

Then I blacked out. I came to in a parking lot about 10 blocks away - skippin' rope and singing songs of a simpler time. When I got home, I took a good long look in the mirror - eyes recessed into dark sockets, hoarse singing voice, bulging calf muscles, and hair that looked like I tried to fornicate with a light socket in a bath tub. I haven't touched the bean since. Oh, if you got it, I'll sniff it up and down like this is my last day on God's green earth and God took away my other four senses and dropped me off on the outskirts of a Guatemalan farming village with a booming command to "experience nature at its finest young brotha" or my name ain't Nedd Ludd. But I don't smoke that shit any more.

I do, however, still smoke tea leaves. Especially the various herbal mint flavors. Then I compose quatrains and make up new dances to go along with them. This one involves a lower body "running man" while wiggling your fingers as if you're playing the clarinet and sticking out your tongue like a jack-ass: "poetically prophetic/ like a brewed tea leaf in yo' empty mug brutha/ waste not want not is my song/ cutting up a rug as I fire up a bong."

[If you or any of your friends want to submit a video of you or any of your friends attempting this dance while singing the quatrain, it will be posted.]

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