Since the GST (goods & services tax) in Canada went down by one percent at the start of this year, my favorite cup of Starbucks coffee now costs one cent less than four dollars.  Today, I refused the penny in change, but it got me thinking: pennies are like coffee beans.  One by itself doesn’t do much.  Put a whole lot of them together and it can be a real treat.  (Forgive me if I ramble a bit, let’s call it the cold medication talking…don’t do drugs!  Brains are wonderful things until they get abused, even if it is legitimate medication.  This is temporary, right?)

Pennies are less vulnerable on the floor, but according to some childhood memories, apparently they don’t fare so well on the train tracks.  That’s what I was told, I was too intimidated by the government’s ownership of all national currency to ever try it.  Besides, it doesn’t take a train to crush a coffee bean.  That’d be overkill.  And a waste of coffee.

But pennies often end up in cups, all tossed in together, and in wishing wells.  It takes more than a few ‘processed pennies’ (dollar bills or dollar coins) to purchase a cup of ‘processed coffee beans,’ (joe, java, mocha double latte, or, my favorite, ‘grande wet cappuccino w/whipped.’)  And if you’re still reading this, you’re probably wishing for a cup right now.  (My computer completely lost this file and went crazy, it wanted its own version of coffee so badly.  Here’s a tip:  when nothing’s working on your laptop, shut it down as much as it will let you, pop the battery out for about ten seconds, and then do a normal restart of Windows.  You didn’t hear that from me, okay?  That’s supposed to cost you fifty or sixty dollars in tech support.  And if that doesn’t work, you don’t want them mad at you.)

There are many ways of processing coffee beans, but I think the strangest thing I’ve heard of is waiting for animals to eat the berries, then poop out the coffee beans.  The beans get scrubbed really well (they say,) before being processed further.  That kind of coffee is very expensive, and makes me wonder who’s crazier: the person waiting for the end result of digestion, or the person buying that particular kind of coffee.  Personally, I’ll opt for a less expensive kind of coffee, thank you very much.  My dog rarely gets coffee, and drinks hers instead of eating a coffee bean.  Actually, I never thought to offer her a coffee bean before, but she’d probably eat it.  And be awake all night, demanding more play time.  (Why do dogs put their noses in our footwear and inhale as if it’s ambrosia of the gods?  Or do they think we’re really in there?)  And she’d possibly want more coffee beans, because she likes to eat everything, even nibbles on my socks while I’m wearing them.  I wonder what she’d do if I put a coffee bean in my sock?

So let’s see…if you set aside four pennies a day, in a hundred days you’d have enough to buy me a coffee and have a penny left over.  Neat, huh?  As long as taxes and prices stay the same…  See you in a few months?  I should be over the cold by then.  😉

Thanks for reading.  🙂

Phyllis K Twombly

About Scifialiens

Author of the Martian Symbiont series: three titles, so far; Been Blued, Martian Blues, Martian Divides. Currently writing screenplays. 'Mating With Humans' can be found on her account. Enjoyed writing from the start. Also a Star Trek and Doctor Who fan. Canadian so far. Paternal grandparents were American. Feels more at home in the States. Loves dogs and most other animals. Loves cats from afar--allergies. Plays flute and saxophone; 'messes with' keyboard and electric guitar. Single so far. Not really looking at the moment. Age: irrelevant. Not to be confused with the fictional comic book character, Phyllis Twombly, who lived for 600 years in the American Midwest.

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