Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Decaf? Y ........ um ........ yes.

What kind of coffee do you have?
Skinny flat white?
Decaf latte?
Weak cappuccino?
Soy Chai latte with extra foam?

No you don't. You might think that that's what you're getting every time, but after slinging the black crack for a week or so, I've got some terrible, awful, skin-peeling news: If it looks like the coffee you ordered and it tastes near enough and you don't bring it back, the chances are about 75% at best that you've received exactly what you asked for.
The further you travel from 'regular flat white', the more likely it is that you're getting the caffeinated equivalent of those cross-pollinating, super-inseminating GM crops.
If I'm making them, that is.
Unless you're lucky enough to order it during a fairly non-busy period when I can really concentrate on whatever the hell I'm supposed to be doing (and even then, I don't like your chances), that skinny decaf latte probably isn't the full shot of sugar.

Decaf? Sure. Sure thing.
Putting regular coffee into the group head (handle thing) is as fun and flashy as cocking a shotgun in an Arnie movie. You've seen that grinder, you've heard the click. *shkSHK*
*tamp tamp*
"Lock'n'load! Semper Fi! Double shot! Fire in the hold!"
Putting decaf coffee into the group head involves
wiping "all traces" of regular coffee out of the group head, getting out the decaf tin from under the bench where the regular coffee falls on it, spooning it carefully into the basket, smoothing it off and then pressing it tight with the tamper that gets used on the regular coffee all day, every day. And even that doesn't include the occasional lapse in judgement and/or patience that causes me to put a scoop of regular in anyway, just to spite you non-caffeine drinking whimps. Don't give me your well-considered reasoning and sleep-filled nights. You had better not have some kind of heart condition ...

Skinny? Chug it up, fatso!
There are two jugs (three, if you count soy, and I'm getting to that). One is filled with full-fat milk and the other with skim. Each jug holds enough for two and a bit coffees. If you're Skimpy Wimpy number three and your cup doesn't have enough milk or froth in it, trust me, in goes the full-fat, creamy-dreamy artery-butter-in-a-bottle. No pause. No lip-chewing moment of guilt. No sigh of compromised workmanship. SSSSSSSLOP. "Looks great! Drinks up! Next!"
Especially if it's busy. Or I'm making it.

Latte? Wanker. Everyone who orders, has ordered, has considered ordering, may conceivably in the future order or who knows or has shaken ungloved hands with someone who
orders, has ordered, has considered ordering, may conceivably in the future order, a latte, in any of its configurations, is a wanker. A W-A-N-K-E-R. I'm not kidding. Total tossbags one and all. I should know; I drink them all the time. Look at the first sentence of this paragraph! Wanker! It's because you're not drinking coffee for the caffeine, you're drinking it so that, even on some teensy-tiny, subconscious level, you get to say "Lah-TAY" to rhyme with the one time you tried pronouncing the word "party" as "par-TAY" in all seriousness. You got laughed at. We all did. It sounds stupid. Problem is, that you (and by "you" I mean "we" and by "we" I mean "I") did not learn your lesson. You kept on saying "lah-tay" and getting a microscopic kick out of it. "Latte" is Italian for what happens when you try to simultaneously make a cappuccino and a flat white and somehow fuck both of them up and the mistake ends up in a water glass. Like the barista equivalent of pulling a Homer.

Soy? Soy-tenly! Ah-hah-hah-haahhh. But seriously, you'd better not have any serious lactose intolerance issues, because that soy jug is almost "soy-tenly" contaminated. By the steam wand that gets dipped the other milk jugs a hundred times a day, and then wiped clean with a milk-soaked cloth that gets milk spilled on it. By the thermometer that probably doesn't get as much of a regular cleaning as the steam wand. And by the fridge it sits in all day, surrounded by milk-dripping milk bottles until you float on in and order your coconut semen cappa.

So drink. Drink your coffee and enjoy it. If you didn't see nuthin', we didn't see nuthin'.


