The French press riders

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Every year, George does a yearend video for us. He pours through the hundreds of pictures and videos we’ve taken throughout the year, and he makes a yearly virtual scrapbook to look back on. I’m always amazed when I watch these videos – I can’t believe we’ve been the places we’ve been and met the people we’ve met. It’s crazy. We’ve been everywhere, man.

Travel is the best education you can get. I’ve learned more in the past four years on the road than I ever learned in college. I’ve also seen a lot more weird stuff than most people, and that delights me. I was comparing “weird stuff I’ve seen” stories on a thread with Jay “Big Belly” Chase the other day – he had posted a video of a guy shadow boxing with what appeared to be his imaginary friend at 3 a.m. in a TA parking lot and made a comment to the effect of, “We see this crap so much — it doesn’t even phase us anymore.”

He’s right. After meeting my third or fourth parking lot Jesus, it became pretty blasé to be greeted by a messiah anymore. A transvestite with stuffed tigers for boobs is pretty much a one-of-a-kind thing, so that one stands out in my memories a lot more than the alarmingly high number of dudes I’ve seen in dresses.

I find it interesting that Alpha Centurion is a routine theme for unbalanced individuals across the United States. Marvel Comics apparently has some kind of hold on the schizophrenic population that might need to be investigated. Also, be advised, “trying new things” never includes eating a bag of “candy” the bird man in West Memphis gives you. Just trust me on this one.

But we have tried new things, and I’ve noticed more and more of these things creeping into our everyday life. When we’re home, I make food from places we’ve been, because we both love to eat and this beautiful country of ours has some of the best damn food in the world strewn across it.

When we discovered poutine and French press coffee in Louisiana. I knew immediately a small portion of my life was complete forever, and I needed to re-create the fantastic beauty of both gastric delights at home. Poutine was easy — I’ve been eating fries with brown gravy forever. Adding the cheese curds was a simple stroke of genius from our friends in Quebec, and it changes the fry/gravy game considerably.

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I was a little more daunted by the French press. It seemed too simple to be as simple as it’s supposed to be.

“Put in coffee, pour in water, mash the thingie — you’re a dummie for thinking this was hard.”“Put in coffee, pour in water, mash the thingie — you’re a dummie for thinking this was hard.”

I found one on sale, and decided to go for it. I even bought the coffee they recommended in the instructional video, just to be sure we got the full advantage of using a press. I did everything exactly like the instructions said (which was basically, put coffee in bottom of decanter, pour in hot water, let sit for a few minutes, mash the thingie down; you’re an idiot for thinking this was hard. Pour yourself a cup of coffee, dummy).

I made a little pot of delicious smelling, inky-black coffee and poured my regular 10 oz cup on top of a couple tablespoons of hazlenut creamer. I was delighted to find it tasted as good as it smelled and finished off the cup pretty quick. I was immediately inspired to clean the bathroom, walls, floors, dogs, picture frames and window caulk in every room of our home. Holy. Jeebus.

I had to share this euphoria with George, so I crawled across the ceiling to his office to invite him to have a cup of pure, unrelenting energy with me.

“Babe! I used the French press! It’s awesome!

“Wow, I see you’ve had a couple of cups.”

“I had one. One big one. It was awesome!”

“You OK? Your eyes look kind of weird.”

“I can see into the neighbor’s house. Through the walls. Also, my hair is full of bugs.”

“I think you probably need to limit your intake of pressed coffee. It’s kind of strong, you know.”

“I think my arms just separated from my body, but I can’t tell because my heart is beating so hard.”

“You should go lay down.”

“Lay down?? Are you kidding me?? I’m going to walk the dogs, and when I get back, I think we should do that roof repair…”

This ain’t yo momma’s Maxwell House. Beware the French press.

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