October 31, 2005
by Keith Weiland
This Monday is different. After two months of Mondays waking up to a loser team, this is the first Monday we wake up to a winner. All the pain, all the heartache, all of it gone thanks to a 19-16 victory over the Browns, the Texans’ first win of the season.
There was just one thing on my mind after the Texans ran off the field with their place in 0-16 infamy averted. Just one little itty bitty thing, and it had nothing to do football.
Area Exxon stations have advertised since the start of the season that their coffee would be free to customers on the Mondays after a Texans victory. Free coffee, and all the Texans had to do was win a game. How simple. I had a caffeine high just thinking about it.
And for two long months my local gas station has taunted me with that free coffee. With an 0-6 start to the season, was it any surprise when Exxon announced third quarter profits at a whopping 75 percent? Of course not. Think of all the money that company was saving by not having to serve any of that free coffee.
Ah, but this Monday is different.
Funny thing about the free coffee. The signs outside the station say nothing of any limit. Just “free coffee”. A never-ending spring of coffee. An everlasting supply of the nectar from the football gods.
So as I drove up to the nearest Exxon on Monday, still flush from the excitement of the first win of the season, I clutched my empty gallon of milk container along the way thinking only of how sweet the bitter would taste. There is no telling when I could rejoice in a Monday morning like this again, so I figured to make the most of this Monday while I had the opportunity. My only regret was that Daylight Savings ended on Sunday, because there would be no finer day for a 25th hour than this one.
“Fill that sucker up,” I said to the unassuming assistant manager. “I’m having me a hot coffee bath. I want to gurgle that coffee, swim in it, shake it up and pour it over you, me, and the customers behind me in line like it was a champagne shower.
“I want so much coffee in my body that when I sweat, out comes the java. I want my farts to smell like a Columbian forest, and I want Juan Valdez to make me an honorary Hills Brother. I want so much coffee running through my veins that I would not think twice about naming my next child Maxwell House Weiland.
“I want to barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Coffee-kabobs, coffee creole, coffee gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. Pineapple coffee, lemon coffee, coconut coffee, pepper coffee, coffee soup, coffee stew, coffee salad, coffee and potatoes, coffee burger, coffee sandwich. That’s about it.”
Turns out this assistant manager of my neighborhood Exxon didn’t appreciate my enthusiasm. Coffee is to be dispensed by the cup, not the gallon. As a long-suffering fan of Houston football, endurance just happens to be one of my strengths. I could fill up enough cups of free coffee to make a guy named Noah start looking for animals in pairs.
So I did. Cup after cup until I was no longer welcome at this Exxon. Lucky for me, there are 342,173 Exxon stations in the greater Houston area, so once one was dry of coffee, off I drove to the next station. My craving for the bitter taste of victory was insatiable.
Never mind the fact that I abhor the taste of coffee.
Keith Weiland really does hate coffee.
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