In answer to all you questions, yes, I am extremely jealous of all the clamorous attention that Mele is (still) receiving for her well-aimed skewering of Queensland in general. But, what are you gonna do? A man knows when he's beat. She will be back ...

In other, sadder news, my laptop died. The distant whisperers of the Dell Helpdesk have told me that my CPU is probably reverting back to the beach sand from when it came and also that this can be prevented by extending my warranty to the tune of $600. Ouch. I wish I had one of those internet tip jars so that I could ask all of my beautiful readers to kick in and save my blog, my photos, my comics, my mp3s, my Phd ....... But, even with Mele writing anti-Queensland diatribes around the clock, every reader would still have to fork out a month's worth of internet each. Fortunately Mele's computer hasn't died and so ... I'll see you folks around. Hopefully. When she's done with her Phd.


  1. Just look at this as a new opportunity to get a macbook. Nothing suits a soy milk cinnamon topped latte drinking turtle neck wearing wanker like a macbook.

  2. This post is so true. Hilarious too, but oh so very true. Yes, I've been a latte wanker, but it was in the very early days when they were served in stupid glasses that either welded your fingertips to the side or you'd fold a soggy napkin (invariably already oily and crumbly from being 'helpfully' placed underneath the accompanying slice of cake).

    Because it was the early days, I was still calling them 'cafe au lait' in reference to Albert Camus' chap in 'the outsider' who drinks them during times of great upheaval. That's pronounced 'ohley' as in what the Spanish matadors say: Ole!

    During the worst part of my braintumour infestation, I'd ask for a decaff and nine times out of ten - when I'd lost the capacity to see, walk and speak - realise that they simply couldn't be shagged. At the same time, 'Frasier' featured in one of their very first episodes, Frasier and Niles ordering 'Two low fat, decaff, low foam, soy cappuccinos please' and the waiter calls out to the kitchen, "Two GUTLESS WONDERS, Carl!". Classic.

    Thank god it's now full caff, any kinda milk, any style - just so long as the beans taste good.

  3. Oh and best of luck re the new poota. My lappie is also showing clear signs of recalcitrance. Getting too old, full, slow and dodgy - kinda like me really, but, like me, I'm attached to it.

    I've worn off the 'l', 'h' and 'n' key labels (why those letters?), have left a distinct side hand/palm print either side of the inbuilt mouse and know each and every breeze sound what process it's going through. Ah, my lovely compaq...

  4. S**T. I must stop writing essays on your blog and get back to finalising my personal take on the 'Mommy Track' and how it really relates to working mothers in Australia today.

    Or I could go surf at Perez....

  5. Only Girls drink Lattes.

    In fact, if you order a coffee with anything more than a drop of milk (accidental) and anything less than two shots of dark roast: you are a girl. And my Italian colleagues will back me up on this.

    Sammy, perhaps you should substitute Civet Coffee in the place of every Decaf Order? ...well, they are ordering a shit-coffee after all!...

    (PS: I have nothing against Girls, I just think that if you are not one you shouldn't act like one)


  6. Hahaha, coffee, exposed. I almost never buy coffee at cafes and now I'm kinda glad I don't. I prefer my homemade crappy International Roast instant anyway. Even if it's not "real" coffee, just the sweepings off the floor.
    Buy a couple of those flash drive thingys and save all your work and other stuff before your laptop totally kicks the bucket. Then you can just load it all back on when you get a new one.

  7. You repeat that post to every customer don't you?

    At least you should.

    Up here, in the north, we have two types of coffee... black and white. both come served with fingerprints already on the mug and a side of ashtray.

    [Soya milk, served in glasses, hell, put a straw in it for me.]

  8. Franzicle, can't I still comment when I'm amused or just enjoy reading your blog? Your skewed way of looking at the world and your humour are ones that I look forward to reading - I'd kill to have the zappy brain that you do.

