The (Recovered) Story House Coffee Essays

These microshort humor essays were originally commissioned to appear on the labels of gourmet roasted coffee bean cans. Instead, they remained tucked away for 10 years in the author’s desk drawer. His instructions were simple: Mention the word “coffee” at least once, keep them family-friendly, and keep them under 300 words. He almost did it.

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These microshort humor essays were originally commissioned to appear on the labels of gourmet roasted coffee bean cans. Instead, they remained tucked away for 10 years in the author’s desk drawer. His instructions were simple: Mention the word “coffee” at least once, keep them family-friendly, and keep them under 300 words. He almost did it.

 

TENK YOU, BOYZA!

You don’t have to be Norwegian to understand Lawrence

Welk, but apparently it helps. The other night I had my trusty

mug of coffee in one hand and the tv remote in the other,

scanning the channels man-style for something to watch. You

know what man-style channel surfing is like- give each channel

exactly three nanoseconds to prove itself worthy of a stop. Sad

to say, partial nudity does play a part in the decision-making

process.

I took a few sips of strong, dark courage and eventually

settled on the red-headed stepchild of the free broadcast

world- PBS. In defense of public television, may I say how fun

it would be to watch a show like Fear Factor have to beg for

every nickel it needs, while the Antiques Roadshow gets a million

dollars per episode. But I digress.

There on my screen stands bandleader Lawrence Welk,

fronting a band outfitted in what can only be described as early

Paintshop Explosionwear. I understand that color television

was a new and wondrous thing in Welk’s day, but couldn’t they

have limited the clothing scheme to colors that exist in

nature? I managed to catch some episodes from the early 60s,

and I must say the boys looked mighty sharp in their tailored,

thin-lapeled suits with the Cuban boots. Then all of a sudden

the spirit of good taste and restraint passed right over the studio

door. The result was a collision between a Day-Glo paint

truck and a circus train.

Even more disconcerting than the clothes were the performers

themselves. I had no idea you could actually airbrush

a live human being. Maybe it was the coffee talking, but I started

to feel like I had tripped into the Stepford Wives Comedy

2

Variety Hour by mistake. All that was missing was a surprise

appearance by the Pointer Sisters and the comedic stylings of

Mr. David Brenner.

You know, it’s a funny thing about nostalgia. Dylan might

have been onto something when he said ‘what looks large from

a distance/Close up ain’t never that big’, but when it comes to

the Lawrence Welk show and all of its apparent corniness,

perhaps it’s we who have gotten smaller somehow. Enna one,

enna two…

 

 

 

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