    Also, I think a great deal of us bloggers already are sunk into rather in-depth readings, writings, listenings etc in our 'sensible hours', so having a larf or two and being able to thank someone for making them chuckle by leaving a comment is a good thing.

    ....maybe not when, as Audrey said, you're getting more than 100 comments a day, but in that case we'd be Perez Hilton earning $40,000 per day on website advertising alone.

  9. No Kath, GTH would be the pines as seen by people who have fallen down dizzy from the overdose of caffeine in their coffees made by Franzy.

  10. I can't be sure, but I wonder if people who insist on skinny milk don't actually secretly love you for cutting their nasty nasty watery coffees with full cream milk.

    I know of a cafe in the oh-so-groovy Brunswick Street, Fitzroy in which the "barista" fixes those who order skinny milk with a withering glare and informs them that if that's what they want to do to their coffee, they can go elsewhere.

    It's fair to say I'm a little bit in love with that man.


An explanation of The Joy Division Litmus Test

Although it may now be lost in the mysts of thyme, the poll below is still relevant to this blog. In the winter of 2008, Mele and I went to live in Queensland. In order to survive, I bluffed my way into a job at a Coffee Club.
It was quite a reasonable place to work: the hours were regular, the staff were quite nice, it wasn't particularly taxing on my brain.
There were a few downsides: In the six weeks or so that I worked there, there was about a 90% staff turnover (contributed to by my leaving). This wasn't seen as a result of the low pay, the laughability of staff prices or the practice of not distributing tips to staff, rather it was blamed on the lack of work ethic among Bribie Island's youth.
However, one of the stranger aspects of the cultural isolation that touched our lives during our time "up there" was the fact that nobody at my work had heard of the band Joy Division.
The full explanation is available here.
But please, interact a little further and vote in my ongoing poll. The results are slowly mounting up, proving one thing: people read this blog are more well-informed about Joy Division than anyone who works at the Coffee Club on Bribie Island.

Have you heard of the band Joy Division?

Chinese food, not Chinese Internet!

Champions of Guess The Header

  • What is Guess The Header about? Let’s ask regular “Writing” reader, Shippy: "Anyway, after Franzy's stunning September, and having a crack at 'Guess The Header' for the first time - without truly knowing what I was doing mind you - I think I finally understand what 'GTH' is all about. At first I thought you needed to actually know what it was. Don't get me wrong — if you know what it is, it may help you. I now realise that it's more Franzy's way of invoking thought around an image or, more often than not, part of an image. If you dissect slightly the GTH explanatory sentence at the bottom of his blog you come up with this: “The photo is always taken by me and always connects in some way to the topic of the blog entry it heads up.” When the header is put up, the blog below it will in some obscure way have something to do with it. “Interesting comments are judged and scored arbitrarily and the process is open to corruption and bribery with all correspondence being entered into after the fact and on into eternity, ad infinitum amen.” Franzy judges it, but it's not always the GTH that describes the place perfectly that gets it. “The frequent commenters, the wits, the wags and the outright smartarses who, each entry, engage to both guess the origin and relevance of the strip of photo at the top (or “head”) of each new blog and also who leave what I deem the most interesting comment.” It generally helps if you're a complete smartarse and can twist things to mean whatever you feel they should mean - exactly the way Franzy would like things to be twisted." - Shippy Blogger and GTH point scorer.
  • Nai - 1
  • Lion Kinsman - 2
  • Will - 2
  • Brocky - 2
  • Andy Pants - 2
  • The 327th Male - 3
  • Mad Cat Lady - 3
  • Miles McClagen - 4
  • Myninjacockle - 4
  • Asheligh - 5
  • Neil - 5
  • Third Cat - 5
  • Adam Y - 6
  • Squib - 6
  • Mele - 6
  • Moifey - 7
  • Jono - 8
  • The Other, other Sam - 14
  • Kath Lockett - 15
  • Shippy - 19
  • River - 32